DP Physics Handbook

Table of contents

Aims

Through studying biology, chemistry or physics, students should become aware of how scientists work and

communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, it is the

emphasis on a practical approach through experimental work that characterizes these subjects.

The aims enable students, through the overarching theme of the Nature of science, to:

1. appreciate scientific study and creativity within a global context through stimulating and challenging opportunities

2. acquire a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology

3. apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology

4. develop an ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize scientific information

5. develop a critical awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities

6. develop experimental and investigative scientific skills including the use of current technologies

7. develop and apply 21st-century communication skills in the study of science

8. become critically aware, as global citizens, of the ethical implications of using science and technology

9. develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations of science and technology

10. develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and their influence on other areas of knowledge.

Assessment objectives

The assessment objectives for biology, chemistry and physics reflect those parts of the aims that will be formally assessed either internally or externally. These assessments will centre upon the nature of science. It is the intention of these courses that students are able to fulfill the following assessment objectives:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

a. facts, concepts and terminology

b. methodologies and techniques

c. communicating scientific information.

2. Apply:

a. facts, concepts and terminology

b. methodologies and techniques

c. methods of communicating scientific information.

3. Formulate, analyse and evaluate:

a. hypotheses, research questions and predictions

b. methodologies and techniques

c. primary and secondary data

d. scientific explanations.

4. Demonstrate the appropriate research, experimental, and personal skills necessary to carry out insightful and ethical investigations.

Syllabus outline

Syllabus content


Syllabus content_HL.pdf

Text

Physics for the IB diploma by K. A. Tsokos

Sixth edition

Cambridge University Press

Assessment outline—SL

Assessment outline—HL

Adaptations for May and November 2022 examinations

Adaptations May_Nov -2021+ 2022.pdf

External Assessment Details - SL

The method used to assess students is the use of detailed markschemes specific to each examination paper.

Paper 1

Duration: 3/4 hour

Weighting: 20%

Marks: 30

  • 30 multiple-choice questions on core, about 15 of which are common with HL.

  • The questions on paper 1 test assessment objectives 1, 2 and 3.

  • The use of calculators is not permitted.

  • No marks are deducted for incorrect answers.

  • A physics data booklet is provided.


Paper 2

Duration: 1¼ hours

Weighting: 40%

Marks: 50


  • Short-answer and extended-response questions on core material.

  • The questions on paper 2 test assessment objectives 1, 2 and 3.

  • The use of calculators is permitted. (See calculator section on the OCC.)

  • A physics data booklet is provided.


Paper 3

Duration: 1 hour

Weighting: 20%

Marks: 35

  • This paper will have questions on core and SL option material.

  • Section A: one data-based question and several short-answer questions on experimental work. • Section B: short-answer and extended-response questions from one option.

  • The questions on paper 3 test assessment objectives 1, 2 and 3.

  • The use of calculators is permitted. (See calculator section on the OCC.)

  • A physics data booklet is provided.


The method used to assess students is the use of detailed markschemes specific to each examination paper.

External Assessment Details - HL

Paper 1

Duration: 1 hour

Weighting: 20%

Marks: 40

  • 40 multiple-choice questions on core and AHL, about 15 of which are common with SL.

  • The questions on paper 1 test assessment objectives 1, 2 and 3.

  • The use of calculators is not permitted.

  • No marks are deducted for incorrect answers.

  • A physics data booklet is provided.

Paper 2

Duration: 2¼ hours

Weighting: 36%

Marks: 90

  • Short-answer and extended-response questions on the core and AHL material.

  • The questions on paper 2 test assessment objectives 1, 2 and 3.

  • The use of calculators is permitted. (See calculator section on the OCC.)

  • A physics data booklet is provided.


Paper 3

Duration: 1¼ hours

Weighting: 24%

Marks: 45

  • This paper will have questions on core, AHL and option material.

  • Section A: one data-based question and several short-answer questions on experimental work.

  • Section B: short-answer and extended-response questions from one option.

  • The questions on paper 3 test assessment objectives 1, 2 and 3.

  • The use of calculators is permitted. (See calculator section on the OCC.)

  • A physics data booklet is provided.




Internal Assessment-IA

Internal assessment is an integral part of the course and is compulsory for both SL and HL students. It enables students to demonstrate the application of their skills and knowledge, and to pursue their personal interests, without the time limitations and other constraints that are associated with written examinations.

