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
- Neutrons don’t carry/have (net) charge so aren’t accelerated/guided/ deflected by magnetic fields.
- 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!
- Voltage dividers- think Kendal Mint cake!
- Learn your 7 point plan!
- Transistors act as a SWITCH.
Preparing for the Exam
- Check out the past paper marking instructions for do’s and don’ts- its full of them in that second column!
- Read the Course Reports, they give common mistakes that lots of students made and then you avoid these.
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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!
- Learn your prefixes!
During the Exam
- Obviously you know- no secs in Physics, just stick to unit symbols and save all the problems of spelling.
- Remember: SIG FIG, your final answer should be rounded up to the same number of significant figures as the LEAST significant measurement.
- 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!
- 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.
- “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.
- Don’t leave anything blank! If you really don’t know, give it a go – you never know.
- The questions in the exam sections (MC and then extended answers) are in approximately the same order as the Relationships Sheet.
- LIST: given numbers with the correct symbols before doing a calculation. Or as we say IESSUU (information, Equation, Substitution, Solution, Units and Underline)
- 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.
- Substitute then rearrange.
- Read all of the question, especially that bit you skipped over at the start.
- Don’t forget units! It’s now worth at least 33% of a calculation!
- 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
- Sometimes multiple choice questions can be logic-ed through without any knowledge of physics. Physics and common sense are often the same thing.
- 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).
- 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