Past Papers for National 5 Physics

Please read the course report after completing the paper and marking it according to the General Marking Principles.

N5 PapersYearMarking
Digital QP
2022N5 P1

2022N5 P2
NO EXAM2021covid-19for the 2nd time in history no exam
NO EXAM2020covid-19for the 1st time in history no exam
QP 20192019MI 2019Report 2019
QP 2018

2018MI 2018Report 20182018 DQP
Sect1 DQP

Sect2 DQP
RelationSheet DQP
QP 20172017MI 2017Report 20172017 DQP
QP 20162016MI 2016Report 20162016 DQP
QP 20152015MI 2015Report 20152015 Sect1 DQP
2015 Sect2 DQP
QP 20142014MI 2014Report 20142014 DQP

I’ve just found this file, to give you some additional access to other questions to practice. Here some of the topics have got questions from SG, Int 2 and H questions.

Dynamics 2021

A couple of songs to start this unit. I think we should start all topics with a song.

I can’t condone where this guy is putting his hands!

Most up-to-date notes,

covering all outcomes

This is the updated version of the Dynamics booklet, updated to match the 2017 SQA changes.

The latest version February 2020

Dynamics Summary Notes

Now these appear to be called “Knowledge Organisers!” Who thinks up these fancy names?

This one is a joint effort by Miss Horn and Mrs Physics with formatting help from Mr Risbridger.

These are perfect Mind Maps by Ms Milner, thanks these are the best out!

From A Milner, these are so comprehensive

Other mind maps by Melanie Ehsan, with thanks to eSgoil (who provide lots of online materials), the first of a collection of mindmaps.

Scalars and Vectors

Speed, Velocity, Acceleration

Velocity time graphs

Newton’s Laws of Motion

With a little help from the IoP here is my updated Newton’s 3 Laws. I hope you can understand it. I’m quite scared to share it with you! The pdf will miss some detail as I’ve overlapped some images.




A mixture of some notes not yet tidied up!

Here are some practice questions with worked answers and 6 to a page diagram of the sky diving graph

29th December 2021

Mrs Physics

29th December 2021

Waves Resources

Let’s start with a song!

and if you like that one, then this is Physics legend

this has got lots more information on the EM Spectrum

2018 Wave Notes as produced by Miss Horn

Wave notes pdf

Wave notes word

Waves Summary Notes

These are waves summary notes I’ve produced. Hope you like them. I’d appreciate someone telling me if a photodiode can detect gamma radiation!

Revision Mind Map

This is part of a series of brilliant Mind Maps made by Miss Milner for the N5 Physics Course. I’ve broken it up into sections so here are the waves mind maps!

Here are a list of current wave resources. I will add more as I go through them. Thanks to other schools if you have kindly supplied material. I really appreciate it as do my students.

Reflection is not in the N5 Course, but it is good to know about reflection!

This is a pdf of the power point that I a using

waves-summary-notes-gairloch1 Some of these notes are for National 4, use with the content statements so you don’t spend too long learning the National 4 work.

vflambda-vdt This starts with a practical model that you can complete in class using the Virtual Physics/ Flash Learning. It then shows how v=fλ is equivalent to v=d/t. Finally some questions will let you practise what you know.

WAVES questions word WAVES questions pdf


Januarty 2021

Wordwall Revision Games

Practice your Physics using these Wordwalls, don’t forget this forms only PART of your revision.

Continue reading “Wordwall Revision Games”

Virtual Flash Video

The audio can be turned off it is annoys. Here is the Virtual converted to an mp4 if I can get it to work. If people comment and find them useful I can do the rest.


HSDU powerpoint questions

These questions will be great for student self study. Beware I will need to edit some of them later as there are some things that are out of date.

eg Q= quality factor, now called Radiation weighting factor

H = dose equivalent now called equivalent dose.


This is the main Radiation post. Start here!

Here’s the video

Thanks to Miss Horn for the Radiation Notes. Worked Answers to follow.

