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 exams, you will see a nightmare of frustration and panic – the exams last year seem to have caught everyone out – there was even a petition to the IB to do something because it was all felt to be too hard.

So OK – this is where I save you some stress – I can tell you now, that this year’s exams will be the toughest you have ever seen – no matter how many past papers you have looked at. So now you know – there is no need to be stressed about the exam when you finally see how tough they are – I told you they would be tough.  So the questions is not how tough will it be, but what do we do about it?

Revision is the key – when it comes to Physics in the IB, laziness is a recipe for disaster. You need to start revising NOW.  And the way is simple – get on the web and find past Paper 1 exams – these are multiple choice exams and although they do not go into the physics at a deep level, they do have the advantage of covering the core syllabus quickly – every paper will cover most of the work you have done – so they are great for surface revision.

You need to do three things:

  1. Do the paper under exam timings – no calculator and do not cheat.
  2. Make sure you have the marking scheme and use it to mark your answers.
  3. Now go through every question and check the ones you got wrong. I should point out that it might be worth going through the ones you also got right – just in case you guessed.

When you go through the questions with the marking scheme, you should work on every question you got wrong so that you learn from it. The target to set yourself is that if you did the exam again, you would get at least 80%. If this is too high, set your own standard, but do not make it easy for yourself.

I promise that if you do this, you will not regret it.  This process of doing past papers will be great for you, but you must do it every week – if time is short, tough – find the time, it is important.

The benefits of this will kick-in after about 6 weeks – and do it over the Christmas break as well!

After Christmas there are other parts of revision that you can also do, and we can discuss them next year – but for now, get the paper 1 exams and get on with it – amazingly, time is short!