How to Score in O Level Physics?

How to Score in O Level Physics?

How to Score O Level

Physics is a science that studies a myriad of physical quantities and phenomena to make accurate predictions of the future. Due to its wide breadth, many students find it a daunting task to master this subject. Consistency and effort must be taken to do well and succeed in Physics that is a requirement for many JC and polytechnic courses.

Each topic is a foundation and supports each other.

Like most sciences, Physics is a subject where proficiency of all the topics is required. Students are NOT advised to “spot topic or questions” and only study a few topics, as the questions tested during the GCE O Levels examination can easily include several topics in various parts of every structured question and MCQ.

Also, as the first few topics are the foundation for the subsequent topics, Physics is not a subject where students can ignore in Secondary 3 and spend the last few months before the GCE O Levels “mugging” and expect to do well in the subject.

How will the Sec 3 topics serve as a foundation for future topics?

Newtonian Mechanics

One of the earlier topics which will be covered early is Kinematics, which involve distances travelled by the object, its speed and its acceleration. The formulas and the graph reading skills will then have to be applied in future topics such as Dynamics, Energy, Work and Power, Mass, Weight and Density and Pressure; each which also comes with their respective formulas. Students can expect that each question in the exam will require the use of formulas from several of these topics, and there may be several methods to complete each question where, depending on the situation, one may be more suitable than the other.


Another topic which will serve as a foundation is General Wave Properties. The concepts, equations and graph reading skills can be used in other topics involving waves, such as Light, Sound and Electromagnetic waves (EM Waves).


Electricity consists of a set of topics which are taught in stages. Each topic introduces new concepts and equations where questions which appears in the exam requires knowledge of all of them to answer them correctly. Furthermore, since electricity also involves energy, electricity questions can easily involve topics from Energy, Work and Power, and Thermal Properties of Matter.

The Language of Physics is Mathematics.

As physics require the ability to make accurate predictions, accurate measurements are then used to calculate and derive necessary quantities. As such, students are expected to make use of their algebraic skills such as expansion, factorisation and solving linear equations to answer questions.

Make sure that your math skills are not lacking as it is essential and seek help early if you have problems deriving the answers.

Start your journey early.

Students are highly encouraged to start studying from Day 1 of Secondary 3 to make sure that the current topics are understood and mastered well, so as to serve as a good foundation for all future topics, no matter how trivial the initial topics are. Listen to your tutors and teachers closely, do your homework and revise diligently from Day 1. Seek help early so as to clarify any doubts they might have while keeping pace with their school syllabus.

Regular practice makes PERFECT! And builds confidence!

As stated above, constant and frequent revision is essential to keep pace and master Physics. Reviewing the materials that has been taught by your tutors and teachers before the end of the day, and for the next few days, reading through the previous materials frequently and consistently is key to remember the concepts, explanations and answering techniques. Compile a list of definitions and equations to help the student to remember and complete questions at a faster pace without sacrificing on accuracy.

However, the aforementioned re-reading, of course, is not enough to master this subject. The GCE O Levels examination is a test of application of knowledge and answering skills. As such, the students should also practice regularly on their exam packages, ten year series (TYS) and other school and past year exam papers. Students should not get complacent, if questions are too easy, always seek more challenging questions to push them to greater heights.

Einstein Takeaway

The O level Physics syllabus is a two-year course taught in both Sec 3 and Sec 4.  The Sec 3 Physics syllabus not only covers the basic topics, but also the important and difficult ones that are prerequisites to the Sec 4 topics.  Several major topics are inter-linked in Sec 3 and Sec 4.  To excel in Physics, a strong grasp of the Physics concept coupled with strong answering techniques on the application-based questions are required. Let Einstein lead you on the path of discovery (in enhanced understanding of Physics concepts with effective answering techniques) and excellence (in explanations, calculations and test performance) in your learning quest of Physics.  Book a trial lesson to experience how the Einstein Physics program can benefit you.