Learn these Experiment

Thanks to S Gray, Drummond Community High School,  for putting together this book of experiments that you should have covered in your N5 Physics lessons. Any of these could be discussed in your exam as a question.

Required Experiments v3


Practice Questions

Thanks to the wonderful Physics teacher who provided these.

Dynamics & SpaceElectricity & EnergyWaves & Radiation
Notes ver 1.2 doc
Notes ver 3.1Notes ver 2.1
Problems 1.2 docProblems 3.0 docProblems 3.1 doc

Problems 1.2 pdfProblems 3.0 pdfProblems ver 3.1 pdf
Answer File ver 1.4 Answer File ver 3.0Answer File ver 3.1


Revision Questions

Thanks to those in North Ayrshire who provided these excellent questions for you to get your teeth into. I’ll post the answers as password protected to protect those students and staff who are given these for homework! They’re in the old order, so you’ll have to search through for the right section.


UnitsSummary NotesProblems
Dynamics & SpaceSummary Notes D&SQuestions D&S pdf
Problems D&S doc
Electricity & EnergySummary Notes E&EQuestions E&E pdf
Problems E&E doc
Waves & RadiationSummary Notes W&RQuestions W&R pdf
Problems W&R doc




Quantity Symbol, Unit and Unit Symbol

I’ve put together, with Mrs Mac’s help, a document with quantity, symbol, unit and unit symbol so that you know the meaning of the terms in the Relationships Sheet. It is in EXCEL so that you can sort it by course, quantity or symbol.

Quantity, Symbol, Units  the excel sheet

Quantity, Symbol, Units N5 a pdf sheet sorted by course and then alphabetical by quantity.

