How to Nail your IB Physics Exam

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Nail that IB Physics Exam!

A 7 in IB Physics is always a tough ask. Here, with our IB expert Steve, we give our top tips on how IB Physics students can best prepare for their final IB Physics exam.

Steve is a former Vice-Principal with over 20 years of Physics teaching experience and now a TutorsPlus Physics tutor.

Here are his top tips in this 7-minute video or a brief summary in the article below. Note – this article relates to the the syllabus with last examinations in 2024.

1. Look at the syllabus, work out what you need to revise next, find the gaps.  

This means going through it all, from start to finish, and making sure there are no blind spots. The challenge is, to be honest with yourself, then make sure you really tackle those weak spots in your IB Physics exam. 

Use the syllabus as a checklist and go through it to make sure you have covered every aspect of the course. 
 2. Dive into the weak areas until you have everything 100% 

 Have you asked yourself “I understand that, I get that, I see how that is related to that, so why can’t I answer the questions?” 

  • If that is the case the answer is you need more practise applying what you know to the exam. Keep working on past papers. 
  • Get used to applying what you have learnt to all elements of the exam, long answers, short answers, multiple choice etc  

 If your mock results were disappointing, this may be why. Steve recommends taking the question that you dropped the most marks and go back to the curriculum.  Work through it until you are an expert at it.   

Then go onto the next question that you didn’t get right. Work from the bottom upwards until you are confident in each area. 

If you need more help, work with a tutor or a revision buddy or your class teacher until you understand it. 
3. To get a top score don’t walk away from your IB Physics exam leaving marks on the table.    

What do I mean by that? Getting a 7 in the IB in any subject is tough, so to increase your chances you need to make sure you give an answer that has the possibility of getting all the marks available. 

Soiit is a big 6 mark question, you need to do more than just a sentence or two answer.  Steve advises; think back after we have given our answer.  How many marks for this one?  I’ve got one for that, I’ve got one for that,  what else are they looking for?”   In this way, you can come away with the full 6 marks.

You have done the work, so it is essential not to leave the answer until you have done your best to capture all the available marks. 
4. Make sure the explanations are detailed enough. 

Most marks are lost in the explanations.  At first, it is about getting the calculations right, but when you reach the final exams it is about the explanation.   

Ask yourselfhave I given a detailed enough explanation to secure all the marks for that question?  

Again, it is about looking at the marks available and checking you have answered in sufficient detail to bag all of them!  

To book HL or SL IB Physics revision with Steve, get in touch with one of our team, or call us on 022 731 81 48.    Get a 7 in IB Physics!

To find out about our IB revision courses click here. 

You can also email us at  

He is happy to do IB Physics revision lessons of an hour a week in the run-up to those final HL or SL exams.   

Steve is also available for general Physics tutoring.   

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