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Physics SL


Part of the IB subject group 4, Sciences, Physics SL is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it seeks to explain the universe itself from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies.

Themes covered through the course

The course covers the following topics: physical measurement, mechanics, circular motion and gravitation, thermal physics, energy production, waves, electromagnetic induction, atomic, and nuclear and particle physics.

This course also covers Option D: Astrophysics.

Activities and assessment

Students will undertake a variety of activities in the Physics course, ranging from classroom-based discussions, practical investigations and group work to online interactives, formative assignments and journals. Students are assessed through regular summative quizzes and teacher-graded/assessed assignments and activities. The course provides lessons and activities that support the externally assessed components of the program: Internal Assessment and Group 4 project. The course also provides an exam preparation unit to familiarise the students with the format of IB examinations and the cross-topic nature of questions.

Advice from our teachers

In order to succeed in Physics SL, we recommend students commit four hours per week. How much of the course material is covered in the classroom and how much via independent learning is flexible and to be decided by the school teacher.

Benefits to students

Taking Physics SL will enable students to:

  • gain an understanding of the Physics principles underpinning both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems
  • develop their observational, analytical and collaborative skills
  • consume course content outside of the classroom, including formative exercises and interactive activities
  • become independent learners and develop time-management skills
  • experience a wide range of online learning tools

Course availability

This course will be available for use by schools with enrolments from:

  • August 2019 for May exam sessions
  • January 2020 for November exam sessions

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