ASSURE Educational Services, an online learning firm in Nigeria, is poise to assist students preparing for the SSCE (WASSCE and NECO; MAY/JUNE and NOV/DEC) Physics Practical. Physics Practical could be regarded as the practical involvement of candidates in the process of investigation, collection and analysis of data and a test of candidate’s ability to carry-out instructions.

    Candidates are required to answer two questions out of the three questions supplied. Each question is marked on a total of 25 marks (totaling 50marks for practical) under the following different sub-headings: Observations; Graph; Slope; Deductions; Accuracy; Precautions and short-answer questions.
    Observation are data collected in the process of carrying out the investigation. There are two types of observation, namely: the fundamental and the derived observation.
    Fundamental data (observations) are collected direct from the investigation, e.g. reading a meter rule directly, say x = 3m
    Derived data (observations), as the name implies are derived from the fundamental data, example 1/x , x2 i.e. 1/3, 32

    S/N X(cm) X-1
    1 3.0 0.333
    2 4.0 0.250
    3 5.0 0.200

i. Any direct reading from the apparatus used (e.g. meter rule, stop clock, ammeter, voltmeter, etc) must be recorded to at least 1 decimal place (see table above)
ii. Any reading from the vernier caliper must be recorded to 2 decimal places.
iii. All values from tables, reciprocals, sine, cosine, logarithms, etc – must be recorded to at least 3 decimal places (see table above)
iv. There must be consistency in the decimal places per column of value (see table above)
v. Units must be attached to the fundamental data (see table above)
vi. It is very important to note that what makes the above data correct is the increasing values of X(cm) as X-1 decreases (see table). The examiner looks out for this and marks accordingly.

  1. GRAPH:
    (i) For scales to be reasonable, graph must occupy at least 1/3 (one-third) of graph page.
    (ii) Scales using multiples or sub-multiples of prime numbers such as 3, 7, 9, 13, etc are not acceptable.
    (iii) To obtain the suitable line of best fit mark, at least three points must be correctly plotted
  2. SLOPE: – The slope, s, is a measure of the change in y (dy) to that of x (dx), i.e. dy/dx
    (i) Choose two points, far apart and draw a right-angled triangle that occupies at least 1/3 (one-third) of graph.
    (ii) The larger the triangle, the more the accuracy of the slope.
  3. PRECAUTION: – For an accurate experimental results, certain basic precautions must have to be taken. These are:
    (i) Repeated Reading: Certain readings or data could be collected a number of times and their average values taken. When a candidate repeats readings, he/she is ensuring that any errors that may have occurred in the reading are corrected. When a candidate state repeated readings as precaution, candidate must show it in the table of values.
    (ii) Parallax Error: This is an apparent change in the position of an object caused by change of the position of the observer.
    (iii) Zero Error: In some instruments, the zero points may be faulty, e.g. in meter rule, the zero ends may have been worn out as a result of long usage or in voltmeter, the pointer may not point exactly at the zero mark when not in use. This could lead to a systematic error. One of the method of eliminating zero error is to add or subtract the difference from the value recorded.
  4. Download Sample Physics Practical Question (Alternative to Practical) below:
  5. Provide solutions to the above question and scan to [email protected] . Our in-house instructor can help guide you and provide necessary information to perfect your skills in physics practical.

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