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IB Physics SL - 2024

IB Physics at Standard Level is a challenging physics course providing a survey of the most important concepts and skills for understanding our physical world. Students will develop their quantitative reasoning, analysis, and experimental skills over the course of the program, which will typically be taught over the course of two years.

Course Structure and Content

SL Physics students will examine a variety of topics within physics, designed to lay the foundation for future scientific and engineering studies. These core topics include Measurements & Uncertainties, Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Oscillations & Waves, Electricity & Magnetism, Circular Motion & Gravitation, Atomic & Nuclear Physics, and Energy Production. Additionally, students will explore the material from a single Option, chosen among the following: Relativity, Engineering Physics, Optics, and Astrophysics.

At the end of the Standard Level Physics IB course, students will sit three examinations, or Papers. Paper 1 consists of 30 multiple-choice questions across all of the core content. Paper 2 includes 50 marking points of short answer and extended response questions, also evaluating students' ability to engage in essential conceptual and quantitative reasoning regarding the entire syllabus. Finally, there are two sections within Paper 3: Section A, consisting of short answer questions regarding practical experimentation and data analysis, and Section B, consisting of short answer and extended response questions regarding the chosen Option. Students need to answer questions from only one Option.

New Science Syllabus

Starting with the May 2025 cohort, all students in IB Physics will undertake their IB Physics studies under a new syllabus and curriculum. On the new syllabus, both SL and HL students will study similar but not identical content with a new curricular structure. Additionally, there will be no Option, although understandings and skills from the previous Options have been moved into the main syllabus. Paper 3 has been eliminated, and Paper 1 will contain a new section of data-based questions similar to Section A of the old Paper 3.

Revision Village will soon be launching a separate course with materials exactly aligned with the new IB SL Physics syllabus, first examinations May 2025!

Tips for Success

  1. Revise consistently! There is no better way to ensure success in an extended, content-rich program like IB SL Physics than to study a little each and every day in a deliberate, focused manner. Try using the Questionbank or the Popular Quizzes to specifically target content areas.
  2. Find your level, and work from there! You can use the difficulty ratings on questions within the Questionbank and tools like the Revision Ladder to determine your current knowledge level and increase it, step by step.
  3. Use your resources! When you encounter difficulty answering a question, make sure to use the written markscheme, video solution, and NewtonAI to address your questions and plug specific gaps in your understanding.

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Frequently Asked Questions

IB Physics Standard Level (SL) is one of the science courses introduced in the current IB Science curriculum (2016 - 2024). The Physics SL course is a traditional science course, whereby students develop a deep understanding of scientific concepts and solve both real and theoretical problems, with and without technology. The Physics SL course should be considered by students who are moderate to strong at science, and are interested in pursuing courses and pathways involving science or engineering after their IB Diploma Program.

The IB Physics SL course consists of four assessment items that contribute to a student’s overall score for the course. There are three exam papers and an internally assessed independent investigation. Paper 1 consists of multiple-choice questions, Paper 2 consists of short-answer questions, and Paper 3 consists of data-based questions, short-answer questions on practical experimentation, and short-answer questions from one option. The use of a calculator is prohibited for Paper 1, but permitted for Papers 2 and 3. A data booklet with useful constants and equations are provided for all three papers.

There are two phases students progress through in their two-year IB Physics SL course: the learning phase and the revision phase. The learning phase occurs in class, with their teacher and textbooks, where students first encounter and explore scientific concepts and consolidate their understanding by solving questions specific to that concept. The revision phase, which is what Revision Village is specifically designed for, is when students consolidate their understanding of all of the concepts in the Physics SL course and appreciate how the concepts are connected. In the revision phase, the most effective strategy is to practice lots of IB Physics SL exam questions to build confidence, reach mastery, and be prepared for the Physics SL examinations.

Revision Village is specifically designed to support IB students in the revision phase of their IB Physics Standard Level course. Revision Village has four main sections, each for different revision purposes: 1) Questionbank: a large library of IB Physics SL exam questions categorised by topic and ordered by difficulty, 2) Practice Exams: a carefully designed set of quizzes and mock papers for students to use in their final phase of revision, 3) Past Paper Video Solutions: step-by-step video tutorials of past Physics SL exam questions, taught by experienced IB Teachers, and 4) Key Concepts: short concise videos that recap the important theory in the Physics SL course. Revision Village is the perfect place for IB Students to learn, practice and prepare for their IB Physics exam stress-free, with all of the resources they need in one place.