Thanks to Miss Horn who started these off

click on the image for the pdf Summary Sheet for Radiation

Radiation Mind Map- only print page 1 and 2. If anyone knows how to delete p3 I’d be grateful for a helping hand.

From Helpmyphysics


Fusion is the process when two SMALL NUCLEI join to form a LARGER NUCLEI with the production of ENERGY


Fission is the process when two large nuclei split to form two smaller nuclei with the production of energy. This can occur spontaneously or due to a collision with a neutron. Often extra neutrons are produced.

Chain Reaction

When neutrons split nuclei by fission and extra neutrons are produced which can split further nuclei. Large quantities of energy are produced.

Reducing exposure to ionising radiation.

There are 3 groups of category to reduce harm caused by radiation:


Monitor includes things like wearing radiation badges or EPUs, timing how long you are exposed to radiation, checking with radiation counters any contamination on clothes.

Shielding is placing layers of absorbers between you and the source, BEWARE, goggles and a lab coat are great at protecting against alpha but have no effect on gamma. Only thick layers of lead would offer protection against gamma.

Distance. Radiation obeys the inverse square law, as you double the distance from a source the level you are exposed to decreases by ¼ . Using tongs is an effective method of keeping your distance from a source.

To give you an idea of the radiation dose that would occur with radiotherapy, here is my mum’s dose. I know that she’d have been happy to share this with you as a learning experience. I really miss you mum x

When it goes wrong

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster 1986- Effects and Summary

Chernobyl Surviving Disaster (BBC Drama Documentary)

Chernobyl Questions
  1. What date was the Chernobyl Disaster?
  2. What was the name of the man who hanged himself at the start, who was narrating the story?
  3. Which reactor blew?
  4. What was the cause of the accident?
  5. How many people went to see what had happened?
  6. What happened to the people who saw the hole in the reactor?
  7. What day of the week was the disaster?
  8. What town was evacuated?
  9. How did they drain the water from the reactor?
  10. How did they put out the fire?
  11. What was the reading on the counter when they measured the radiation levels?
  12. Why was this reading misleading and wrong?
  13. What was the real count when it was measured correctly?
  14. What were some of the symptoms of radiation poisoning?
  15. Who was sent to prison for crimes to do with the disaster? (or record how many people went to jail)
  16. Who was president of the USSR when the disaster occurred?
  17. What was the trigger that caused the man to hang himself?
  18. What is the “elephant’s foot?” in the reactor?
  19. Have there been any other nuclear disasters? Can you find out about them and name them?
  20. What other things did you learn about nuclear power stations and radioactivity?
updated October 2020

Radiation 2

Here are some videos and powerpoint shows that I’ve made for the NPA but the outcomes are the same as those in N5 Physics. Thanks to John Sharkey for the use of the Virtual Flash Physics (Int 2) and to Julian Hamm of furryelephant for the animations of ionising an atom.


If you haven’t done much Chemistry and you don’t know the process of how chemical elements are described, I suggest you check out the video below.

With thanks to Julian Hamm
After watching the video can you mix and match the effects of the radiation.
There are a few booboo’s such as given below and I say we put a beta particle instead of a beta source in the cloud chamber! But as I’ve already spent a day on this I had better move on!

NB In the video above I know totally that photographs were taken well before 1896, the first being taken in 1826. Henri Becquerel discovered that Uranium, a naturally radioactive element fogs photographic film.

June 2020

Protactinium Half Life Experiment

Using John Sharkey’s Virtual Animations I complete the Half Life of Protactinium 234. The sound needs to be turned down after the first 60 s

This is the draft copy of the Half Life Experiment until I can take out all the noise. I might redo it a third time!

The first one is from the Flash Animations

Using John Sharkey’s Physics Animations
Using John Sharkey’s Flash Learning Virtual Int 2

This one below is from the Int 2 Virtual Physics. No sound, but a few notifications for Teams!

June 2020

Indium-116 half life experiment

I hope that I am not breaking any rules, but these great resources no longer appear to be online. Can’t believe they are 20 years old!

