OCR Advanced GCE in Physics A (H558)

OCR A2 Physics A builds upon the work done at AS level, while also introducing students to the latest developments in physics. Newton's Laws are developed to include momentum, before forces themselves are generalised into abstract fields of force in order to understand gravitational, electric and magnetic interactions. Classical thermodynamic ideas lead to a greater understanding of heat and gases, while work already done on the newer quantum theory is added to through a study of nuclear and particle physics. GCSE ideas of the Big Bang theory are widened into an introduction to the ideas of cosmology and applications of physics in medicine are visited through a study of imagining techniques such as CT and MRI.


See the G484 The Newtonian World and G485 Fields, Particles and the Frontiers of Physics pages.

Practical skills

You will be assessed under three categories: Qualitative skills, Quantative skills and Evaluative skills. Each year, OCR release three practical tasks under each of these three categories (ie nine altogether). You have to attempt at least one from each category, but your teacher may encourage you to try all three. Your best mark in each category is submitted.

See G486 Practical Skills in Physics 2 for more details.


H558 is composed of three assessments:

You can be entered for the exams in January or in May/June.

Your remaining 50% credit comes from the AS units G481 Mechanics, G482 Electrons, Waves and Photons and G483 Practical Skills in Physics 1.

Grades available

Grades obtainable run from A* to E. Your overall grade is decided by the number of uniform marks you attain over the six assessed units:

Grade A B C D E U
UMS 600-480 479-420 419-360 359-300 299-240 230-0

"U" means "unclassified" and is not certificated.

To be awarded an A*, you need to achieve a grade A on your full A Level qualification overall (ie above 480 UMS in total over all six units) and also gain at least 270 UMS out of the 300 UMS available from the three A2 units.

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