The Internal Assessment

The Internal Assessment (IA) is usually referred to by students, as ‘coursework’. You should have finished this by now, at if not, be very close to the end. It is important to complete this work as well as you can for two big reasons: The work is worth 20% of the course – so it can lower the highest grade you can achieve by up to 2 grades if you are unlucky – this is a real penalty. The other ...

Internal Assessment

This post is a little strange because it will only apply to a proportion of the teachers who look at it – many will have finished the IA and will certainly not be thinking about it as we now move into the final stages of the Physics course and turn to the issue of revision.  The next few posts will consider revision in the new course but this is aimed at those that have not yet completed the IA or ...

The Finishing Touches

By Friday, February 3, 2017 , , , 0

All students should now be aware of just how tough the IB Physics course is. This is not meant to be a negative statement – I am not trying to suggest that students have never thought about this or blindly gone through the course without thinking too deeply about what they are doing. The point is that by now, you will have finished (SL?) or nearly finished (HL) the course and be thinking about just how much there is to ...

The Finishing Touches

By Monday, January 23, 2017 , , , 0

This post considers the final parts of the teaching of the IB physics course. Although there is usually still a way to go (especially for HL), the teaching should be in its final stages and the crucial revision process then begins (if it has not already started – earlier blogs). Interestingly, this stage is where as a teacher, I find out about all my mistakes along the way, or the impact the school’s ‘system’ has had on my teaching. This is ...

Revision can’t start too early

Experienced teachers will be aware of the fact that the IB exams for Physics (particularly for HL) changed last year with the new syllabus – on the surface, they got harder.  It was not really clear why this should be so – certainly the feedback (as small as it was from teachers), suggested that the syllabus was too large and therefore, this made the exams more of a challenge as the syllabus coverage was therefore, also wide. In fact, it ...

Revision is one of the keys to success

By Friday, December 9, 2016 , , , 0

Yes, I admit that it feels a little early to be talking about revision – but truly, it is that time of the year!  In fact, to be honest, if you have not started revising your first year physics on a regular basis, you are already late. The IB course changed a few years ago, and this present year is only the second year to have taken the exams. If you look on the web at comments made for last year’s ...

Seeing Forces

Try asking your physics teacher if this is possible - they will probably give you all sorts of (boring) physics examples – for example, gravity pulling down on a book or a boat floating or an airplane flying. But I can guarantee that none of them well tell you to look at a cup of full water. If you set the following example up correctly, it can be really visual and impressive plus it can teach you a little about Hydrogen bonds ...

New Physics Guides Available!

Physics: Internal Assessment and Physics Option C: Imaging have been added to OSC's IB Study Guide Series and are available to order now! These guides are exclusively written by experienced IB Physics teacher, Hugh Duncan. Find out more below.     Physics: Internal Assessment HL/SL The aim of this booklet is to help the student perform well and write up IB physics lab reports, especially the new Internal Investigation. Also included are real examples of the obligatory experiments, which will assist the student in ...

Extended Essays are a nightmare

Having just completed the marking of 59 Physics extended essays for the IB, I am compelled to write this post about the appalling quality of them.  Of the 59, only a handful scored over 20/36 – which is pretty poor.  The main reasons are: 1. Theoretical and Inappropriate Some extended essays are theoretical. Whilst these are allowed (and I have seen a few good ones over the years), in general they do not score well. The work is often inappropriate and although ...

There is nothing to do now but wait

Many IB students will feel that they have come through a bit of a gruelling time recently – all those exams in such a short period of time.  And let’s not talk about the Physics exam ... Oh, but let’s (just for a quick moment)!! After the first day of the physics exams this year, paper 1 and paper 2 had been completed.  And by the end of the day my students were telling me, with a sparkle in their eyes, ...