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AQA A-Level Physics: Maximising Student Outcomes in the Exam Papers

Course Code:


Irrespective of how well staff prepare students for the AQA exam papers in A-Level Physics, each year many marks are lost because of poor exam technique or quite simply students not knowing exactly what a question is asking for. This new course will look at the different types of questions featured across the 3 exam papers and how the initial reading and dissecting of a question is key to actually answering the question in the way that the question setter intended it to be answered. There will be examples of answers from across a range of units to illustrate the differences between high scoring answers and mediocre answers, which, when grade boundaries are very ‘tight’, could mean the loss of one or more grade. Other common exam technique errors will also be addressed, and strategies introduced to help students monitor improvement in their exam technique. A methodology for marking, grading and evaluating student work will be introduced.


  • Identify the main areas where students lose marks when answering exam questions
  • Identify the range of question types across all three exam papers
  • Focus on how to extract information from a question to allow access to all the marks available
  • Analysing how; a lack of examples, repetition of information, failure to focus n key terms, insufficient points and vague comments can impact the final outcome
  • Develop strategies for student self-monitoring and evaluation of their exam technique
  • Develop an understanding of accurate staff and peer marking


Introduction to Ways to Prepare Students for Examination

10.00 – 11.00am
  • l Overview of good practice in preparation for any exam series; reflection, knowledge and skills audit, action plan, set targets and reflect/review regularly using trackers, long term planning, question matrix per each topic/paper, revision aids
  • Using historical centre-based information to address issues with the current cohort
  • Identifying the common pitfalls that students make at both ends of the ability spectrum and ways to avoid this

Morning Break

11.00 – 11.15am

Exploring the Different Type of Questions Across the Exam Papers

11.15 – 12.30pm
  • Identifying the range of question types; multiple choice, short structured, longer structured, data response and extended synoptic questions
  • Developing student’s exam skills; scaffolding, fill in gaps, part paragraphs, so-called model answers, write a mid-band response, structure strips, essay feedback sheets, using technology (visualisers), and developing literacy
  • Deepening the understanding of command words and the impact on an answer and subsequent marks gained when the command word in a question is not accurately addressed


12.30– 1.30pm

Extracting the Correct Information from the Question

1.30 – 2.30pm
  •  A question is more than just a test of subject knowledge – how to ensure that students dissect a question correctly
  • Strategies to standardise the dissection of a question across different units, irrespective of the member of staff delivering the area of the specification
  • Strategies for selecting appropriate content and utilising effective presentation for both structured and extended synoptic questions
  • How students can monitor their own exam technique in homework and assessment tasks

Afternoon Break

2.30 – 2.45pm

Accurate Staff and Peer Marking

2.45 – 3.30pm
  •  How to approach teaching A-Level exam skills with confidence
  • The use of appropriate and meaningful annotation to give students the greatest amount of accurate information to help them improve their answers



London | Thursday 07 December 2023
London | Friday 22 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Thursday 07 December 2023
London | Friday 22 March 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Alessio Bernardelli has over 18 years of teaching experience and has worked as Head of KS3 Science and Head of Physics. He also worked as Science Subject Lead at TSL Education (TES) and as National Support Programme Partner in Wales with CfBT. He has recently completed an MSc in Teacher Education at the University of Oxford, he is a Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) and a Chartered Physicist (CPhys), as well as a Senior Facilitator with STEM Learning.


  • Heads of Science Departments
  • Teachers who deliver any of the units for AQA A-Level Physics


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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