Physics 19/04/2023

Physics GCSE – Summary of examiner reports


This blog provides a summary of the examiner reports for the Physics GCSE Science papers.

The large amount of content in the 9-1 Science GCSEs was already a challenging experience for both students and teachers, even before the pandemic caused widespread disruption to education. This year’s GCSE Science exams will be the first since 2019 where the full content set will be assessed.

Ofqual is managing a return to normal this summer. It has confirmed that there will be no advance information for GCSE students and expects that GCSE results this summer will be much closer to the pre-pandemic years than those since 2020. Grade boundaries are expected to move back towards levels last seen in 2019. The links below provide tables of grade boundaries that year:

As this summer’s GCSE Science exams will be the first since 2019 where the full content set will be assessed, examiners’ reports from that time will be especially useful as a diagnostic tool to help teachers provide targeted guidance to students.

This blog provides a summary of the examiners’ reports for both the 2018 and 2019 Physics papers. Next to each point, we highlight the relevant year. It covers both combined science and the separate sciences, foundation tier and higher tier. We have used the examiner reports prepared for the AQA exam board, but the same lessons apply to students taking Edexcel and OCR exams.



In 2019 it was necessary to learn all of the ‘recall and apply’ equations on the physics equation sheet (available directly from a student’s video dashboard on My GCSE Science). For 2023 only, however, an equations sheet will be provided for all GCSE Physics papers.

For comprehensive advice on equations, read this blog: Blog: Equations in GCSE Physics.


We’ve split the examiners’ comments into four broad (and overlapping) categories: Key exam skills, Maths and graph skills, Required practicals and Subject areas for development.


Key exam skills

The errors above can be addressed by using My GCSE Science to help improve students’ exam technique. My GCSE Science long-form exam-style questions and corresponding mark schemes help students build an in-depth understanding of each topic while at the same time developing exam technique.

Our teachers have also written blogs that deal directly with exam skills. They cover all of the issues raised by the examiners and are free to access on


Maths and graph skills

Our teachers have written blogs that deal directly with maths and graph skills. They cover all of the issues raised by the examiners and are available free on


Required practicals

It’s clear that, in preparing students for the 2023 exams, a focus on the teaching and learning of required practicals continues to be essential for all schools.

My GCSE Science complements lab demonstrations with learning videos on each of the required practicals. These videos are useful as preparation ahead of a class demonstrations and can also be used for revision. Our exam-style questions on practicals thoroughly test students’ knowledge and help prepare them for the exams. All videos on required practicals are available by clicking on the PRACTICALS button at the top of the video dashboard, or by using the SEARCH function.

In addition, our teachers have prepared a number of blogs that deal directly with the issues raised by examiners and summarised above. The blogs are invaluable sources of advice on required practicals and graph skills, for teachers and students alike. They are available free on


Subject areas for development



My GCSE Science

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