The first photos show the background count rate, a reading of counts taken over a 1 minute period. The source is then taken out at 9:00 am and a count taken between 9:00 and 9:01, readings are then taken every 15 mins.

Time & CounterClose up ratemeter
Photo missing
count rate= 570

Background count   
Time Time from startCount ratecorrected count

June 2020

Week 2: The Maths Bit

Week 2: Significant Figures

You will need to be able to use and understand significant figures in N5 Physics. Don’t worry if you don’t get it straight away, we’ve almost a year to get it right. The video I’ve found is clearer than I could do and sorry it is a bit long, but well worth getting to grips with. What I will add today is a document explaining the importance of significant figures to a physicist, which I will post on here and in the class Notebook section. I wouldn’t watch the hour long video as we need to move on.

  • Watch it here on Youtube : Significant Figures Video
  • Read  and make notes on significant figures: It is in Class Notebook, and on Mrsphysics
  • Read and make notes on Rounding (Sheet to follow)
  • Make sure you’ve checked the answers to the Compendium Questions on Significant Figures. (section 0)
  • I’ll add to the calculator work this week, and you can work through that as soon as you can.

Week 2, part 2. Rounding

You will need to correctly round to the correct number of significant figures in N5 Physics. Again you might not get it straight away, but you’ll get plenty of practice. I’ll do another helpsheet for the Class Notebook.

  • Watch the video on Youtube: Rounding in more detail  it explains the reason for rounding and how it does it
  • For an additional help try this one Rounding Videos This is by the same guy who did the sig fig video.
  • Make notes on rounding: it will eventually be in the class notebook and on MrsPhysics in the N5 maths section.
  • Complete the Sig fig and Rounding Quiz (10 questions). You ought to be able to get at least 7/10. Review the work if you get less than this.

Scientific Notation Week 2 extension

…..but you will need to be able to do this. You will need to know how to do Scientific Notation. I will not test you in this just now, but you should be confident about it by August. Watch this video on YouTube:  Scientific Notation

Make a note on Scientific Notation in your Class Notebook

There will be a sheet this week to help you with this, which will be in the class materials here and in your note book as well, and on this site in the Maths bit.

Significant Figures

Watch the video below on significant figures.

Figure 1: The red and brown is called a counting stick and can only measure to 10 cm.

A picture containing water, clock

Description automatically generated

Figure 2: The top part of this metre stick can read to the nearest 1 cm, the bottom to the nearest mm.

When Physicist use numbers it is usually because they have measured something. Significant figures tell us how precise our measurement.

For example a student uses a metre stick to measure the length of a jotter.

A close up of a measure

Description automatically generated

If the student measures a jotter with the “counting stick” (in the top picture in the red and brown) which is marked in 10 cm graduations they will not be able to get a very good value. You would get that the jotter was just under 30 cm long but you wouldn’t be able to say much more.

If the student uses a ruler marked in centimetre marks they could say that the jotter was over 29 cm but less than 30 cm and closer to 30 cm than 29 cm, you’d say it was about 30 cm long.

If the jotter was measured with a metre stick marked in millimetres the jotter could be measured as 29.7 cm long

Figure 3 Here is a diagram of the jotter measured with different metre stick.

You need to look at significant figures with rounding which I will cover this week too.

30 cm is one significant figure and means a number between 25 cm and 34 cm which would be rounded to 30 cm. This is how you could record the number if you used the counting stick.

29 cm is two significant figures and means a number between 29.5 cm and 30.4 cm, which would be rounded to 29 cm. This is how you could record the number if you used the metre stick marked in cm only

29.7 cm is three significant figures and means a number between 29.65 cm and 29.74 cm, which would be rounded to 29.7 cm. This is probably the best measurement we should aim to make and to do this we would need a metre stick with millimetre graduations.

29.76 cm is four significant figures and means a number between 29.755 cm and 29.764 cm, it is unlikely that you could measure a jotter to that level of precision as the pages would vary by more than this. You would need a better piece of apparatus than a metre stick to measure this.

How many Significant Figures?

