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O-Level Physics 2024 new syllabus guide + free notes

O-Level Physics 2024 new syllabus guide + free notes

Physics is one of the most important subjects to master as it provides a solid foundation for many scientific concepts. And so, to get a high grade in O-level physics, it's important for students to master all of the topics that are going to be tested.

Which is why, in this article, we will look at:

- A detailed look at the O-level pure Physics 2024 syllabus and the exam format,

- 5 tips on how to prepare for the exams to secure maximum marks

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A detailed look at the O-level pure Physics 2024 syllabus and the exam format

Getting ready for O-level Pure Physics can seem daunting. It's a subject that requires a good understanding of theories and strong math skills. However, you can excel by thoroughly covering the syllabus, understanding what examiners expect, and starting your preparation well in advance. 

Updated Pure Physics Syllabus 2024

The O-Level physics course is designed to help students get a thorough understanding of concepts like energy, matter, and how they're connected. It's about exploring natural events and using patterns, models, Maths formulas, principles, theories, and laws to explain how the physical world works.

The ideas in this course are part of classical physics, which is the older version of physics. Modern physics, on the other hand, was created to understand tiny particles like atoms and subatomic stuff. It's based on what we learned from classical physics. So, we can say that this syllabus is created to build a student's fundamental knowledge of Physics.

Topics covered in O-level Physics updated syllabus

(Click on the topic to get access to the free notes. We keep adding more topic notes regularly - so be sure to bookmark this page and come back for updates.)

1. Measurement

2. Newtonian mechanics
3. Thermal physics
4. Waves
5. Electricity and magnetism
6. Radioactivity
  • Radioactivity

What the examiners are testing

Papers 1 and 2

- When it comes to scoring in this area, "Knowledge with Understanding" makes up around 45% of the total marks. Out of that 45%, about 15% is specifically for recalling facts.
- "Handling Information and Solving Problems," counts for roughly 55% of the total marks. This means it's a significant portion of what you'll be graded on.
From the above, it's clear that the students will have to spend time with each of the above topics and understand them thoroughly if they want a high grade. 

Paper 3

In Paper 3, you'll be evaluated on different skills related to assessment objectives. These skills include:

  • Planning (P)
  • Manipulation, measurement and Observation (MMO)
  • Presentation of Data and Observations (PDO)
  • Analysis, Conclusions and Evaluation (ACE)

Now, when it comes to how these skills are assessed, here's the breakdown:

  • Planning (P) will make up 15% of your assessment. So, it's a smaller part.
  • The other skills, which are MMO, PDO, and ACE, will collectively make up 85% of your assessment. These are the major focus areas you'll be graded on.

Grading structure 

Paper Type of Paper Duration Marks Weightage
1 Multiple choice questions (MCQs) 1 hour 40 30%
2 Structured and free response 1 hour 45 minutes 80 50%
3 Practical 1 hour 50 minutes 40 20%


For paper 1, students will be expected to solve 40 compulsory multiple-choice questions.
Paper 2 is divided into two parts:
- Part one will consist of structured questions. While the number of questions in this section may vary, they will be worth 70 marks. The final two questions are worth a total of 20 marks. Out of these, one question involves using data to interpret, evaluate, or solve problems. This data-based question will account for 8 to 12 marks. So, it will be a significant part of those final 20 marks.
- Part two will be worth 10 marks. Students will be given two questions, but they are expected to solve only one of them.
Paper 3 is also divided into two parts:
- Part one will make up 20 marks, and it will include 1-2 practical experiment questions that you must answer. You'll have a total of 55 minutes to complete this section.
- Part two is also worth 20 marks. It contains one compulsory practical experiment question, and you'll have 55 minutes to tackle it.

Some of these questions might test your planning abilities (P) and require you to use knowledge from different parts of the syllabus. When it comes to PDO and ACE, there may be questions about analysing data that don't need actual lab equipment.

Importantly, during the assessment, you can't use your notebooks, textbooks, or any other reference materials. You have to rely on what you know from your studies.

5 tips on how to prepare for the exams to secure maximum marks

1. Mastering Physics with model answers

Understanding physics questions might seem challenging at first, but once you grasp the topic, you'll find that there are only a limited number of ways to explain natural phenomena. To excel, practice using model answers, focus on key concepts, and develop the ability to adapt your knowledge.

2. Don't overlook Secondary 3 topics

It might be tempting to focus solely on the challenging electromagnetism topics this year, but remember, neglecting the basics like kinematics or turning effect can come back to haunt you. Keep your foundation strong by ensuring that all your knowledge is fresh and well-practised.

3. Memorise key information

To excel in physics, follow these key strategies:

  • Formulas: Memorise essential formulas and apply them by substituting the given values. Even in challenging questions, having the right equations at your fingertips can be a game-changer.
  • Definition and law recall: Secure your knowledge by memorising definitions and fundamental laws. These often provide valuable marks during exams and reinforce your understanding of key concepts.

4. Connecting Physics to everyday life

Whenever you observe something happening in the real world, mentally dissect the physics behind it. This habit not only helps you review your subject but also deepens your understanding. For even better results, try explaining these phenomena to a younger sibling/cousin; it reinforces your learning and highlights areas where you might need further clarification.

5. Harnessing mindmaps for effective learning

Unlock the potential of mindmaps to enhance your learning:

  • Visualising concepts: Create mindmaps to visualise complex physics concepts. This graphical representation simplifies information and aids in comprehension.
  • Organised knowledge: Use mindmaps to organise your knowledge. They provide a structured overview of topics, helping you see connections between different ideas.
  • Memory enhancement: Mindmaps serve as memory aids. When you construct them, you reinforce your understanding, making it easier to recall information during exams.
  • Problem-solving tool: Mindmaps can be handy tools for problem-solving. Break down complex physics problems step by step in a mind-map format to identify key elements and solutions.
  • Collaborative learning: Mindmaps can also facilitate group study. Sharing and discussing mindmaps with peers can deepen your understanding through different perspectives.

Incorporating mind maps into your study routine can be a powerful strategy to improve your grasp of physics concepts.

Exam Preparation
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