British Physics Olympiad Senior Physics Challenge (Year 12)

Senior Physics Challenge (Year 12)

new - SPC Online Competiion open Monday 24th - Friday 31st January 2022
There are now two competitions at this level. The SPC Online Competition takes place in the last week of January. It consists of two half-hour sets of multiple choice questions which are largely about physics ideas, but also encouraging some wider reading and interest in the subject. It is an opportunity for students to take part in a national physics competition and to develop their confidence in the subject. The second competition is the SPC (on paper), which is our traditional problem based set of questions. This is not merely for the very top students, but for all those who like to engage in problem solving questions and developing those skills. The best preparation is through working through some past papers which available here on this website.

1. Senior Physics Challenge Online NEW
Competition date: can be sat anytime during the week Monday 24th to Fri 28th Jan 2022 under teacher supervision.
Entry deadline: 5pm Friday 21st Jan 2022

Competition details

Cost: £20 for a school entry of up to 500 students
Prizes: Certificates

2. Senior Physics Challenge Competition
This is the traditional paper based problem solving competition.
Competition date: Friday 4th March 2022
Entry deadline: Monday 28th Feb 2022
Papers returned ONLY the Gold Award papers are to be returned to the BPhO by Friday 18th March

Competition details

Cost: free
Prizes: Certificates (and books on some occasions)


The Senior Physics Challenge for Year 12 students is an exciting opportunity for students to stretch their problem solving skills and apply fundamental physical principles to novel situations. The AS Challenge is a single, one-hour paper that provides an excellent tool to assess and challenge students’ ability to work at a high level in Key Stage 5 and beyond. It consists of several short questions followed by one or two longer questions that test only core subject knowledge and application. Little knowledge of new Year 12 topics is required, whilst the style of questions is more advanced than students will generally be acquainted with. The study of four past papers is recommended in order to ensure that students are prepared for the challenge. Past papers
Over 6000 students take part in the competition each year.

In 2021, the Competition was run as an online multiple choice competition. 5300 students from 380 schools participated.

Report on the Senior Physics Challenge March 2021 (revised v1) Senior Physics Challenge Report March 2021 rev1.pdf

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