Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

GCSE Physics

For first teaching from September 2017
A guide to changes in GCSE Grading

This specification encourages students to appreciate the value of physics in their lives and the world around us. It helps them develop confidence in exploring hypotheses, evidence, theories and explanations. It also provides thorough preparation for those who plan to study physics or a related subject at a higher level.

As well as deepening their subject knowledge and understanding, students have lots of opportunities to develop transferable skills like observation, modelling, enquiry, problem-solving and critical analysis. Practical science is a key focus, with the specification listing nine prescribed practicals that students must carry out during the course.

Our GCSE science specifications are the only ones to directly assess practical work, an important element of the subject, as part of a unit titled Practical Skills. There is also a written exam for each of the three units in the specification.

All parts of the assessment are externally marked.

Specification and Specimen Assessment Materials

Our GCSE in Physics is unitised, so itís possible to take part of the assessment before the end of the course.

The specification has three units:

  • Unit 1: Motion, Force, Moments, Energy, Density, Kinetic Theory, Radioactivity, Nuclear Fission and Fusion
  • Unit 2: Waves, Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism and Space Physics
  • Unit 3: Practical Skills.

Specification
(PDF), Last Updated: 15 June 2017

Related Circulars

S-IF-56-17 GCSE Sciences (New)
(PDF), Last Updated: 24 October 2017

GCSE Assessment Arrangements
(PDF), Last Updated: 20 September 2017

Specimen Assessment Materials

Specimen Assessment Materials
(PDF), Last Updated: 21 June 2017

Practical Skills Assessment

Unit 3: Practical Skills includes two assessments. For Booklet A, students carry out two practical tasks in the laboratory under exam conditions. Booklet B is a written practical theory exam, with questions based on any of the nine prescribed practical tasks from the specification.

Support


Factfile: Unit 1.4 - Energy
(PDF), Last Updated: 16 January 2018

GCSE and GCE A/AS Examinations Summer 2018 E-Moderation Product-Type Subjects Instructions to Teachers
(PDF), Last Updated: 13 March 2018

GCSE Physics Planning Framework
(DOCX), Last Updated: 29 August 2017

GCSE Science Practical Skills Assessments: Instructions and guidance for Teachers
(PDF), Last Updated: 06 October 2017

Practical Booklet
(PDF), Last Updated: 16 January 2018

Snapshot
(PDF), Last Updated: 15 June 2017

Student Guide
(PDF), Last Updated: 15 June 2017