Do you know that data scientists and robotics engineers will be some of the most demanded careers in the years to come?

Both of these careers share a common ground. They both require proficiency in Physics.

The most direct way to tell if you are good at the subject?

Your SPM Physics grade. 

Continue reading this article to have an overview of the various sections of the SPM Physics papers.

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What Are Some Tips For Objective Questions in SPM Physics?

There are altogether 40 questions in SPM Physics Paper 1 [4531/1]. The duration of this paper is an hour and 15 minutes. Though multiple-choice questions give us the impression that they are super straightforward, there are still instances where we could find them confusing and challenging.

By following the level of difficulty ratio for SPM Physics paper (following the ratio of 5:3:2 according to low: medium: high difficulty level), we can roughly estimate that there are:

  • 20 low difficulty questions
  • 12 medium difficulty questions 
  • 8 high difficulty level questions.

Don't worry as we're here to share some useful tips to master the art of answering objective questions for this paper.

a) Familiarize yourself with diagrams related questions 

Do you know that diagrams related questions take up almost 50% of your SPM Physics Paper 1 questions? On average, you will come across around 20 diagrams to 22 diagrams during your actual exam. That's a huge percentage!

This implies that you have to correctly identify, analyse and remember all the visuals and diagrams that you've come across during your Physics lessons and revisions.

Some of the diagrams related questions could touch on a simple calculation of electric current, matching the right statement and properties to the object/process based on the labels of the given diagrams.

b) Memorize and understand factors, true and false statements on a particular principle/concepts 

The advantage of objective questions is this: You don't have to worry about the right words to write, you only need to recognize the right keywords that are given in the answer options. You have to clearly distinguish which is the right property, what is the right definition of Law X, or the right unit for measuring pressure for instance.

When it comes to answering options with pairings, we highly recommend the 50:50 elimination method. Once you have identified the wrong statement after reading the question, you can then eliminate the wrong answer options and stand a higher chance to arrive at the right answer!

c) Be prepared for simple calculation questions 

You can't run away from numbers and formulas for a subject like Physics! Most calculation questions in this paper are quite simple and do not require any complex working. Certain quantities like the speed of light, Plank constant, the mass of electron, refractive index of water and others will be given in the questions for you to solve the problem that is asked in the question.

Also, don't forget to maximize the use of your scientific calculator when you're answering and reviewing the final answer!

calculator physics spm malaysia
Calculators are allowed during your SPM Physics exam.
Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

Mastering the 40 questions in Paper 1  is the first step to tackling your entire SPM Physics paper as a whole! Now let's look at how you can ace the sections in SPM Physics Paper 2.

What Questions To Expect For Section A in SPM Physics Paper 2?

For SPM Physics Paper 2 [5531/2], there are 3 sections: Section A, Section B and Section C.

The time allocated for this paper is 2 hours and 30 minutes while the mark allocation for Section A is 60m. Candidates have to answer all 8 questions (subjective, short-structured questions) based on the provided diagrams and tables in Section A.

Here are some examples of questions that can be asked throughout this section.

a) Ticking, marking, labelling, sketching questions 

  • Draw the direction of tension in ropes A, B and C on Diagram 3. [1m]
  • Complete the following sentence by ticking in the correct box. [1m]
  • On Diagram 2, mark and label the directions of forces acting on Ali. [1m]

b) Give the meaning and definition 0f a Physics concept 

  • What is the meaning of frictional force? [1m]
  • What is the meaning of radioactive decay? [1m]
  • State the Newton's Universal Law of Gravitation. [1m]

c) Name/State/Compare/ Explain reasons and characteristics 

  • State one characteristic of the image formed by plane mirror/ [1m]
  • Give one reason why iodine -131 undergoes a decay process. [1m]
  • Explain why the phenomenon in process X is more difficult when it involves light waves than sound waves [2m]

You can explore more on the latest and complete SPM Physics exam format here.

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What Should You Take Note For Section B in SPM Physics Paper 2?

Now, let's move on to Section B of SPM Physics Paper 2. Candidates only need to answer one question from this section. The marks for this section is 20m.

Here are some pointers for you to ace the question for this section.

a) Go through both questions and answer the question (topic) that you are more confident in 

Take a quick glance at both questions and do a mental calculation. Both questions will be from totally different topics so choose one that you're more confident in, especially for the last question [10m] which requires you to explain your reasons.

b) Pay attention to the allocated marks and your time distribution of the question 

Bear in mind that you still have Section C after this question and the latter part is compulsory for you to answer. Work smart in this section by answering what is necessary for short and direct questions with only 1m or 2m. Don't spend too much time on the short questions until you've missed the time to elaborate more on the HOTS and essay questions with higher mark weightage.

spm physics paper 2 time
Time management is important when answering the questions of different sections.
Photo by Andy Barbour from Pexels

c) Provide elaborate answers alongside the right calculation for HOTS questions (Give reasons for your choice) 

For questions that are worth 10m, this is where you have to read and analyse all the keywords carefully. . Normally it is best to answer in 5 points, followed by 5 reasons for 10m questions.

Learn more about the marking scheme of the SPM Physics paper.

What Is The Right Way Of Answering Essay Questions For Section C in SPM Physics Paper 2?

We've reached the final part of Paper 2, which is Section C. For this section, you only have one question, with a total of 20m. The questions usually feature diagrams/tables with the relevant information.

Here's how you should answer them.

a) Be specific when explaining and comparing the direct relationship between diagrams/variables [5m]

Again, it's important to look at the mark allocation of the questions and plan your answers. If the mark is 5m, make sure you list down 5 different points as your answer. Use keywords such as increases/decreases/fixed and connector words like while when you're describing relationships between the given quantities.

study diagram spm physics
Diagrams are everywhere in your SPM Physics paper. Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

b) Present your answers in table form for suggestion and explanation questions [10m] 

For questions with 10 marks, it is best to present your answers in a table form in two columns. Most of the time the questions has already you with the criteria of reasons to solve a Physics problem.

This will help you to organize your points better and enable your examiner to identify the correct answers faster when they're marking your paper. You can also easily check if you have missed out any points or repeated any points while writing them.

Here is how you can answer in a table by using the following sample question as an example.

Question: Describe the modifications that need to be done to convert a dynamo to a high efficient direct current motor. State and explain the modification based on the properties of the magnet, the number of coils, the shape of the magnet and the way to connect the coil. Your answers must contain relevant elaboration of the above-underlined points.

ModificationExplanation
Use stronger magnet, soft iron core.Stronger magnetic flex will be produced.
Use a semicircular magnet The radial field of magnetic flux will be cut and more induced current will be concentrated in the centre.
Increase the number of turns of coilThe cutting rate of magnetic flux will increase and cause more current to be produced.
Use a split ring commutator Lead to more effective and compact generation of direct current.
Increase the diameter of wire of coil.The larger the diameter of the wire of the coil, the more the current flows and is induced.

Find out where can you access the best past year papers for SPM Physics.

Find A Reliable Physics Tutor For Your SPM Physics Revision With Superprof

You've got all the textbooks, past year papers, sample questions ready beside you but somehow it just doesn't feel that affirming when your actual exam is drawing near?

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Having a private tutor simply means you can arrange your lessons flexibly according to your preferred time, location and even payment. Your Physics tutor can guide you accordingly to your pace and help you make consistent progress right up till your actual SPM Physics paper!

When you get that A, you'll be a step closer to becoming a data scientist/robotics engineer!

 

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