Physics: Level 3

Qualification - NCEA level 3

Course Outline:

The Level 3 Physics course is designed to follow on from Level 2 Physics. It covers three main areas of physics: waves, mechanics, and electricity and magnetism.

Practical work is an important part of Physics and students will develop skills in designing, carrying out and analysing experiments. Students need to have a sound grasp of Level 2 Mathematics to cope with Level 3 Physics.

The course will also allow students to sit the NCEA Scholarship Examination.


This course is appropriate for students who have gained Merit passes in the Mechanics and Electricity and Electromagnetism external Achievement Standards at Level 2. Alternatively, students may discuss their entry to Physics in Year 13 with the HoD of Physics. 


Scholarship examinations enable candidates to be assessed against challenging Standards and are demanding for the most able candidates in each subject. Scholarship candidates are expected to demonstrate high-level critical thinking, abstraction and generalisation, and to integrate, synthesise and apply knowledge, skills, understanding and ideas to complex situations.

Questions may be asked within a variety of appropriate contexts, some of which may be unfamiliar to the candidates. Some questions may involve extended discussion, where the candidate needs to judge what is required. Questions relating to practical work may include discussions of sources of error, reliability of data collected, and validity of conclusions drawn.

Physics Level 3