If you have further questions, you can try the Exams and Feedback FAQs.

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Exam Guidance & Regulations

Past Papers, Solution & Feedback

As agreed by the Teaching Committee, the department rule is to publish, at any point, the summer exam papers for the last 10 years. The solutions are published every three years and only three sets of solutions willl be made available. 

The papers provided here are up to date as of the relevant examination that candidates sat in April/May/June. If any corrections were made to the paper during the examination, where possible the corrected paper is provided. If later revisions of the examination papers are received, the date of upload will be noted next to the relevant paper.

View past exam papers from 2013 to 2023 


These model answers are provided as a guide to students as to what is expected in a good solution to an examination question.  Due to the process by which they have been compiled it is unavoidable that there will be a few cases for which the model answer given here does not match the question asked in the final form of the examination paper.

View model solutions 


The general exam feedback is normally provided by the question setters after the summer exams. It is a summary of how students have performed in the summer exams. 

View summer exam paper feedback from 2016 to 2022. 

Comprehensives Exams

Our Comprehensive Papers have a long tradition in the Physics Department. It is the main method by which students are tested on their grasp of how to apply the laws of physics in mostly unfamiliar situations.  Being a test of ‘thinking on your feet’, the Comprehensives are highly valued by employers and research groups, so a good result is sure to give tutors something to shout about in writing references!

By their nature, they can look quite challenging at the start of the year. The only route to success is practice, practice, practice. To help you on your way, we have compiled an archive of recent Comprehensive Papers for you to try for yourself. Some papers have model solutions so you can see the style and detail of solution expected.

The past papers can be found here - View past exam papers from 2012 to 2022

Format of Comprehensives Exam

The exam consists of two papers. Each paper has a duration of 2.5 hours.

Paper 1: 5 compulsory questions.
Paper 2: answer 3 out of 6 questions.

In terms of the length of the questions, questions in paper 2 will be of similar length to the questions in the archive of Comprehensive papers. Questions in paper 1 will be typically shorter than in the archived papers. In order to reflect this difference, questions are marked out of 20 marks in paper 1 and out of 30 marks in paper 2.

The marks from the two papers will be rescaled to so that the two papers are weighted equally in the final examination mark.

The examination covers the core course of the degree curriculum including the Statistics and Measurement module.

There are two Year 3 core modules, Solid State Physics and Nuclear & Particle Physics. The examiners do not expect detailed knowledge of these two courses. However, it should be noted that some basic concepts in these area are covered in other courses.

  • The concept of a Fermi surface in the nearly free model in Solid State Physics is covered in Statistical Physics when the Fermi-Dirac distribution is introduced.
  • The energetics of a nuclear reaction can be understood by the relationship between mass and energy from Special Relativity.

The examiners may also introduce unseen examples from these areas of physics to test understanding of concepts studied in other courses.

Useful documents


Timetable & Exam Support

The Summer Examinations Timetable is created every year based on the year 3 & 4 options selected by students. The Year 1 & 2 exams are usually fixed but still subject to changes. The Exams Timetabling Policy is considered when creating the timetable. 

We expect to publish the provisional timetable by November each year. The finalised timetable, whch includes the location, is usually published at the end of term 2. The finalised timetable should include the main location for each exam. Candidates who have confirmed Additional Exam Arrangement provisions and have been assigned an individual room will be contacted via email to confirm their examination venues.

For the Examinations Timetable, please see the 'Timetables' section of the Physics website.

The timetable for the August-September exam period is usually publised around late July. 

Useful links

Exam Contacts

Most examination enquiries can be answered using the materials on the Physics webpages, however, if you have further questions please see the list of contacts below:

General examinations enquiries should be directed to the Examinations and Information Officer, Victor Urubusi

Email: v.urubusi@imperial.ac.uk 
Phone: 020 7594 7508
Office: 313A, Blackett Laboratory

During the examinations season, if you have an urgent enquiry (for example, on the day of an exam you arrive in College and are unsure where the exam is taking place) and the Examinations and Information Officer is not available, please contact the Undergraduate Office:

Office: 317, Blackett Laboratory
Phone: 020 7594 7510 / 020 7594 7511

For enquiries about study support, mitigating circumstances and other welfare issues, contact the Senior Tutor, Dr Ingo Mueller-Wodarg:

Email: ph.stutor@imperial.ac.uk
Phone: 020 7594 7524
Office: 308, Blackett Laboratory

For enquiries about additional examination arrangements, contact Mery Fajardo:

Email: m.fajardo@imperial.ac.uk
Phone: 020 7594 7513
Office: 306, Blackett Laboratory

Exams FAQ

For futher exams related questions, please visit the Exams and Feedback FAQs page.