Everything you need to know about Grade 12 Physical Sciences

By Lynne Arnott - 4 minute read

Physical sciences is widely regarded as one of the most challenging subjects in Grade 12. It has a large vocabulary of terms that need to be understood in context and relies on a strong mathematical foundation. Studyclix is here to help you navigate through this subject and make your exams easier.

In this guide:

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What is involved?

The Physical Science syllabus contains two distinct disciplines: physics and chemistry. They are tested through separate exams. While memorisation and definitions are crucial, they only account for 15% of the final examination. The majority of marks are awarded for analysing and applying your knowledge to solve unseen problems and extract information from scientific graphs. Additionally, you'll be evaluated on your ability to represent data and relationships visually.

The syllabus

Here is a breakdown of some topics to expect for the different exams:

Top Tip

The topics that will be assessed in each final examination paper are not limited to the topics above. To see all the topics that will be tested, look at the DBE examination guidelines.

The Exam

Both physics and chemistry are assessed by a 3-hour written exam and each paper is made up of:

  • Multiple choice questions worth 20 marks.

  • Structured questions worth 130 marks.

How to prepare for your Physical Sciences Exam

Learn your definitions

Learning all of the definitions is important not only for gaining marks but also for gaining a deeper understanding of the content. This will prepare you to pay attention to the nuances when answering a question.

Practice, practice, practice

Using past papers is an excellent method to prepare for the final matric examinations. Studyclix is a valuable resource as it provides DBE past papers for each section, grouped by topic and includes memos. These memos offer additional information to help students avoid common mistakes and clarify common misconceptions. This can help students avoid repeating mistakes unknowingly.

Students who get into good habits with drawing pictures and showing all of the working out are also likely to do better when answering questions than those who don’t.

Top Tip

Find all the past papers available at Studyclix here.

Use flashcards

Learn key concepts and dates through our interactive flashcards.

How do flashcards work?

Click through all of the flashcards you need to know in each topic using the 'previous' and 'next' buttons on the flashcards.

Want to mix it up? Hit the shuffle button. Looking to test yourself again? Do it by hitting restart. You can also share, print or view the full deck. It's all at your fingertips!

Find all the flashcards we have here.

Good luck with your exams, you've got this!

By Lynne Arnott

Lynne is a physical sciences teacher at Rondebosch Boys' High School. She is also a senior marker of DBE physical sciences exams. This, as well as her 15 years of teaching experience, add to her invaluable expertise in this subject and how to do well in the exams.

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