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 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire. He is now two-thirds of the way through his Journalism Studies degree at the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, going to the theatre, and writing about himself in the third-person.

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 🙂