Fair and demanding despite some minor quibbles


HIGHER-LEVEL PHYSICS was a demanding but fair paper. Mr Matt Bermingham, ASTI subject representative, said that the short answer section was fine. He had one minor quibble with question 4(ii) which asked about the loudness of sound. Section B, the experiments, was also fine, he said. This was the first time that logic gates had appeared in this section since the course started in. 1986.

If students selected their questions correctly in the final section, the long answer questions, they would do very well, said Mr Bermingham, who teaches in St. Colman's College, Fermoy, Co Cork. His students found the paper testing and long.

Mr Jim Murphy, TUI subject representative, said that the short answer section of the higher level paper was a little easier than usual. The answer to question 1(i) was in the log tables. The term "one mole of electrons", in question 3 (iv) might be more familiar to chemistry than physics students, he noted.

In section B, question 5, students were asked about measuring the acceleration due to gravity using a simple pendulum. Mr Murphy, who teaches in Abbey Community College in Wicklow town, said that a method of measuring g is not specified in the syllabus and a question which favours one method over another should not be asked. There was also a slight problem with asking for a symbol for a logic gate in the next question. The long answer questions were fine.

At ordinary level, Mr Bermingham said that the paper was well presented and illustrated. The content was generally fine with one minor problem. Question 4(a) concentrated on capacitance which is not the subject of an experiment. This makes it difficult for this level of student.

Mr Murphy said that the ordinary level paper appeared to be pitched at the correct level and that it was a fair paper. 5. A student performed a laboratory experiment to measure g, the acceleration due to gravity.

(i) Draw a label led diagram of the apparatus which could have been used in the experiment.

(ii) State the measurements which the student would have made in the experiment.

(iii) Explain how these measurements would be used to obtain a value for g. Write down the equation or formula which would have been used.

(iv) Give a precaution which could be taken to achieve an accurate result in the experiment.

From the Leaving Cert ordinary level physics paper.