Mojza Blog

A Guide to Physics 5054

by Muhammad Ammad Khalid | 7 April 2024

I know. O level physics can be a huge drag. The syllabus might feel quite overwhelming, and certain topics can be fairly daunting due to their abstract nature or complex mathematical concepts. The key to overcoming these difficulties is to approach them with a positive mindset and a systematic study plan. It cannot be stressed enough on how big of a game changer an effective time table can be. Start by assessing your current knowledge and identifying weak concepts which require more attention and focus. Divide the syllabus into manageable chunks and allocate time to each topic based upon how strong or weak your concepts regarding the particular topic are. The hardest topics must be allocated the most time to ensure solid understanding before moving to easier topics. Remember, your timetable is just a tool to guide your study process. Be consistent, disciplined, and adaptable to make the most of your study sessions.  


The topic of what resource to use can be quite a nuisance. Some kid might say that resource x is the best. While, other says that he prefers resource y. You, as a learner, should only focus on this one simple question. “What resource fits me the best?” Remember, never miss classes and always make class notes. Explore different teachers and study from the one that suits your learning style. Go through different notes and discover your preferred style. You might understand one chapter best from one resource and another chapter from a different resource. Never predispose yourself to join coaching classes. School teachers and online resources are always sufficient to make the students capable enough to attempt the paper. I personally never felt the need to opt for coaching throughout my O-Levels or even through my recent AS. They can be highly irritating, binding you to a fixed studying cycle, where personal goals cannot be accomplished – not to mention the huge toll they have on mental and physical health. Join coaching classes when you are sure that the school teacher’s style does not suit you and you’d be better off with a different teacher.

Clarification and Practice:

It is absolutely essential to clarify a concept before moving on to a new one. Questions in exams often link different topics together, and not knowing a particular topic can mess up the whole question for you. If you do not understand something, ask your teacher, search online, ask a friend, or even head to Mojza’s own discord server to seek further help from your peers. It might be a hassle to do so, but the effort would be worth it in the end. 

When you are absolutely sure that you have learned everything regarding a particular topic, move to the topicals. These are past paper questions which have been compiled in a topic-wise sequence to allow practicing the particular topic and strengthen your grip on exam-style questions. It is advised to do topicals for 10 years, but based upon how much time you have, 5-7 years should also be sufficient. After every question, check for answers, find out the mistakes you made, and make sure you understand the logic behind the correct answer. Analyze your weaknesses, and register areas that might require revision or a rebuilding of the concept. The whole purpose of topicals is to familiarize you with the topic, so that you know what you’re up against in the exam hall. Reviewing each question and understanding it to the core is critical on the road to a good grade. Make sure to never move to the next question before you have completely understood the logic behind the previous one. 

New Additions to the Syllabus:

 I would like to take this opportunity to talk about some recent additions to the syllabus, mainly being the addition of two new topics: Momentum and Space Physics.

 The simpler of the two, momentum requires students to familiarize themselves with two very basic equations, one being the definition of momentum “Momentum = mass x velocity or p=mv”and secondly the definition of impulse “Impulse = force x time for which the force acts or Impulse = FΔt = Δ(mv)”. The impulse equation can similarly be rearranged to give another important equation: Resultant force = change in momentum/time taken    or     F = ∆p /∆t                         


The second topic, space physics, is a much more complex and substantial addition, and you can expect to encounter one question in Paper 2 and 2-3 questions in Paper 1 regarding the topic. Many notes and resources have been compiled for the topic by a number of well-known teachers.  It is advised that you go through the syllabus yourself and make sure that the resource you use covers all the content points in fair detail. It is absolutely essential that you memorize all the necessary definitions and formulas and are ready to apply these concepts to the questions you will encounter in the exam. Lastly, do not forget to go through the sample paper as well as the M/J and O/N 2023 papers to familiarize yourself with the type of questions that are going to be asked regarding momentum and space physics. Go through the marking schemes and make sure you understand the reasoning behind the answers and are exam-ready to face these questions. 

