IB Physics Higher Level/Standard Level at FKG

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 (SL) / twelve (HL) 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 endeavor.

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: Measurements and uncertainties

Topic 2: Mechanics

Topic 3: Thermal physics

Topic 4: Oscillation and waves

Topic 5: Electricity and magnetism

Topic 6: Circular motion and gravitation

Topic 7: Atomic, nuclear and particle physics

Topic 8: Energy, power, and climate change

Topic 9: Wave phenomena (HL)

Topic 10: Fields (HL)

Topic 11: Electromagnetic Induction (HL)

Topic 12: Quantum and nuclear physics (HL)

Option A: Relativity

Option C: Optics: Imaging


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 ‑ 11 in the German syllabus or Physics studies comparable to the GSCE or at least a pre‑IB year.


a) 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.

b) Final Grade

The external assessment in the IB Physics SL/HL 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.


Book used in the course:

Homer, David and Bowen‑Jones, Michael: Oxford IB Diploma Programme, Physics.

Course Companion: ISBN 978-0-19-839213-2

Study Guide: ISBN 978-0-19-839355-9

Further books are available in the school library for additional help.

Other resource materials:

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

Subject Brief: Physics SL / HL

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