Post-Exam Thoughts: GCSE Physics P3 – 30 May 2012


As a subject I hope to take next year at AS-Level, today’s Physics exam was one of the ones that was more important to me. Unlike Thursday’s Chemistry paper, though, (a subject in which – thanks to modular exams – I already have high grades adding to my overall grade), I have a lower overall Physics ‘score’ thus far, so today’s exam ‘carried more weight’.

DARK SIDE OF THE EXAMS: I revised refraction and reflection lots, but couldn't manage the ray diagram question. (967833_20713519)


Despite successfully answering all the past-paper questions I went through while revising with my father earlier this morning, I struggled to go at the pace I’d been working this morning. That said, I did manage my time quite well, and finished the paper.

There were one or two questions I simply didn’t understand: one required us to produce an audiogram for a person with normal hearing, by placing crosses for frequencies below 20db. I had no idea what to make of that question, and nor did any of my classmates when I asked them after the exam. Similarly, for a question requiring us to draw a ray diagram, I struggled to remember the way diverging lenses bend light.

There were some better parts to the exam: I could answer the high-value one that asked about the centre of mass, and I managed to do the question asking about the motor effect. I knew why iron cores are made of iron, and what a transformer does. But when it came to the final question with a strange graphic depicting a subject I spent hours revising – the life cycle of stars – I just didn’t get it.

Overall, then, not a positive experience of today’s P3 paper, and I’m just pleased that it only makes up 25% of the final grade.

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Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.

3 Responses

  1. anon says:

    I found that so bad and I wanted to take for AS also. But hopefully my p2 paper gets me an A*.

  2. Roo says:

    That exam was hard as hell!! yeah the damaged hearing one was ridiculous and i think a lot of them were just weirdly worded- lets just hope the grade boundaries are low ahah 🙂