Phuket Thailand's best scuba diving (+66) 076 688 113
Strategies to Help You Through PADI IDC Physics Exam

Strategies to Help You Through PADI IDC Physics Exam

Strategies to Help You Through PADI IDC Physics Exam

In all the years I have been involved in IDCs, the Physics exam is by far the most common “stress causer” that effects IDC candidates. Sadly often, it is the mere thought of doing Physics, even just the word that deters some candidates more so than their ability to answer the question.

Often, when getting a question wrong the candidate will reply, “ I knew that, I don’t know why I didn’t do it”. A candidate could do that multiple times on an exam. The more times a student does that the more pressure builds for the next exam.

The good news is that PADI does not expect you to be a physics professor. They just want you to have a general knowledge of physics and apply it to scuba diving. They would like you to understand the cause and effect.

Some of the questions in the instructor exams are not that difficult. Some buoyancy questions can be no more than a division and a subtraction. It is no more difficult mathematics that we would do in day to day life.

Often it is not the complexity of the mathematics, it is more the state of mind of the candidate that gets in the way.

As you will see these strategies do not tell you how to answer the questions, they try to help you prepare for an exam and understand some of the topics involved in physics and scuba diving.

1. Think the question through

Most candidates get tied up with the mathematics of the question rather than what the question is asking.

Often when counseling candidates on the why they got the question wrong, the issue was that they went straight into answering the question, rather than understanding what the question is asking.

Take the time to work out what the question is asking. You can’t answer a question before you truly understand what the question is about.

One good way to understand a question is to place it into a practical application to everyday scuba diving. Most of the questions can relate to things that occur every time you dive. You just to find the likeness. For example, buoyancy and displacement is what allows a person to float on water. A lot of students elect to do the float when doing their PADI Open Water water skills. Partial pressure increase, density, increased air consumption also occur every time we dive.

If you can’t make a connection then ask you PADI Course Director for one. It is vital you understand what is going on before you can answer the question.

BIG TIP: Understand what is happening with the question before learning the mathematics of answering the question.

2. Draw the picture

I have either taught or done literally 1000’s of physics questions over the years. Virtually all of them I have drawn a picture. Not a little scribble, a full-page diagram with all of the possible details I can. This helps me visualize the answer before I start.

Of all of the tips I will give I think that this is one of the most important. It helps you understand the question and guides you to an approximate answer.

For example: The exams are littered with pressure and flexible container (balloon) questions. I draw different size balloons according to depth. I then know approximately what the size of the balloon should be which leads to the next tip.

Tonny Preparation IE Presentation Aussie Divers

Tonny Preparation IE Presentation Aussie Divers

3. Eliminate obvious wrong answer

Statistics and probabilities are wonderful things. All PADI I.E exams are multiple-choice and you have four answers to choose from. You have a one in four chance of getting the question correct.

What this means is, theoretically the law of averages would say that even if you knew nothing about Physics (or any other topic for that matter) and you guessed every question, the minimum you should get is 25%.

A lot of the PADI questions have one and more often two questions that are clearly wrong and easy eliminated. By understanding the question and drawing a picture, this becomes a much easier task. If you eliminate two of the answers you now have a 50% chance of getting the question correct.

So now, let us say you do know 60% of the physics (we would hope you do before I.E day) and you were able to eliminate two of the four answers of the remaining questions. You would have a 50% chance of getting those correct (20%) and you add that the 60% you do know and BAM! You have passed the exam.

What eliminating incorrect answers does is allows you to focus on the possible correct answers, which in turn makes your calculations a lot easier.

For the record, the most common reason candidates get questions incorrect is failing to convert kilograms to litres or visa versa or doing the question for saltwater instead of freshwater or visa versa. The later is usually reading the question incorrectly. Make sure you FW or SW is clearly marked on your diagram as well as litres or Kilograms.

4. Get the answers you know out of the way first

This is not a tip for physics exams but for any exam you do.

The PADI Instructor exams as with a lot of exams are timed. You will have 90 minutes to do the Standards exam which is 50 questions and 90 minutes to do the Theory exams which are 5 x 12 question exams.

A technique that I use is to go through the and do just the questions I know I will get correct. I will leave the ones I am not sure about and will mark them so I can return to them easily. Then what I do is go through the ones that cause me a little thinking and leave the difficult ones. Lastly, I come to the difficult ones and use the rest of my exam time to complete them.

