An update on A-level Physics Paper 2

Published: Thursday 16 Jun 2022

We’re aware of suggestions that the topics of ‘Electric fields’ and ‘Capacitance’ should have been mentioned in the A-level Physics advance information, and we wanted to give schools, colleges and students some clarity.

‘Electric fields’ (3.7.3) and ‘Capacitance’ (3.7.4) are two separate topics – therefore neither carried enough marks to be included in the advance information list for the 7408/2 paper. Including these topics would have meant that we would not have been following the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) guidance and going against the principles agreed with the other exam boards.

Advance information does not and cannot cover everything that’s in the exam, and our guidance to teachers and students has always been to teach and revise the whole course.

The purpose of advance information is to support and guide revision – it isn’t intended to reduce or narrow specification content coverage. The principles for advance information were set out and agreed by the JCQ which they detailed in their guidance. A consequence of one of the key principles was that it will not always be possible to detail everything that’s in the exam.

The A-level Physics advance information lists the major areas of focus in rank order, with the areas carrying the highest mark allocations across the paper at the top of the list. As part of the agreed principles of advance information, we weren’t able to list all of the topics covered in the exam. This meant that other topics, which had fewer marks allocated to them across the paper, could not be included in the advance information list.The major areas of focus that were in the advance information were accurate and, unlike at GCSE, no areas were ruled out of being assessed for A-level.

It’s also important to remember that advance information is only one part of the package of support for summer 2022 to help address the impact of the pandemic on teaching and learning. Other measures include more generous grading of exams this year compared to a normal exam year to reflect the fact that we’re in a pandemic recovery period.

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