Quantity, Symbol, Unit, Unit Symbol N5-AH

NHAPhysical Quantity symUnitUnit Abb.
5absorbed dose D gray Gy
5absorbed dose rate H (dot)gray per second gray per hour gray per year Gys-1 Gyh -1 Gyy-1
567acceleration a metre per second per second m s-2
567acceleration due to gravity g metre per second per second m s-2
5activity A becquerel Bq
567amplitude A metre m
567angle θ degree °
567area A square metre m2
567average speedv (bar)metre per second m s-1
567average velocity v (bar)metre per second m s-1
567change of speed ∆v metre per second m s-1
567change of velocity ∆v metre per second m s-1
5count rate - counts per second (counts per minute) -
567current I ampere A
567displacement s metre m
567distance dmetre, light year m , ly
567distance, depth, height d or h metre m
5effective dose H sievert Sv
567electric charge Q coulomb C
567electric charge Q or q coulomb C
567electric current I ampere A
567energy E joule J
5equivalent dose H sievert Sv
5equivalent dose rate H (dot)sievert per second sievert per hour sievert per year Svs -1 Svh-1 Svy -1
567final velocity v metre per second m s-1
567force F newton N
567force, tension, upthrust, thrustF newton N
567frequency f hertz Hz
567gravitational field strength g newton per kilogram N kg-1
567gravitational potential energy Epjoule J
5half-life t1/2 second (minute, hour, day, year) s
56heat energy Eh joule J
567height, depth h metre m
567initial speed u metre per second m/s
567initial velocity u metre per second m s-1
567kinetic energy Ek joule J
567length l metre m
567mass m kilogram kg
5number of nuclei decayingN - -
567period T second s
567potential difference V volt V
567potential energy Ep joule J
567power P watt W
567pressure P or p pascal Pa
5radiation weighting factor wR- -
567radius r metre m
567resistance R ohm Ω
567specific heat capacity c joule per kilogram per degree Celsius Jkg-1 °C -1
56specific latent heat l joule per kilogram Jkg -1
567speed of light in a vacuum c metre per second m s -1
567speed, final speed v metre per second ms -1
567speed, velocity, final velocity v metre per second m s-1
567supply voltage Vsvolt V
567temperature T degree Celsius °C
567temperature T kelvin K
567time t second s
567total resistance Rohm Ω
567voltage V volt V
567voltage, potential difference V volt V
567volume V cubic metre m3
567weight W newton N
567work done W or EWjoule J
7angle θ radian rad
7angular acceleration aradian per second per second rad s-2
7angular displacement θ radian rad
7angular frequency ω radian per second rad s-1
7angular momentum L kilogram metre squared per second kg m2 s -1
7angular velocity,
final angular velocity
ω radian per second rad s-1
7apparent brightnessbWatts per square metreWm-2
7back emfevolt V
67capacitance C farad F
7capacitive reactance Xcohm W
6critical angle θc degree °
density ρ kilogram per cubic metre kg m-3
7displacement s or x or y metre m
efficiency η - -
67electric field strength E newton per coulomb
volts per metre
N C -1
Vm -1
7electrical potential V volt V
67electromotive force (e.m.f) E or ε volt V
6energy level E 1 , E 2 , etcjoule J
feedback resistance Rfohm Ω
focal length of a lens f metre m
6frequency of source fs hertz Hz
67fringe separation ∆x metre m
67grating to screen distance D metre m
7gravitational potential U or V joule per kilogram J kg-1
half-value thickness T1/2 metre m
67impulse (∆p) newton second
kilogram metre per second
7induced e.m.f. E or ε volt V
7inductor reactanceXLohm W
7initial angular velocity ω oradian per second rad s-1
input energy E ijoule J
input power Piwatt W
input voltage V 1 or V2 volt V
input voltage V ivolt V
6internal resistance r ohm Ω
67irradiance I watt per square metre W m-1
7magnetic induction B tesla T
7moment of inertia I kilogram metre squared kg m2
67momentum p kilogram metre per second kg m s-1
6number of photons per second per cross sectional area N - -
number of turns on primary coil n p- -
number of turns on secondary coil n s- -
6observed wavelengthλ observedmetrem
output energy E o joule J
output power P owatt W
output voltage V o volt V
6peak current Ipeak ampere A
6peak voltage V peak volt V
7phase angle Φ radian rad
67Planck’s constant h joule second Js
7polarising angle
(Brewster’s angle)
i pdegree ̊
power (of a lens) P dioptre D
power gain Pgain - -
7Power per unit areaWatts per square metreWm-2
primary current I p ampere A
primary voltage Vpvolt V
7radial acceleration ar metre per second per second m s-2
67refractive index n - -
6relativistic lengthl'metrem
6relativistic timet'seconds
rest mass mo kilogram kg
6rest wavelengthλrestmetrem
6root mean square current I rmsampere A
6root mean square voltage Vrmsvolt V
7rotational kinetic energy Erotjoule J
7schwarzchild radiusrSchwarzchildmetrem
secondary current Is ampere A
secondary voltage Vsvolt V
7self-inductance L henry H
67slit separation d metre m
7tangential acceleration atmetre per second per second m s-2
6threshold frequency fohertz Hz
7time constanttseconds
7torque Τ newton metre Nm
7uncertainty in Energy∆E jouleJ
7uncertainty in momentum∆px kilogram metre per second kgms-1
7uncertainty in position∆x metre m
7uncertainty in time∆t seconds
6velocity of observer vometre per second m s-1
6velocity of source vsmetre per second m s-1
voltage gain - - -
voltage gain Ao or V gain - -
6work functionWjouleJ


Revision for..

Revision Plan – 2018/9

A revision planner for you to use. Revision-plan 2018 19

Revision-plan 2018 19

Someone has pinched my line!

and I had this idea at Science on Stage!


For those doing the UASP -Electricity and Energy

  • Revise the type of energy and conversion
  • Gravitational potential
  • Kinetic
  • Work done
  • Heat
  • Electrical
  • Practical electrical and electronic circuits
  • Ohm’s law
  • Electrical practical circuits
  • Electrical power
  • Specific Heat Capacity
  • Pressure
  • Gas Laws
  • Kinetic Theory

Try the following questions

Specimen Paper:

Section 1:    q6, 10, 11, 12, 13,14,15,16,17, Section 2:        Q5, 6, 7, 8

National 5 2017

Section 1: Q1-7, 19,         Section 2: Q1,2,3,

National 5 2016

Section 1: Q1-7      Section 2: Q1,2,3,4,5

National 5: 2015

Section 1: Q1-6      Section 2: Q1,2,3,4

National 5: 2014

Section 1: Q1-7      Section 2: Q1,2,3


Learn the formula for

Ew=QV, Ew=Fd,    Ep=mgh,     Ek=½mv2,     E=Pt,      Ee=ItV, EH=mcΔT,           EH = ml,            P=F/A,        Q=It,       R in series,        R in parallel, V1 =R1/Rt ´Vs,     V=IR,     P=IV,     P=I2R,     P=V2/R, pV/T(K)=constant

Make flashcards of

  • The Kinetic theory
  • Gas Laws
  • Rules for series and parallel
  • Circuit Symbols
  • Rules for charges attracting and repelling
  • Definitions of
    • Pressure
    • Temperature and average speed and kinetic energy
    • Electric Fields
    • Conservation of Energy
    • Specific Heat Capacity
    • Specific Latent Heat
    • Power
    • Current

Learn the units for all the electricity quantities, properties of matter and energy quantities.

