Why Is Physics A level So Hard?

Education concept. Student studying and brainstorming campus con

After picking their A levels, many students are shocked to find how hard A level physics actually is. In fact, a chunk of the class either drop it or swap it for another subject within the first couple of weeks of starting the course. So why is physics A level so hard? Let’s find out!

Mathematical concepts

Many people who struggle with physics find it difficult to get their head around the mathematical concepts involved in this subject. If you find maths challenging or haven’t picked maths alongside your physics A level to aid you, this is where you may drop a grade or two.

Maths is a big part of physics A level whether you like it or not, so if this isn’t your strong suit, then you might want to consider picking a different A level. Physics isn’t all about learning about the stars in the sky and atoms in everyday objects – it’s incredibly complex, and even the most intelligent students can struggle with it.

It requires a lot of work

One area in which many students fall down with A level physics is that they struggle to grasp how much work they need to put into this subject. As arguably one of the most challenging and demanding A levels alongside the other branches of science and maths, physics requires a considerable amount of a student’s attention.

If students fail to recognise this – as they commonly do – then their exam result will show this. A lot of students aren’t willing to revise consistently throughout the year, have the services of a A Level physics tutor online, watch videos or ask teachers about certain things they don’t understand and practice past paper after past paper: but this is what you need to do to get the grade you want A level physics.

A decent grade won’t come easy for the average student in this subject, and the step up from GCSE is immense.

A teacher smiling at camera in classroom

The difficulty of the exam questions


Much like A level chemistry in this respect, physics requires you to have an understanding of the concepts rather than mesmerisation when it comes to tackling the majority of the exam questions. This may be difficult for a lot of students since they will be used to applying just mesmerisation at GCSE rather than really understanding the physics behind what’s going on.

Whilst the content is extremely complex to start with, you will have to understand it rather than just memorise it in order to approach these pesky exam questions. With all sciences, there’s a lot of application questions where you’ll be expected to apply your knowledge in certain ways rather than just state what you’ve revised from the textbook.

Examiners want to see how you can use your academic knowledge in real-life situations rather than just memorising basic facts.

If you’re thinking about choosing A level physics at college, just be aware that this is one of the most academic and difficult subjects to study. This isn’t to say that you can’t succeed in it – you just have to be hardworking, interested in the subject, and up for a challenge!

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at info@exam.tips or call us on 0800 689 1272.

If you, or your parents would like to find out more, please just get in touch via email at info@exam.tips or call us on 0800 689 1272