The simple rule is this: Your answer should have no more than the number of significant figures given in the question.

If different numbers in the question are given to a different number of significant figure you should use the number of significant figures in the value given to the smallest number of significant figures.


Question: A rocket motor produces 4,570 N (3 sig fig) of thrust to a rocket with a mass of 7.0 kg (2 sig fig). What is the acceleration of the rocket?

The calculated answer to this question would be 652.8571429 ms-2 . However the least accurate value we are given in the question is the value of the mass. This is only given to two significant figures. Therefore our answer should also be to two significant figures: 650 ms–2 .

You might not think that this makes a difference, but during the SQA Intermediate 2 paper in 2006 Q25 was written to test significant figures.

Week 1: Intro to N5


  • Know what to expect on the National 5 Physics course
  • Understand the Course Structure
  • Know where to access materials
  • Find good places to go for online help.
  • Know about Units, Prefixes and Scientific Notation

Success Criteria

  • Understand the make up of the SQA N5 Physics Course
  • Get 90% or more on the weekly Friday Review assessment
  • Complete the tasks on Units, Prefixes and Scientific Notation to a high standard


  • Check out the National 5 compendium and save your own copy in an editable form.
  • Read through the whole of front page
  • Go through the compendium and mark off the content that you feel you have already covered in BGE. You could do this electronically if you want (NB Capital P in wingdings 2 gives a nice tick and capital O gives a cross).
  • Check through the course content from the SQA website
  • Watch Mr Mitchell’s Introduction to N5 Physics
  • Watch Mr Mitchell’s Greek Letter Video
  • Watch Mr Mitchell’s Video on Units, Prefixes and Scientific Notation
  • Read the material in the Intro of the Compendium.
  • Make notes on the Compendium content 0.2,0.3,0.4. and pages 21 to the end.
  • Work through material on rearranging equations
  • Answer the questions from the Learning Outcome Question Booklet on Units Prefixes and Scientific Notation 0.2, 0.3,0.4 or if you need the link as a pdf
  • Start making a list of Quantity, Symbol, Unit, Unit Symbol, Scalar or Vector in the Notes. NB Colum 3 needs to be much wider than most and column 1 needs to fit in gravitational field strength, but columns 2, 4 and 5 only need to be a few letters wide. Keep this up to date, and we’ll have a quiz as to who can get the longest list from all the quantities you’ve met in the BGE.
  • Do the Quiz on TEAMS- you’ll need to score 9/10 or more so do some revision.
  • Let me know if you don’t have a CASIO 83 or 85 calculator.
  • ….and finally, ask any questions that you have or anything that you need to be explained in more detail.


April 2020


As part of your homework you should be either making sure you have your own set of revision notes or know where to find the answers to the statements in the compendium. Copying notes from the board is not good education, but you reviewing the information covered in class from the work books is a very effective revision tool.

June 2019 to Summer 2019

Here is the start of the National 5 Homework from June to the Summer.

It is EXPECTED and VITAL that if you miss any lesson, or do not finish the day’s work that you catch up the missed work, either from a friend or via MRSPHYSICS

No.WkDate dueTASK
10Wed 5th JuneFor complete the compendium and tick off all the work you’ve covered up to now in S1-S3. Use your jotters to help you.) Class task
1Monday 10th JuneComplete the ALL UNIT learning outcome questions.
22Wed 12th JuneRead the relevant sections in the waves booklet and complete Section 17.1 to end of section 17.5
32Wed 12th JuneRead the relevant sections in the waves booklet and answer Section 17.6 to start of section 18
43Monday 17th JuneRead the relevant sections in the waves booklet and answer Section 18 and 19
54Wed 19th JuneRead the relevant sections in the Space Booklet and answer Section 7.1- end of 7.8
65Mon 24th JuneRead the relevant sections in the Space Booklet and answer Section 7.8 to end of 7.13
76Wed 26th JuneRead the relevant sections in the Space Booklet and answer Section 8
WED 28th AUG
90Friday 6th SeptemberSPACE TEST