I’ll add to this during the week as I have time


Look over some OLD Higher papers for the Pressure and Gas Laws as well as the relevant past papers above. I’ll look out the papers with question numbers as soon as I can.

If you’re doing the Waves and Radiation UASP I’ll get some revision plans up soon

Old/ traditional higher……

H 2015 Q7 and 24

H 2014 Q7 and 24

H 2013 Q7 and 24 not part c

H2012 Q7 and 24

H 2011 Q7 and 24

H 2010 Q7 and 23 b

H 2009 Q7 and 23 a,c

H 2008 Q7 and 23

These can be found on the higher part of the website.


Updated July 18

Interpreting graphs

A few folk have worried that they can’t interpret graphs, so I’ve gone through some SG Credit Papers and written a few questions. You can answer the past paper questions. I’ll  upload the answers when I’ve done them!

Interpreting Graphs pdf

Interpreting Graphs word

SG past paper questions and answers



Here I will post a few tips and hints to remember when answering SQA N5 Papers. Hopefully they’ll be quick, snappy and memorable. You’ve got the whole of the Scottish Physics Teachers’ Community Wisdom Below!

Tips to Aid Memory

  1. Neutrons don’t carry/have (net) charge so aren’t accelerated/guided/ deflected by magnetic fields.
  2. I.S.S. (current in series the same). I.P.A (current in parallel adds), USA (voltage in series adds), UPS (voltage in parallel same) OK you need to think of a U as a V but most of you write like that anyway!
  3. Voltage dividers- think Kendal Mint cake!
  4. Learn your 7 point plan!
  5. Transistors act as a SWITCH.

Preparing for the Exam

  1. Check out the past paper marking instructions for do’s and  don’ts- its full of them in that second column!
  2. Read the Course Reports, they give common mistakes that lots of students made and then you avoid these.
  3. Make up flashcards, or cue cards and leave them where you go most often, (e.g. biscuit tin, phone, computer, loo). Don’t let yourself have a treat until you’ve set yourself so many questions to get right.
  4. Check through your compendium that you’ve covered ALL the content and understand it BEFORE you get to the exam and find out you’ve missed something out. (Believe me as someone who missed 5 questions from her 50 questions she needed to learn for her German exam and these were the 5 that came up- it is really upsetting!)
  5. If you learn nothing else- learn units and symbols. BUT PLEASE learn more than units and symbols. I think this tip is meant to inspire you that these are so important and can get you a long way!
  6. Learn your prefixes!

During the Exam

    1. Obviously you know- no secs in Physics, just stick to unit symbols and save all the problems of spelling.
    2. Remember: SIG FIG, your final answer should be rounded up to the same number of significant figures as the LEAST significant measurement.
    3. Make sure you see the words “end of question paper”. Don’t assume you’ve got to the end and there are no questions on the very last page!
    4. Actually there are NO questions on the question paper anyway. All have command words, so learn these and what they mean. I’ll add the link in later.
    5. “Show” questions – means show correct formula, working and numerical answer stated as given in the question. Your final statement should be what you’ve been asked to find.
    6. Don’t leave anything blank! If you really don’t know, give it a go – you never know.
    7. The questions in the exam sections (MC and then extended answers) are in approximately the same order as the Relationships Sheet.
    8. LIST: given numbers with the correct symbols before doing a calculation. Or as we say IESSUU (information, Equation, Substitution, Solution, Units and Underline)
    9. Start by writing down what the question has asked you to find. E.g. “Eh = ?”. Then write down the other quantities given. Only then choose a formula.
    10. Substitute then rearrange.
    11. Read all of the question, especially that bit you skipped over at the start.
    12. Don’t forget units! It’s now worth at least 33% of a calculation!
    13. Use common sense regarding “real life” things i.e. cars are unlikely to be going at 245 ms-1, a tennis player isn’t going to be serving the ball from 5m up etc etc
    14. Sometimes multiple choice questions can be logic-ed through without any knowledge of physics. Physics and common sense are often the same thing.
    15. If you can’t do part a) but could do part b) if you only knew part a), then make up an answer for part a) and put it in part a of the question and use that in part b).
    16. This will do for now more to come as they arise……

Some practice notes from Mr Dawson from Wallace Hall Academy.

