Exam Tips

Pat Doyle’s Physics Tips

Allow yourself 10 mins at the beginning to read the entire set of questions before beginning the exam,

Do not read the option question that you have not studied.

Section A

Choose 3 questions from Qs 1,2,3,4 in section A.

• Section A is based on the mandatory experiments, so you know in advance of the exam that only these experiments can feature on the exam in section A.

• There are 24 mandatory experiments in total and since the four asked in the previous year are unlikely to be asked again this year, so you are mainly concerned with the other 20.

• You are rarely asked to describe the entire experimental procedure. Instead you are asked how the data is obtained. This involves writing two sentences. So make a list of the data obtained for each of the experiments and be able to explain how you would get these measurements.

• Almost all the experiments have an equation into which the data is substituted, so learn the equation for each experiment. Know where to substitute each piece of data and how to calculate the one unknown.

• For many of the experiments a graph is drawn, so know which data is plotted on the x-axis and which data is plotted on the y-axis.

• Know two precautions to be taken for each measurement made in the experiments.

• Practice drawing and labelling diagrams of the experimental arrangement for the various experiments.

• Remember that there are previous leaving cert papers to study. These papers give a great insight to the style of question to be expected. Also the marking schemes are available on www.examinations.ie.

Section B

Choose 5 more question from the remaining 8 questions in section B

Learn the definitions and laws of Physics off by heart. Depending on your choice of questions these definitions and laws can be worth just over 15% of the total marks for the exam.

• Since the Physics exam is on Monday morning you have Saturday and Sunday to perfect your knowledge of these definitions and laws. Many students have a short term memory for this material learned off by heart, so a Monday morning exam is ideal.

• Most of the maths questions involve substituting data into equations and calculating the one unknown. These equations have to be learned off by heart, so use that week-end wisely.

• Pay attention to the demonstration experiments scattered throughout the course. The past papers will show several questions on these demonstrations appear each year on the paper.

• You have an excellent choice of questions in section B, i.e. 5 out of 8 . read the exam paper carefully, choose your questions wisely and avoid the difficult and awkward questions.

Pat Doyle says spend 20mins on each and every question.













And give yourself the benefit of 20 minutes at the end to match question to answer in the book making sure that all parts are answered,

remember that marks are awarded in chunks of about 3 mark for a valid component of an answer.


A very important question, usually there will be a few that you are sure of,

write down Question 5 in the answer book, label the appropriate letter for the question in the answer book, they do not have to be in order,

Do the questions that you are sure of 1st leave the rest

Attempt your best question first, failing that if you know your option question well this is usually a concise