Tackling Different Papers:

 I personally find paper 1 a much more enthralling and challenging component, which tests the student’s knowledge regarding the syllabus more thoroughly. Giving this component a major chunk of your preparation time usually proves to be more beneficial and greatly develops the skills and techniques required to attempt paper 2, which is the highest weighted component in the syllabus.

 Scoring high marks in paper 2 is crucial to secure a good grade. Significant marks can be scored just by memorizing definitions and basic theories. Read each question carefully, and ensure you understand what is being asked. Pay attention to keywords and instructions such as “explain,” “describe,” “calculate,” or “compare.” This will help you provide relevant and targeted responses to the questions asked. In the problem-solving questions, clearly show your working, step by step. This allows the examiner to follow your thought process and understand how you arrived at your answer. Even if your final answer is incorrect, you can still gain partial marks for correct working. 

Paper 4, on the other hand, requires familiarization with experimental techniques and data analysis. It greatly requires the student to be accustomed to the paper pattern and attempt the questions using ideas on how they were answered in the previous marking schemes. They need to think practically and be aware of experimental limitations that might occur in the question they are answering. 

I cannot stress enough on how important past paper practice is for all these 3 components. Past papers not only help strengthen concepts but also familiarize you with the types of questions usually asked. The paper pattern remains more or less the same every year and past papers are what get you accustomed to it. Start as early as possible in order to have plenty of time to solve these papers. Never rush through past papers. Always prefer quality over quantity. Remember, a few well solved papers where you understand the reasoning behind your answers and learn from your mistakes are much better than a larger number of solved papers with little to no learning. 


  • After you have got accustomed to the paper pattern, start timing your papers. You may not finish on time at the start, but soon your skills will have reached such a level that you’ll easily be able to finish your papers in time. Find out the parts you spend the most time on, and work on how to overcome this problem. Time management is an essential skill that most students overlook, costing them dearly in the exam hall. Never stop at a question for more than a few minutes. Remember, the paper has been designed to allow you to score an A*. Where there are difficulties in a question, there are bound to be easier parts as well. 
  • Another useful tip that I wish someone would have told me in my O-Levels is the ability to identify the need to convert units. I was always puzzled on why the marking scheme had decided to convert gram into kg in one question while leaving it as it is in another question. Only after reaching A-Levels have I come to find out about the topic of SI base quantities and their units, the relevant ones being length (meter), time (seconds) and mass (kilograms). Whenever you encounter a numerical, make sure the relevant quantities are in the above mentioned units and convert them accordingly before performing a calculation. 
  • A super helpful tip regarding displacement/velocity/acceleration graphs is to remember this particular pattern. The gradient of the displacement-time graph gives velocity, while the gradient of the velocity-time graph gives acceleration. Similarly, the area under the acceleration-time graph gives velocity, while the area under the velocity-time graph gives displacement. Remembering this can help avoid confusion a lot of the time. 
  • Make sure to not focus on a single subject excessively. A number of students tend to devote a major chunk of their preparation time to weaker subjects which ends up taking a heavy toll on their preparation for other subjects. It is essential that you give an optimal amount of time to each subject and prepare them to a level at which you are confident enough to sit in the exam hall. Remember, you have 5 subjects to prepare, not 1.   
  • Lastly, I would like to shed some light for the O1 and O2 students. Starting O-Levels may feel quite overwhelming, but don’t let it get into your head. You are starting at the very bottom, and slowly but surely, you will learn everything. Stay focused in classes, and clarify your concepts. Make sure you understand everything that the teacher says. You should not be in a hurry to start topicals or past papers. Just make sure you understand everything. Your mind will adapt to the system after some time. More importantly, focus on the 3 subjects you have to give in O2, namely Islamiyat, Urdu and Pak. Studies. Do not completely neglect the sciences, but don’t let them overwhelm you either. Maintain a balance between the two halves, and always stay vigilant. Good luck with your prep!

Author: Muhammad Ammad Khalid
Proofreader: Syed Muhammad Shaheer Ali


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Published: 07 April 2024
Last Updated: 07 April 2024
Written by: Muhammad Ammad Khalid