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AS Level Students CD

Examination technique
There is no choice of questions in any of the Physics papers.
This means that you do not have to read the whole paper in
order to decide which questions are most suited for you to
answer.
Before answering a question, read the whole question
carefully. Remember that the wording of the question is
designed to help you answer the question. Frequently answers
to parts of questions are omitted because the whole question
was not read. An answer is required wherever there is a square
bracketed number on the right-hand side of the question or
part question.

answer with no working cannot be awarded any credit for the


stages leading to the answer. If working is shown, marks can
be awarded for correct procedures.
Sketch:You should be aware that this does not mean a rough
and ready approach. Straight lines should be drawn with a
ruler freehand sketches of straight lines frequently appear
as curves. On sketch graphs, some quantitative aspects may be
required. For example, does the line pass through the origin or
does the line have the same gradient as another line?

Note carefully the command words. For example,State,


Describe,Define.
A list of command words and their meanings are given in
the Glossary of command words in the syllabus document.

In particular:
Define: A formal statement is required or, if you give the
defining equation, all terms in the equation must be explained.
Where a ratio is involved, the ratio must be made clear. For
example, density is mass per unit volume, not mass of unit
volume. When dening a quantity, this should not be done in
terms of units.
Show: The endpoint will be clearly stated in the question. It
may be, for example, a numerical answer or an expression
relating two quantities. Clearly, no credit will be given for
quoting the answer. A clear derivation is necessary. If, in
this derivation, algebraic equations are quoted, then written
explanation is required.
State and explain: In general, the explanation is the important
feature. In many answers, it is better to give an explanation
and then give the statement as a conclusion.
Calculate: It is always advisable to show working.That is, give
any relevant equation and show the substitution. An incorrect

Note the mark allocation and the amount of space


provided for the answer. Each section will show how
many marks have been allocated and there will be a
space for the answer. These two features can give a good
indication as to the length and complexity of the required
answer. For example, a question with a mark allocation
of three marks with four lines for the answer cannot be
answered satisfactorily with just a single word!
It is worthwhile bearing in mind the mark allocation when
thinking how long to spend on an answer. The number of
marks on the whole paper does bear some relationship to
the length of time of the paper.
Do not waste time. There will be no credit given for
paraphrasing (re-arranging the wording) of the question as
an introduction to your answer. Repeating the wording of
the question wastes time and uses up answer space.
Reasonable numerical answers. When you have completed
a calculation, always ask yourself whether the answer
is reasonable. Do not just accept what is shown on the
calculator. A moments thought could mean that you realise
there is an error and a quick check of the working can
reveal its source. For example, in an electricity question
a battery is calculated to deliver a current of 3000 A. A
resistance in k had not been converted to !

Cambridge International AS and A Level Physics Hodder & Stoughton 2014