CIE A Level Physics (9702) 2019-2021

Revision Notes

1.1.5 Graph Conventions

Graph Conventions

  • There are specific conventions for labelling physical quantities
    in columns of data in tables and on graph axes
  • Typically, the symbol is presented first, then a forward slash and the unit
    • e.g. Current with unit Amps – I / A
  • An example table and graph is shown below for a Velocity v Time graph:

Units, downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes

The convention for labelling tables and graphs


  • The general convention for tables:
    • The independent variable goes in the column on the left
    • The dependent variable goes in the column on the right
  • You may also see examples where powers of tens are also included with the unit, such as t / × 102 s
  • This means the column of data has been divided by 100 to save repeating lots of zeros in the table
  • If the values of t in the table or axes on the graph are 1, 2 and 3, the actual values obtained for t are 100 s, 200 s and 300 s
  • Some other important conventions for drawing and plotting graphs are shown below:

Graph Conventions, downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes

An example of a correctly labelled and plotted graph


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