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Physics Apps Reviews

appsThere are increasing numbers of apps becoming available which claim to help you revise for your Physics exams. These vary in cost from free to tend of pounds. We have looked at most of them to judge how useful they might be to St Albans School students.

Top Recommendation
bpThe best package we have seen, by far, is birchfield Physics 14-16. This covers pretty much all the material on the IGCSE course and contains explanations, animations and tests in a format that is attractive and easy to digest. At 17.99 it is about the same price as a textbook, but the ability to consult it anywhere and the animations make it well worth the money, in our view.

Worth a look

gpodThis is already beginning to look a bit clunky, being designed for ipods rather than smart phones or tablets, but the content is reasonably good. What you get is a audio summary of some of the more difficult GCSE topics, accompanied by key graphics (still images only). Not bad to listen to  on the bus, but the cost can add up if you buy lots of units.

ricemansRiceman's Physics notes is written for the IB Physics course, but it contains at least as much as you need to know for A level. It takes the form of an electronic textbook that you can add your own annotations to. 14 chapters cover the full sweep of the subject, but the bad news is that only two of them are free - the others cost 4.99 each, making this pretty expensive if you go for the whole book.

Best avoided
Everything else, really. There are lots of apps which are designed to test you on various topics, usually in a multiple choice format, but so far none of them are aligned with the IGCSE specification and the level of questioning is very basic. They may well be appropriate for weaker students studying GCSE sciences, but are too simple to raise the achievement of our typical students. The story at A level is broadly similar, topic coverage is cursory and questions are generally trivial.

You would be better off spending your time doing questions out of your textbook!

Website sections

IGCSE
A level
Stephen Hawking Society

Useful links

New Scientist
Scientific American
Hyperphysics
Schoolphysics.co.uk
Google
Wikipedia

M. Guy 2013