N5 Revision Pupil Questions pdf version

N5 Revision Pupil Questions word version


Good Advice

This is a great little document from the Science Faculty at LA- whom I have just discovered pinched it from Mr Bowled Over formerly of the Physics Dept. It applies to all your subjects.

Revision Guidelines

  • Take responsibility for your own learning, and make sure that you give yourself every chance of success.
  • Analyse your prelim and identify Areas for Improvement
  • Use past papers along with the SQA website – see “marking instructions”, your teacher will show you how.
  • Attend after-school Supported Study regularly (check with staff in advance as changes may have to be made to accommodate staff meetings.)
  • Consult teachers at interval/lunchtime, perhaps to get help with homework or to borrow other resources, of which we have many.
  • Refer to Syllabus/Content Statements/Arrangements Document/“Need to Know” sheets.
  • Practise with “Basic Knowledge” or “Learning Outcome” Question Booklets.
  • Make/obtain and use Flash Cards.
  • Try mind-mapping/spider diagrams.
  • Generate own short notes/Summarise
  • Familiarise with equations on the Relationships Sheet and the Data Sheet on the exam paper and add your own notes to these.
  • Learn mnemonics suggested by your teacher or create new ones to help you remember chunks of information. (ROYGBIV – Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain, RMIVUXG but don’t overdo it)
  • Practice using revision materials on here.
  • Write and record mp3 files and then listen to these as often as you listen to your music.
  • Use Flash Learning.
  • Plan weekly Revision timetable.
  • Post-it notes in your room/house (better ask first!)
  • Enlist a ‘victim’ to test your knowledge at home.
  • Teaching is the most effective method of learning – teach the dog or a teddy (he won’t fall asleep).

Remember to revise at the first opportunity after any lesson, asking yourself;

  • What were the main learning objectives of the lesson?
  • Do I understand these?
  • What can I do to improve?

Also, plan your revision and do not put things off to tomorrow when you could fix them today.

Keep a note of areas you are finding challenging and bring them with you to after school classes for targeted help and support.

Hope you find this useful and thanks to the Chemists and Mr Bowles.

Revision Calendar

It is important that you realise that this year will go really quickly. As a part of your life it seems a long time, but trust me, it will go quicker than you can possibly imagine. That is why it is important to realise how little time you have to cover the whole course and revise it.

For people in D&G I’ve made a D&G Calendar. For other Regions you’ll just need to adjust your holiday dates. From the first Monday you return to school there will be only 146 teaching days until Study Leave. Now if you think that you only get 4 periods a week, on 3 days per week that is about a maximum of 88 times I’ll see you over the year. You can start ticking them off if you dislike me that much. Take off all those days when you will be having trips, meetings, be at Sporting Events, doing prelims; and the time to complete the course begins to look less plausible! We also have to fit in an Assignment.

I would therefore ask any student studying any subject not to waste any time in class and get as organised as possible. That means get into class, get out your stuff, and get going straight away. If there is a distraction then review your work, answer questions etc. Don’t waste a second!

Revision plan

Click on the link above (Revision plan). This takes you to an EXCEL spreadsheet. I can add a pdf file if some of you can’t open this. Revision isn’t just about LEARNING the work. What will take more of your time are the other bits!

The steps to revising are:




You can and should be doing step one throughout the course. The better prepared you are as you go along the less time at the end of the course you will need for revision. Likewise with step 2. If you make sure you’ve fully understood each part of the work, then even if you’ve forgotten it, it should be easier to understand and grasp the second time around. If you pass on it and hope it will go away as you move through the course you’ll begin to have a fear of this section of the course and it will be harder to understand.

So how do you use the Revision Plan?

  • This can be used for just one subject but I think it puts it into perspective when you put all your calendar in one place. There are probably apps that will do the same thing, but I’m not there yet!
  • Mark in the dates and times of Exams (whether prelims or final exams). I’ve put in the Physics Exam Date for you and a counter has been added to the N5 Home Page. I’d check this often just to remind you how far we are through the course.
  • Shade in the dates and times of commitments, such as parties, trips away, days off (birthdays when you’ll have all those presents to open) etc.
  • Make a list of topics to cover for each subject; the Physics one is done for you. But remember revision is about CHECKING, UNDERSTANDING and LEARNING so all three of those have to be allocated time.
  • Calculate how many hours you have available and how much time you will allocate to each subject and each topic within that subject.
  • Decide on the order in which to tackle your subjects. Don’t tackle the easy subjects first as you’ll never get on to the harder ones! It is best to start revising the hard subjects and topics as these will take you more time to understand and learn
  • Draft your revision timetable.
  • Leave one or two revision slots free each week for extra revision or difficult topics.
  • Don’t spend so long producing a beautiful revision timetable so that there is not enough time to revise.

