IB Physics at Standard Level, Felix-Klein-Gymnasium Goettingen

An experimentally based scientific Physics course acccording to an international curriculum

In this course students acquire a solid foundation in Physics geared to prepare them for further studies in subjects related to natural and engineering sciences and for professional needs in general. The focus of the course is both theoretical lessons according to an international curriculum that comprise eight Core Topics and two Options and a practical approach to Physics through experimental work. In "Lab" lessons the students learn to apply scientific methods in practical scientific work contexts. Research questions are either provided by the teacher or formulated by the students themselves. Strategies must then be designed to solve the problem, followed by data collection and processing. Finally the students state a conclusion and evaluate the procedure for weaknesses and possible improvements.

In the interdisciplinary "Group 4 – Experimental Sciences – Project", students from different subjects cooperate in a collective investigation and gain the practical experience of communication and collaboration as essential elements of a successful scientific endeavour.

Students writing their "Extended Essay" in Physics set themselves an ambitious task which requires a profound body of knowledge, methods and techniques.

Throughout the course students make use of up-to-date information and communication technologies.


Course program

As we tailor the course to the needs of our respective student body, the sequence of the topics and the selection of options for each course may vary.

Topic 1: Physics and physical measurements

Topic 2: Mechanics

Topic 3: Thermal physics

Topic 4: Oscillation and waves

Topic 5: Electric currents

Topic 6: Fields and forces

Topic 7: Atomic and nuclear physics

Topic 8: Energy, power, and climate change

Option A: Sight and wave phenomena

Option G: Electromagnetic waves


Group 4 Project


Previous knowledge

Profound basic knowledge of Physics is a prerequisite for the successful completion of this two-year IB course. This roughly translates into school years 5 – 10 in the German syllabus or Physics studies comparable to the GSCE or at least a pre-IB year.



a) Final Grade

The external assessment in the IB Physics SL Diploma Program consists of three written papers. Paper 1 covers multiple-choice questions testing core knowledge. Papers 2 and 3 consist of data-based, short or extended response questions. Paper 2 again tests core knowledge whereas Paper 3 focuses on the Options studied.

Internal assessment consists of the interdisciplinary Group 4 Project and of short- and long-term investigations such as practicals ("Labs") and other subject-specific projects. Student work is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IBO.

Assessment is based on the objectives and criteria described in the Subject Guide.

b) Semester Grades and Predicted Grade

Mock exams are assigned by the teacher and focus on the topics treated in the corresponding semester. Extended exam papers in year 2 test all topics taught in the course. Classroom participation, commitment during experiments, presentations and short tests all contribute to the semester grade.

The exams and individual semester grades translate into the final Predicted Grade. It may be used for application purposes to universities prior to receiving the actual Final Grade of the Diploma.



Book used in the course:

Hamper, Chris and Keith Ord. 2007. Standard Level Physics. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-435994-47-1

Books available for additional help in the school library:

Tsokos, K.A. 2008. Physics for the IB Diploma. Standard and Higher Level. 5th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-70820-3

Kirk, Tim. 2007. Physics for the IB Diploma, IB study guide. Standard and Higher Level. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-915141-7

Physics revision guides

Other resource materials:

Several hardware and software devices designed for Physics are used in class (for instance CASSYpack by Leybold Didactic).

Teaching hours:

SL              total teaching hours                                                    150
Theory                                     110
Core 80
Options 30
Practical work                                     40
Investigations 30

Group 4 Project

















3 (45-minute) periods per week are taught at Standard Level.