How to ACE HSC Science Subjects: Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Senior Science
1. Download the syllabus and prior to each topic, have a quick read of the relevant dot points. This prepares your mind to pay more attention to these when taught in class and/or at tutoring.
2. Learn each dot point, pay attention to the verb in front of each dot point as they give you an indication of the depth you need to learn. Your teacher/tutor usually would go cover all the dot point in the term.
3. Treat each dot point as a question. Try to think of questions related to the dot point and see if you can answer them. A good way to test your knowledge is to see if you can clearly explain the dot point to someone else.
4. At the end of each topic, select 5 relevant questions in the past papers and see if you can answer them.
5. Chemistry: know your fractions, percentages, cross multiplications inside out – you will need this particularly useful for the Acidic Environment topic: moles calculations, concentration etc.
6. Biology: draw diagrams to help your understanding. Use colours in your notes to help differentiate key areas. Some topics such as Genetics: the code is broken will involve heavy memorising and good notes.
7. Physics: calculation questions: practice is the key. Do as many past paper questions as you can, don’t wait until the trials are coming up. Start doing them as each topic concludes. Usually teachers and/or tutors will have many of these at hand and can selectively pick good questions for you to attempt.
8. You can read other notes, but it is a good idea to make some of your own especially for topics you find more challenging. Make sure they are visual and concise.
9. Past papers – there are nearly 20 official HSC past papers available for these subjects + many from school trials. EVEN if you do 1 science subject, that’s probably 40 past papers per subject. 3 hours each paper + 1 hour checking that’s 160 hours each subject. Assume you do 1 every week, it’ll take you nearly a year to finish. This means it is very important to – be selective of the questions, do them throughout the term so you don’t need to cram at the trials and check them against the solutions. Practice full papers under exam conditions and the full 3 hour time slot and adjust timing accordingly if you are only doing part of the paper.
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– Fan (ATAR 99.85, 1st in NSW for Maths Ext1, 98% for Maths Ext2, 96% for Chemistry, all rounder every subject above 95%).