NCEA Course Booklet


Physics combines a sound theoretical base with considerable practical work and the use of technology. At all levels, students make and test things so that they see the application of basic theory.

will happen. The skill of applying knowledge of physics to real life situations is a recurrent theme. Students wishing to do well in this subject need to be confident with their mathematical skills in the areas of graphs and rearranging and using formulae, along with an ability to drive a calculator. NCEA assessment also requires students to display understanding by being able to explain the physics principles involved in a given situation.

Physics opens the way to a very wide range of careers – for example, engineering of all types, architecture, medical physics, environmental monitoring, telecommunications, research science, education, patent law, aerospace, flying, electricity production and supply, electronics, computer servicing, and diverse applications in industry and industrial development. Examinations require candidates to show an understanding of the physics involved in a given context and to be able to explain or calculate what

Year 12

Prerequisites Year 11 Physics, or Science with good supporting Mathematics results. The approval of the HoD will be automatic if more than half of the Physics- related Level 1 external results were at Achieved grade level or better. Description With more time than in the Level 1 course, the course has a greater practical component, including practical tests and extended investigations. The course offers the same range of topics as at Level 1, but builds on them, extending into projectiles, circular motion, momentum, gravity, kinetic theory, wave interference and diffraction. It also introduces the new topic areas of radioactivity and atomic physics.

Assessment This course contributes towards NCEA Level 2, with 10 of the 17 credits externally assessed by examination, and the remaining 7 credits internally assessed.

The following Achievement Standards will be assessed:

• AS 91168 (4 credits – internal) Carry out a practical physics investigation that leads to a non-linear mathematical relationship. • AS 91170 (4 credits – external) Demonstrate understanding of waves. • AS 91171 (6 credits – external) Demonstrate understanding of mechanics. • AS 91172 (3 credits – internal) Demonstrate understanding of atomic and nuclear physics.

72 Curriculum Studies Guide

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