British Physics Olympiad Intermediate Physics Challenge (Year 11)

Intermediate Physics Challenge (Year 11)

new - IPC Online Competition - open Monday 31st Jan to Friday 4th Feb 2022
There are now two competitions at this level. The IPC Online Competition takes place at the end 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 less confident students to take part in a national physics competition. The second competition is the IPC (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. Intermediate Physics Challenge Online NEW
Competition date: can be sat anytime during the week Monday 31st Jan to Fri 4th Feb 2022 under teacher supervision.
Entry deadline: 5pm Friday 28th Jan 2022

Competition details

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

2. Intermediate Physics Challenge Competition
This is the traditional paper based problem solving competition.
Competition date: Friday 11th March 2022
Entry deadline: Monday 7th March 2022
Papers returned: ONLY the Gold Award papers are to be returned to the BPhO by Friday 29th March

Competition details

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


This is a single, one-hour paper that is suitable for Year 11 students (GCSE, Standard Grade or equivalent level). The paper includes multiple-choice and short answer sections that aim to test students’ knowledge and understanding of basic physics principles. The paper is suitable for students who have studied GCSE Science + Additional Science or GCSE Physics or equivalent.
Over 6000 students take part in the competition each year.

In 2021, the Competition was run as an online multiple choice competition. 4700 students from 204 schools participated.

Report on the Intermediate Physics Challenge March 2021 Intermediate Physics Challenge Report March 2021.pdf

Preparation should be by working through four past papers (available in past papers)

Teachers may use questions from past papers in their regular teaching, and are encouraged to do so.

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