I’ll see if the Physics Jewel can make one up!



Revise your Units- Unit Dominoes

unit dominoes

unit dominoes

Here is a little document I made up when we had foreign students in an Intermediate 2 class. It was not as successful with the foreign students as with those studying in Scotland as there was confusing over what they were asked to do and I assumed (obviously wrongly) that the symbols were universal.

I think you’ll find these fine, providing you:

Cut out all dominoes like this to make 30 dominoes in two different games

If you don’t have a printer just copy them out on to paper or card!

This will give you 8 dominoes per sheet and two different sets. One if for quantity and symbol and one is for quantity and unit.

I’ve found it best to print on different colour card so that you don’t try muddling them up. If you do it correctly you should end back at the start, or with a quantity that has no unit (work out which one that is)

I recommend you working against the clock, so that you can increase your speed as you practice. It will make revision at least a little more interesting. Or practice with your friends.

“Six months from Now, you’ll have wished you started revising today”


Command words in exam papers!

Here is a table showing some of the command words that are used in the exams. It is important to answer the correct command word in the right way or you are likely to not be awarded marks.

Do go through past paper questions and get examples of the different command words and then look at the marking instructions and see how they are answered.

Below the table is a exemplar sheet to try some of these words out, produced by Mr L Phin (thanks from us all)

response to questions that ask candidates to:Candidates must:
calculateyou must provide a number from given facts, figures or information. It is not expected that this can just be known from information.
compareThis requires you to describe the similarities and/or differences between things, not just write about one. If you are asked to ‘compare x with y ’, you need to write down something about x compared to y , using comparative words such as ‘better, ‘more than’, ‘less than’, ‘quicker’, ‘more expensive’, ‘on the other hand.’
describe,you must provide a statement or structure of characteristics and/or features;
determine or calculate, you must determine a number from given facts, figures or information; You should use numbers given in the question to work out the answer. You should always show your working, as it may be possible for the examiner to award some marks for the method even if the final answer is wrong. Always give the units as the final mark is for the answer and unit.
estimate,you must determine an approximate value for something;
explain,you must relate cause and effect and/or make relationships between things clear. Students should make something clear, or state the reasons for something happening. The answer should not be a simple list of reasons. This means that points in the answer must be linked coherently and logically.All of the stages/steps in an explanation must be included to gain full marks.
evaluate,you must make a judgement based on what you know or have been given, or determine the value of something.
identify, name, give, or state, you need only name or present in brief form. Only a short answer is required, not an explanation or a description. Often it can be answered with a single word, phrase or sentence. If the question asks you to state, give, or write down one (or two etc) examples, you should write down only the specified number of answers, or you may not be given the mark for some correct examples given.
justify, you must give reasons to support their suggestions or conclusions, e.g. this might be by identifying an appropriate relationship and the effect of changing variables;
outline,you must provide a brief summary of the content. It should be more detailed than naming, but not as detailed as describe.
predict, you must suggest what may happen based on available information;
show that,you must use physics [and mathematics] to prove something e.g. a given value – All steps, including the stated answer , must be shown;
suggest, you must apply your knowledge and understanding of physics to a new situation. A number of responses are acceptable: marks will be awarded for any suggestions that are supported by knowledge and understanding of physics.
use your knowledge of physics or aspect of physics to comment on,you must apply your skills, knowledge and understanding to respond appropriately to the problem/situation presented (for example by making a statement of principle(s) involved and/or a relationship or equation, and applying these to respond to the problem/situation). you will be rewarded for the breadth and/or depth of their conceptual understanding.
Use the information in the passage/ diagram/ graph/ table to…The answer must be based on the information given in the question. Unless the information given in the question is used, no marks can be given, even if what you write is correct.

On a similar matter, it is important that you don’t use the wrong adverb for a quantity.
Don’t use the terms
Quicker, slower, faster
for words such as time, acceleration, velocity.
Use terms
longer, shorter for time
greater or less for acceleration and velocity.

To say quicker time, you are talking about relativity! You want to say that the time will be less to do the same action.

Exemplar Command Words

Exemplar Command Words