AQA AS and A-Level Physics Specification


A-Level Formulae Booklet

AS Formulae Booklet

Summary of the specification below



The reason you should be interested in the specification made for your course it that it outlines everything you must know for your exam, and exactly how you are going to be examined on what you are required to know. It provides the big picture to your A-level.

In all AQA science specifications there is now a big emphasis on practicals, so much so  that they have dedicated half of a paper to practical questions. The best way to practice this paper is through past papers and a good set of notes.

Specification at a glance


Your course is split into AS level content and A-level content. The A-level content is from topics 6-13; the AS content is from topics 1-5. Of the A-level content topic 6-8 are compulsory. Topics 9-13 are options, you will only complete one.

A-level content is only assessed in A-level exams, hence the name.

As you can see, you can sit AS assessments or A-level assessments. You do not need to sit AS assessments in order to get your A-level grade. The AS and A-level are completely separate qualifications from one another unlike previous specifications. So if you sit the AS qualification at the end of year 1 and do not do very well, it will not count towards the A-level exams you sit at the end of year 2, it will serve only as good practice and a marker for where your understanding of the subject is.

The AS assessments are both 1 hour 30 minutes long, both worth 70 marks and both will ask questions that have their origins in topics 1-5.

Paper 1

  • 70 marks of short and long answer questions on topics 1-5.

Paper 2 is split into three sections.

  • Section A: 20 marks testing practical and data analysis skills e.g. through experiment questions.
  • Section B: 20 marks of short and long answer questions similar to Paper 1.
  • Section C: 30 marks of 1 mark multiple choice questions

The A2 assessments are all 2 hours long. Paper 1 and 2 are worth 85 marks, Paper 3 is worth 80 marks. Thus, Paper 1 and 2 comprise 34% of your A-level, Paper 3 32%. Across the three papers – all content, AS and A-level, is tested.

Paper 1

  • Paper 1 assesses topics 1-5 and 6.1 through…
    • 60 marks of short and long questions.
    • 25 marks multiple choice questions.

Paper 2

  • Paper 2 assesses topics 6.2, 7 and 8 through…
    • 60 marks of short and long questions.
    • 25 marks multiple choice questions.

Paper 3

  • Paper 3 assesses topics 1-8 plus your optional module.
    • Section A: 45 marks testing practical and data analysis skills.
    • Section B: 35 marks on your optional module eg Astrophysics.










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