HE Exams Wiki
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This page focuses on IGCSE/GCSE Physics Other relevant pages:

Physics Practicals

Science A levels (includes information on practical endorsements for A level)

Science (for an overview of the options)

Alternative Qualifications (see Science and Engineering section)

Physics - FAQs

Can I do GCSE Physics?

For most home educators, GCSE Physics is not an option and they must do IGCSE. GCSE physics does not have a practical exam, BUT the head of the exam centre has to sign a form saying that every candidate has been offered the opportunity to carry out all core practicals at the centre. Most centres won't do this for external candidates.

Do I need to complete practicals for IGCSE Physics?

Although there is no practical exam in IGCSE Physics, an understanding of practical work is necessary. Both specifications have a list of core practicals that the candidate is required to understand, but no form has to be signed to say these have been done/observed making the specifications easier for private candidates to access. IGCSE physics specifications have 'alternative to practicals' questions as part of the written exam papers.  Carrying out practicals will help with understanding but it is not a requirement, videos can be found of most experiments - the Physics Practicals page offers ideas and support.

Edexcel International GCSE Physics

This is a popular choice among home educators, as it is often easier to find an exam centre in the UK for Edexcel exams.

Edexcel International GCSE Physics page and specification

  • Exams from: June 2019
  • Available in June and January (until 2023) and November (from 2023)
  • Specification code: 4PH1

Subject Content

The Edexcel International GCSE Physics has 8 topics:

  1. Forces and motion
  2. Electricity
  3. Waves
  4. Energy resources and energy transfers
  5. Solids, liquids and gases
  6. Magnetism and electromagnetism
  7. Radioactivity and particles
  8. Astrophysics


100% exam based.

  • Paper 1 - 2hrs - 110 marks - 61.1%
    • A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
    • Will include questions about practicals
    • Covers topics 1 - 8 but only the content that is listed in the syllabus not in bold
    • Can use a calculator
  • Paper 2 - 1hr 15 minutes - 70 marks - 38.9%
    • A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
    • Will include questions about practicals
    • Covers topics 1 - 8 all content listed in syllabus (bold and not bold)
    • Can use a calculator


If you are not sure what textbooks or revision books to buy, or where to find answers, please ask on the HE exams and alternatives group You only need one student textbook and one is not better than the others, it is personal preference.

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Student Textbooks for Edexcel IGCSE Physics

You only need one of these

(Pearson) Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Physics Student Book (2017) by Arnold, Woolley and Johnson.

(Hodder) Edexcel International GCSE Physics Student Book Second Edition (2017) by England

(Collins) Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Physics Student Book (Edexcel International GCSE (9-1)) (2017).

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Practical workbook

Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Physics Student Lab Book: Exam practice and further application (2019) Not essential, but some families have found it helpful

Workbooks and Revision books for Edexcel IGCSE Physics

Revision books and workbooks aren't essential, but some students find them helpful. There are lots of options below and you don't need to buy all of them!

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(Hodder) Edexcel International GCSE Physics Workbook (2017) by England and Thomas

My Revision Notes: Edexcel International GCSE (9–1) Physics Phy (2018) by Horsewell


CGP offer a large range of revision resources and workbooks. Some people find CGP revision books cluttered, and other people love them. Take a look on the 'look inside' feature of Amazon to see whether they will suit your child.

Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Physics: Revision Guide with Online Edition (2107) designed for revision, but can also give a useful overview of each topic as it is being studied.

Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Physics: Exam Practice Workbook (includes Answers) (2017) A workbook to accompany the above revision book. Can be useful for testing knowledge before progressing to whole exam papers.

Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Physics: Complete Revision & Practice with Online Edition (2107) This book combines the CGP revision guide with some questions (fewer questions than if buying the exam practice workbook). There might be some overlap with the above books.

Edexcel International GCSE Physics: Grade 8-9 Targeted Exam Practice Workbook (with answers) (2017) questions for students aiming for the top grades.

New Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Physics: Revision Question Cards (2019) Note these are NOT flash cards of topic summaries, but are question cards. Not essential, but might be useful for some students.

Grade 9-1 Edexcel International GCSE Physics: 10-Minute Tests (with answers) (2018) Again, not essential, but a possible tool for some students.

Exam board resources

The Teaching and Learning materials on the specification page has topic guides, mapping documents, exemplars, past training and getting started guides which are really helpful.

Past papers can be accessed through the specification page or here. Papers with an R suffix were available in a different time zone. They are the same specification and can be used as practice. Paper 1P will also have Double Award listed on the front - this is because the same paper is used for both qualifications - those sitting IGCSE Physics sit 1P and 2P, those sitting Double Award Science sit 1B, 1C and 1P.

You can use questions from the past papers of the 2011 syllabus for practice, but be mindful of any minor changes in the syllabus that happened when updated in 2017. There is a mapping document on the 2017 specification page, (2016 - Word Doc) which describes changes and additions from the previous 2011 specification which might be helpful.

Other resources

Ben Ryder's YouTube Videos Note that these are for the old syllabus 4PH0

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Studymind Collected Exam Questions by topic - extremely useful for exam preparation and revision.

Cambridge (CAIE) IGCSE Physics (0625 and 0972)

The current specification exam code for A*-G grading is 0625. The equivalent specification for 9-1 grading is 0972 The syllabuses are identical, with the same exam content, just with different grading options (numerical or letter). Some exam centres will only enter students for 0972.

You can find the specifications, past papers and teaching and learning resources on the exam syllabus pages linked above.

Syllabus overview: The specification has three papers: a 1h Alternative to Practical, a 45 min Multiple Choice and a 1 hr 15 Theory paper. The multiple choice and theory exams used to be taken back to back (so effectively 2 hours), but for the past two years have been examined on separate days. CAIE science IGCSEs are tiered. This means that less able students can opt for the core tier, (papers 1, 3 and 6) but can only get a maximum grade of C or 5. More able students can opt for the higher (extended) tier (papers 2, 4 and 6) with the full grade range of 9-1

Resources for Cambridge IGCSE Physics [last updated Aug 2020]

Some books include answers, others don't. Some publishers will provide links to answers if you contact them. If you are not sure what textbooks or revision books to buy, or where to find answers, please ask on the HE exams and alternatives group ]

Student Textbooks for Cambridge IGCSE Physics

(Oxford University Press) Complete Physics for Cambridge IGCSE (2014) By Pople

(Cambridge University Press) Cambridge IGCSE® Physics Coursebook with CD-ROM (2014) By Sang

(Collins) Cambridge IGCSE Physics Student's Book (2014) By Bradley and Gardner

(Hodder)Cambridge IGCSE Physics 3rd Edition (Book & CD) (2014) by Duncan and Kennett


Physics Resources

For how to find past exam papers see Past Papers

Free courses and resources

Ben Ryder Physics YouTube collection of physics revision videos, tailored for each exam board.

Chris Gozzard Physics Videos - YouTube collection of physics revision videos for IGCSE and A-level. Cheerful voice!

Grade Gorilla - highly recommended by a home-ed physics tutor.

Home-ed practicals for IGCSE Physics - one family's notes on experiments which can easily be carried out at home.

Mrs Haroony Free IGCSE - GCSE Physics lessons - diagrams and pictures good, though electronic reading voice not to everyone's taste.

Seneca Learning - A free online learning platform that has courses in Physics for all of the exam boards, at both foundation and higher level.

Priority Learning - free worksheets and revision resources

Paid courses and other resources

See our page on course providers for science