Let's be honest.

Grades do matter, especially in the context of an important exam like STPM.

A slight difference in A or A- will make a huge difference in your final pointer (CGPA).

Don't worry, we're here to tell you how to get the maximum marks for your STPM Physics paper.

By mastering the marking scheme, format and tips,  it is no longer a mission impossible to score an A!

Continue reading to have a better understanding of the various sections of this subject.

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How To Score Well For Objective Questions (Section A) in STPM Physics?

Do not underestimate the level of difficulty of objective questions, especially at this level.

If you have mastered them well, you can easily get full marks in this section.

Throughout your 3 semesters, you will be tested on 15 multiple choice questions for Section A in STPM Physics.

Mark allocated is 15m.

Here are some question form examples that you can anticipate for Section A.

  • True or false statements 
  • Simple calculation 
  • Reading and interpreting graphs 
  • Finding the right characteristics of a phenomenon/object 

Every question carries one mark and it's either a hit or miss thing.

Some tips to do well for this section include:

a) Break down and memorize definitions/properties of physics concepts beforehand 

Start organizing your revision notes according to the definitions and formulas for each chapter of the semester.

You can follow the example below.

The definition of Ohm’s law
= current through a given conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference between its end points

memorize stpm physics concepts
Listing down the definition of physics concepts for revision will help you to remember them better during your exams.
Source: Photo by Pew Nguyen from Pexels

b) Circle out the keywords 

Carefully read and identify words such as true/false, find the temperature, measurement.....in the question. This will help you to recall the information that you have memorized earlier and answer the questions faster.

c) Eliminate the wrong answers first 

Remember how the 50:50 option works in the famous quiz competition " Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"

The same principle can be used when you're unsure when answering the questions. Sometimes all it takes is to identify common "mistakes" in the given options and eliminate all of them together.

This is why it's so important to master the definition and characteristics of the physics topics beforehand so that you can immediately know the right information that accurately matches the asked question.

You can gain a better understanding of the STPM Physics exam format here.

What Are The Marks For Section B and Section C in STPM Physics?

Next, we'll enter the subjective sections for the paper [Section B and Section C].

Sections Questions Marks allocation
Section B2 compulsory structured questions 15m
Section CChoose 2 out of 3 essay questions 30m

For Section B, here is the breakdown of the mark allocation (Question 16 and 17)

Each question is followed by sub-questions that are usually based on a given illustration/diagram. 

The below sample questions are modified from the STPM Physics specimen papers provided by MPM.

Question 16

  • (a) Define phenomenon X. [1m]
  • (b)Determine the amount of ......... that has happened in the above diagram. [4m]
  • (c) Calculate the energy that is found in the ......... as shown above. [2m]

Question 17

  • (a) State x law. [1m]
  • (b)(i) Calculate x and y according to the above diagram. [4m]
  • (b)(ii)Determine the difference between point a and b [2m]

Now, let's look at Section C (Question 18,19 and 20).

18(a) Diagram showing a physics concept with some figures. 

  • (a)(i) Calculate the force between the two spaces. [3m]
  • (a)(ii) After x process, calculate the new charge of each space. [5m]
  • (b)(i) Using x law, explain why ........ experience an electric shock. [4m]
  • (b)(ii) Sketch a graph based on the situation in B. [4m]

19(a) Explain why 

  • (a)(i) metal becomes hot when electric current flows through it. [2m]
  • (a)(ii) the x of a metal increases while the x of a semiconductor decreases when the temperature is high. [4m]
  • (b) A current of a is flowing through a wire with length b and area c. The potential difference is d. 
  • (b)(i) Determine the power in the wire. [3m]
  • (b)(ii) Find out the drift velocity of free electrons if the electron density is amount z. [3m]
  • (b)(iii)Calculate the force experienced by a free electron if process e happens. [3m]

In general, you are required to give longer and detailed answers for Section C as compared to Section B.

Hopefully, you'll gain a better idea of how to tackle your STPM Physics paper from the above information.

Common Mistakes Made By Students For Their Overall STPM Physics Written Test

Do you know that you can access the report of previous STPM actual exams for free via the MEC website?

You'll not only know the right answers to every section of the STPM Physics written test but also know exactly how many per cent of students make mistakes for question a or question b in Section B, for instance.

It's a deep analysis of the difficulty level of the actual paper and also offers you a clear picture of what the examiners are looking for.

student stpm physics malaysia
There's a great deal that you can learn from the past year papers' report for STPM Physics.
Source: Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels

Let us show you some general comments and common mistakes that were indicated in the STPM Physics 2018 report.

In Semester 1,  2269 candidates sat the examination for this subject and 62.27% of them obtained a full pass.

For Section A (Multiple-choice)

  • More than 70% of the candidates answered Question 7 and Question 8 correctly.
  • Question 1 was very difficult for the candidates to answer with less than 30% of the candidates answering it correctly.

For Section B and C (Structured and essay) 

  • The performance of the candidates was better in the calculation questions rather than the descriptive questions.
  • In the explanation-based answers, sometimes the candidates tended to be a bit lengthy in elaborating the same point rather than presenting the next point to obtain the next marks.
  • This may be due to the inability of the candidates to recognise and differentiate concepts that are the same and concepts that are distinctly different.

As a comparison, here is another example that was taken from the STPM Physics 2019 report.

In Semester 1, 2482 candidates sat the examination for this subject and 66.80% of them obtained a full pass.

For Section A (Multiple-choice)

  • More than 70% of the candidates answered questions 3, 4, 8, 10 and 11 correctly.
  • The remaining questions were in the medium range with 30% to 70% of the candidates managed to give the correct answers.

For Section B and Section C (Structured and essay) 

  • Most answers to calculations were well organized and presented systematically and logically.
  • Some candidates were also careless, as they did not write the correct units in their final answer.
  • There were still candidates who did not give the answer within the required significant figures.
  • Some candidates rounded up too early in the intermediate steps and consequently, the final answer was incorrect.

Since you'll be doing lots of STPM Physics past year papers as revision, reading this report will help you to know how to minimize your mistakes for your actual exam soon.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.-Elenor Roosevelt

Securing A in STPM Physics with A Superprof Tutor

Feeling that you need an extra boost of learning and exercises from an experienced Physics tutor?

Fret not, Superprof is here to help you!

With just a few clicks, you can take quality Physics lessons with a tutor in your city/online tutors from every part of the world.

Let's say you are based in Kuala Lumpur and you are looking for a Physics home tutor that offers lessons for RM30 an hour.

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You can easily hire a private Physics tutor via Superprof.
Source: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

All you need to do is head to the Superprof Malaysia homepage and we'll help you to take it from there.

Just follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Set up a Superprof account via your email/Facebook /Google and subscribe to the Student Pass.
  • Step 2: Choose "Physics" as your preferred subject and "Kuala Lumpur" as your location and click Search.
  • Step 3: You will be directed to a good amount of home/online tutors that offer Physics lessons near your area.
  • Step 4: At the filtering button on your upper left side, choose "STPM" for the Level button. 
  • Step 5: Adjust the Rate button according to your maximum budget: RM30.
  • Step 6: Slide the first class for free button, because why not?
  • Step 7: Start browsing and comparing the filtered Physics tutors.
  • Step 8: Book your first lesson with your chosen Physics tutor.

Your Physics tutor will then contact you within the given response time and both of you can discuss in detail your lesson plans and payment methods.

With a Student pass, you can gain access to unlimited tutors across Superprof without any hassle at an affordable price. You'll gain lots of information via their tutor profiles including their teaching qualification, teaching methodology and also their previous students' reviews.

Begin your learning journey with Superprof today. Get that A!

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.