The internal assessment should, as far as possible, be woven into normal classroom teaching and not be a separate activity conducted after a course has been taught.

The internal assessment requirements at SL and at HL are the same. This internal assessment section of the guide should be read in conjunction with the internal assessment section of the teacher support materials.

The work submitted for internal assessment must be the student’s own work. However, it is not the intention that students should decide upon a title or topic and be left to work on the internal assessment component without any further support from the teacher. The teacher should play an important role during both the planning stage and the period when the student is working on the internally assessed work. It is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that students are familiar with:

• the requirements of the type of work to be internally assessed

• the IB animal experimentation policy

• the assessment criteria—students must understand that the work submitted for assessment must address these criteria effectively.

Teachers and students must discuss the internally assessed work. Students should be encouraged to initiate discussions with the teacher to obtain advice and information, and students must not be penalized for seeking guidance. As part of the learning process, teachers should read and give advice to students on one draft of the work. The teacher should provide oral or written advice on how the work could be improved, but not edit the draft. The next version handed to the teacher must be the final version for submission.

It is the responsibility of teachers to ensure that all students understand the basic meaning and significance of concepts that relate to academic honesty, especially authenticity and intellectual property. Teachers must ensure that all student work for assessment is prepared according to the requirements and must explain clearly to students that the internally assessed work must be entirely their own. Where collaboration between students is permitted, it must be clear to all students what the difference is between collaboration and collusion.

All work submitted to the IB for moderation or assessment must be authenticated by a teacher, and must not include any known instances of suspected or confirmed academic misconduct. Each student must confirm that the work is his or her authentic work and constitutes the final version of that work. Once a student has officially submitted the final version of the work it cannot be retracted. The requirement to confirm the authenticity of work applies to the work of all students, not just the sample work that will be submitted to the IB for the purpose of moderation.

Internal assessment details

The internal assessment requirements are the same for biology, chemistry and physics. The internal assessment, worth 20% of the final assessment, consists of one scientific investigation. The individual investigation should cover a topic that is commensurate with the level of the course of study.

Student work is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB. The performance in internal assessment at both SL and HL is marked against common assessment criteria, with a total mark out of 24.

The internal assessment task will be one scientific investigation taking about 10 hours and the writeup should be about 6 to 12 pages long. Investigations exceeding this length will be penalized in the communications criterion as lacking in conciseness.

The task will have the same assessment criteria for SL and HL. The five assessment criteria are personal engagement, exploration, analysis, evaluation and communication.

Physics IA criteria.pdf

The group 4 project

The group 4 project is an interdisciplinary activity in which all Diploma Programme science students must participate. The intention is that students from the different group 4 subjects analyse a common topic or problem. The exercise should be a collaborative experience where the emphasis is on the processes involved in, rather than the products of, such an activity.

In most cases students in a school would be involved in the investigation of the same topic. Where there are large numbers of students, it is possible to divide them into several smaller groups containing representatives from each of the science subjects. Each group may investigate the same topic or different topics—that is, there may be several group 4 projects in the same school.

Students studying environmental systems and societies are not required to undertake the group 4 project.

The group 4 project is a collaborative activity where students from different group 4 subjects work together on a scientific or technological topic, allowing for concepts and perceptions from across the disciplines to be shared in line with aim 10—that is, to “develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and their influence on other areas of knowledge”. The project can be practically or theoretically based. Collaboration between schools in different regions is encouraged.

The group 4 project allows students to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science and technology. It may also allow them to understand the limitations of scientific study, for example, the shortage of appropriate data and/or the lack of resources. The emphasis is on interdisciplinary cooperation and the processes involved in scientific investigation, rather than the products of such investigation.

The choice of scientific or technological topic is open but the project should clearly address aims 7, 8 and 10 of the group 4 subject guides.

The 10 hours that the IB recommends be allocated to the project may be spread over a number of weeks. The distribution of these hours needs to be taken into account when selecting the optimum time to carry out the project.

Students may choose the topic or propose possible topics and the teacher then decides which one is the most viable based on resources, staff availability and so on. Alternatively, the teacher selects the topic or proposes several topics from which students make a choice.

A reflective statement written by each student on their involvement in the group 4 project must be included on the cover sheet for each internal assessment investigation.

Specimen papers with markscheme

specimenpapers _HL.pdf

Sample IA

Physics IA sample.pdf

Extended Essay_Sample _Grade A

Physics HL_EE_Grade A.pdf
Physics HL_EE_sample.pdf