The Student’s Guide to HSC Physics is a brand new form of study guide, modelled on the way many students write their own study notes. Most books such as those published by Jacaranda, Excel and Macquarie are combinations of textbooks and questions. While they’re fine for learning new ideas and concepts for the first time, they’re often difficult to use when studying. This is because they don’t follow the syllabus exactly, mixing and matching content, until it becomes difficult for you to decide what needs to be studied and what doesn’t. The result is that you study irrelevant things, and may omit important things.
This guide is a revision aid, not a textbook. The Board of Studies publishes a syllabus for every course that tells you exactly what you need to know. The guide goes through each of those dotpoints clearly and comprehensively, so that you can revise exactly what you need to know to score highly in exams. Unlike a textbook, the Student’s Guide to HSC Physics sticks to the syllabus. Under each dotpoint you will find only what you need to know to get full marks. By going through each of the dotpoints with this book, and by practicing answering questions, you will be prepared for any question in your HSC exam.
This book deals with the syllabus as comprehensively as possible. However, in the 3rd column of the syllabus there are occasionally dot points dealing with the use of formulae. They are usually of the form “solve problems and analyse information using *a formula*”. This book being about content, not questions, these dotpoints aren’t included in the main document. However, the Formulae chapter is an all-inclusive formula guide that summarises all of the formulae encountered in HSC Physics, with some extras from the Preliminary course that are relevant to the HSC, along with detailed explanations and useful hints for using them. Make sure you get familiar with using the formulae by doing practice problems- although you don’t need to memorise them, you do need to know how to apply them quickly in exam conditions.
Also in the 3rd column are dotpoints concerning first-hand experiments that you performed in class. The answers in this guide are examples of experiments that can be performed. Only use them if you didn’t perform the experiment or if your experiment didn’t work, for whatever reason. If you performed a different experiment in class, it’s better for you to write about that, because having done it you will know a great deal more and be able to write about it in far greater detail.
Finally, although this guide is designed to be simpler and more accessible than other guides in order to make it easier to study from, parts of it do get quite advanced. This is necessary to score full marks in all questions. However, the more complicated explanations are always there either so that you properly understand what is happening, or to provide depth of knowledge. Take time to understand everything fully- unlike other books, everything here is relevant and will help you in your exams
Romesh Abeysuriya graduated from Sydney Boys’ High School in 2006 with a final mark of 94 for HSC Physics, and is currently in his 3nd year of a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) at The University of Sydney, majoring in Physics, and is a member of the USYD Talented Student Program