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Our mapping document shows the list of core practicals, matched to the essential skills and techniques in our specifications. The mapping document also shows you our recommendations for which CPAC skills to assess on each core practical. Teacher, technician and student worksheets detailing the procedure, apparatus and safety instructions for each core practical will be available for you to use.

Our teacher materials for developing investigative skills will support you with integrating practical work and the teaching of investigative skills into your lessons. We also provide student materials for developing investigative skills that will encourage a deeper understanding of the underlying science behind practicals, guiding students to think independently as scientists and help their preparations for AS and A level assessment.

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Advanced Level Practical Work for Physics

A levels Preparing for practical work. Preparing for practical work. This is a very brief and simplified summary of the scientific process. This is a recap of the variables that you will have used at GCSE. The ones you decide to change, what they have an effect on and also what you need to control to ensure a fair test. An ideal experiment should have just one variable altered while everything else is controlled.

You will have to design your own experiments at A Level. This is a brief summary of some of the key variables you should control to allow a fair test. Sometimes a result doesn't fit the pattern - this is an anomolous result and there a couple of ways you can deal with one of these. Either discard it from your calculations or identify it on your graph.

You have to know how to present your data in an appropriate manner. Get it right from the start and your practical experiments will be a breeze.

Preparing for practical work

A bit of a weird one this, and something that isn't immediately obvious. This is how to deal with log or ln values in your results tables. You must be able to draw a graph: to show the relationship between two quantities and then to work out physics constants. In this video I show you the correct choice of scales, the labels and also the way to draw in a perfect line of best fit. But how do you calculate the gradient?

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  • Advanced Level Practical Work for Physics!

What working should you show? And how do you find the y-intercept if you can't read it directly off the graph?

Double Slit - Required Practical - A-level Physics

How do you actually use a micrometer to measure small distances? How to use a micrometer is something that you may find useful at some point when measuring small distances. Reading a vernier scale takes patience but once you get the hang of it is isn't so bad.

Physics Practicals - Physics - Junior College - University of Malta

Parallax Error - What it is and how to minimise it. Zero Error doesn't mean there is no error. But these can add a systematic error to your readings. Easy to solve using one of two methods.


Light gates. You can then calculate the velocity from these readings. A ticker timer can be used to investigate the velocity of an object. A 50Hz supply makes a dot every 0.

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As this is pulled through the machine it leaves a series of dots. You could then work out the velocity of the object since you know the distance traveled and the time between marks. So simple even small children can understand! Practical Skills.