Let’s isolate the Physics exam as an example. You have 90 minutes to five exams. That means you have 18 minutes for each of the five theory exams including the physics exam. Each exam has 12 questions and that means you have 1.5 minutes or 90 seconds per question. It does not sound like much but it is a good amount of time. If you stew over one question for 10 minutes it means you have 8 minutes left to answer 11 questions and that is about 44 seconds a question. You have blown half your allocated time on one question.

Some of the questions that you answer in the exam may only take you as long as it takes you to read the question and the possible answers. You will know the answer immediately. Other questions may require to do some calculation and may take a bit longer.

Often I see students getting hooked up on one question which takes away time from the other questions. There are some bad mindsets that come with getting hooked on a question too long. Not knowing how to answer a question can cause stress and that can affect the rest of the exam.

If you go through the exam and only answer the questions you know first, you may find that you have answered enough the pass the exam anyway. This can also provide tips in answering the question you are having trouble. All this placed you in a better mindset to complete the more difficult question. It clears the mind so to speak

This technique will make your exam a lot easier and should take a bit of stress out of doing exams in general.

For PADI IDC Physics Tips hit this link

PADI IDC Physics Tips

Scuba Mask and Regulator Aussie Divers

Scuba Mask and Regulator Aussie Divers

Posted in Instructor Pro IDC Tips on .

Living The Dream After Instructor Graduation

Finding work after becoming a Scuba Diving Instructor can sometimes be a daunting task, you are competing against people with much more experience who have been working in the industry longer. The best thing about doing your Instructor Course in Phuket is that there is almost always work for new instructors and Aussie Divers will help you to get it. We have awesome and varied post graduation programs, ranging from 'Ride Alongs' with our elite instructors to instructor internships where experience & responsibility can be had in real world environments with real customers, getting you the qualifications & certifications you need to be attractive to employers.

The absolute best way to ensure employability after you graduate to a fully fledged (OWSI) Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor is to continue your training with PADI, especially when it comes to the PADI instructor specialties we teach here at Aussie Divers. Once you have five Instructor specialties under your belt you will become an M.S.D.T or Master Scuba Diver Trainer, which looks much better on your diving resume'. Specialties include being able to teach the PADI Deep Diver (40m), Enriched Air Nitrox, PADI Wreck Diver, Sidemount Diver, Digital Underwater Photographer courses, plus many many more!

Instructor Specialty Courses
Sean PADI Divemaster Aussie Divers Phuket Instructor Pro IDC Tips

Aussie Divers Phuket – Extended Instructor Development Training

The PADI Instructor Development Course can be a full on and sometimes challenging and stressful course. There is quite a bit to get through, there is new information and new tasks and each day is jammed with things to do and learn. What we are offering now is some extra time spent with our professional dive time tailored to your needs. You can use this time to do a number of different things. Skill practice , theory practice, course assistance or just to do the IDC at a much more relaxed place. Your bread and butter course when you become a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor is the PADI Open Water Course. The open water [...]

Read The Story
Aussie Divers Phuket Rocky Divemaster Boat Endorsements

Rocky Powers

Growing up in Australia I have always been connected to the sand and surf, I am pretty sure I learnt how to swim before I learnt how to walk so it would be fair to say the water has always been apart of me. I remember my first discovery scuba session on chartered catamaran sailing the Great Barrier Reef in 2009 and seeing my first turtle. Its the small moments in life I appreciate and I will always treasure, nature in the natural. I have always been a traveller, my first Europe trip in 2014 I dived the Greek islands and Spain. From then I knew I always want to be apart of this world but It wasn’t until 2016 I took the direction o [...]

Read The Story

Simplifying your PADI IDC Choices

Aussie Divers Phuket - Instructor Development Course Simplifying your PADI IDC Choices · Be a certified diver for at least 6 months · Be at least 18 years of age · Be a PADI Divemaster or equivalent from other agency · 60 logged dives to start 100 to be certified (let us know if you do not have 100 logged dives) · Experience in Navigation dives, night dives and deep dives · Have Emergency First Response Training or equivalent with CPR Training completed in the last 24 months · Have a medical certificate not older than 12 month and must be signed by a doctor Dates for [...]

Read The Story

The Best Instructor Development Center In Thailand

Here at Aussie Divers IDC Phuket we do not worry about the number of divers or IDC candidates we have, we worry exclusively about the quality of your education, be it one person or many, you'll never feel abandoned or bored when training, working or diving with us. Maintaining relationships before during and after any courses done with us is what Aussie Divers is all about. To help manage such a huge base of divers & industry professionals we built this diver network, connecting on every social media platform we can think of coupled with extremely helpful blog articles, to keep you engaged & to keep you engaged with us for the entirety of your diving career!