IB Physics HL - 2025

IB Higher Level Physics is a comprehensive and challenging two-year course that surveys many core areas of physics with a strong focus on conceptual understanding. The experimental aspect of the course builds skills in experiment design and analysis. Graduates of IB HL Physics are very well-prepared for further studies in physics beyond high school.

Course Structure and Content

From May 2025, students will write examinations based on the recently published syllabus. The new syllabus covers similar content to the previous one; however there is one less examination paper and there are no longer optional topics. A considerable amount of the material from the option topics has been included in the core of the new syllabus.

HL Physics students will study topics across five themes: Space, Time and Motion, The Particulate Nature of Matter, Wave Behaviour, Fields, and Quantum and Nuclear Physics. These themes cover the core concepts of classical and modern physics, including Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Waves Interference, Electricity and Magnetism, Radioactive Decay, and Quantum Physics.

Students are assessed on their understanding through two examination papers administered at the end of the course. The first examination paper contains a section of multiple choice questions as well as a section that assesses students' ability to analyze and process experimental data. The second paper of the IB Physics HL course consists of short answer and extended response questions that assess students' understanding of physics concepts through both calculation and written explanation questions.

The practical component of the IB HL Physics course includes an Internal Assessment that consists of a report on an investigation designed and performed by the student.

Tips for Success

  1. Focus on the key concepts. Once you have a good understanding of the fundamental principles of physics, you can develop the flexibility to break down and answer any question. This can be done by working with the least challenging questions first, as they normally focus on the key concepts in straightforward terms. These can be found at the start of the questions in the Questionbank and also in the lower-leveled Revision Ladders. Only once you have a sound understanding of the key concepts should you move on to working with the more difficult questions.
  2. Always check your work carefully against the Markschemes provided. The expectations for the terminology and detail in solutions and explanations required can be very strict. Be self-critical when comparing your answers to the mark scheme, checking carefully to ensure that your response would receive full marks when compared to the markscheme. All Revision Village questions have markschemes similar to those on IB questions, so keep this in mind when working through the problems.
  3. Practice your timing! Once you become proficient in answering questions, monitor your efficiency in solving the problems. Our Popular Quizzes come with suggested completion times that align well with the time allowed on the IB examinations. Remember, Paper 1 questions should take on average 90 seconds to solve, and Paper 2 question pacing is just over one minute for every mark.

RV HL Physics is designed to maximize your academic results through providing a large Questionbank and resource set of Revision Ladders, Practice Quizzes and Mock Exams so that you can complete targeted practice in all areas required for success on the final examination.

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