How to Ace Your HSC Physics Trial Exam | Physics Exam Guide

Don't know how to prepare for your HSC Physics Trial Exam? Read this exam guide to learn the most effective way for studying for your HSC Physics Trial Exam.

Preparing for your HSC Physics Trial Exam?

‘How to ace your HSC Physics Trial Exam’ is a comprehensive guide that teaches Year 12 students the most effective way of studying for their HSC Physics exams.

By following the process outlined below, your chance of acing your HSC Physics Trial Exam will be significantly higher.

 

The Process for preparing for your HSC Physics Trial Exam

Why should I follow the process?

As you are preparing for the HSC Physics Trial Exam for the first time, it would be smart to follow a process that has been tried and tested by other students in the past.

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, then you don’t really know what you’re doing.

Adopting an effective process allows you to repeat the process in an orderly manner and identify the areas for improvement more efficiently. It also ensures that you avoid the mistakes other students have made in the past.

 

What is the process for preparing for HSC Physics Trial Exam?

The proven process that has helped many students ace their HSC Physics Trial Exam is outlined below

  1. Understand clearly the parts of the HSC Physics Syllabus you’ll be examined on.
  2. List Physics concepts that you struggle with
  3. Consolidate your understanding of difficult Physics concepts with the use of flowcharts and tables.
  4. Test your exam-readiness with past HSC Physic Trial Exam Papers

Let’s look at each step in more detail.

 

 

Step 1: Understand clearly the parts of the HSC Physics Syllabus you’ll be examined on.

Most schools will only include some of Module 8 content blocks in their Physics trial exam. This is because most schools can not complete the Module 8 course contents before the HSC Physics trial exam.

If you have never read the HSC Physics Syllabus, you should take the time to do it now as exam questions can be derived directly from the syllabus dot points.

Here is a sample Module 8 question derived directly from the syllabus dot point:

“Analyse the contributions of Schrödinger to the development of the current model of the atom.”

 

Step 2: List Physics concepts that you struggle with

Physics concepts that thousands of students have struggled with in the past are listed below.

HSC Physics ModulesConcepts
5. Advanced Mechanics
  • Uniform circular motion for rigid bodies in vertical planes
  • Total energy of a planet or satellite in its orbit
  • Energy changes that occur when satellites move between orbits
6. Electromagnetism
  • Faraday’s and Lenz’s Laws
  • Torque and back EMF in DC motors
  • Operation of simple DC and AC Generators
7. The Nature of Light
  • Malus’ Law for plane polarisation of light
  • Interference of light using double slit apparatus
  • Planck’s concept of quantisation
  • The photoelectric effect investigations
8. From the Universe to the Atom
  • Quantum model of the atom
  • Mass defect and binding energy
  • The Standard Model of matter
  • Types of nucleosynthesis reactions in Main Sequence and Post-Main Sequence stars

 

Physics Module Based Practice Questions

You can use the following HSC Physics Module based practice questions to identify the gaps in your knowledge and understanding:

 

Step 3: Consolidate your understanding of difficult Physics concepts with the use of flowcharts and tables.

Using tablesflowchart and mindmaps are recommended over conventional note making approach for two main reasons:

  1. Your understanding of key concepts are organised in logical and sequential manner.
  2. Your notes become effective tools for answering exam questions efficiently.

 

The Use of Tables

Tables are useful for comparing two or more things.

A table of comparison for alpha, beta and gamma radiation is shown below. Note that to compare three things, we require four columns.

RadiationAlphaBeta minusGamma
What is it?Helium nucleusElectronGamma photon
Charge+2e-1e0
Energy (typical)10 MeV0.03 – 3 MeV1 MeV
Speed (typical)0.1cUp to 0.9cc
Ionisation abilityHighMediumLow
Penetration (typical)Stopped by 5 cm of air
or
0.5 mm of paper
Stopped by 0.5 cm of aluminiumIntensity halved by 10 cm lead
Deflection by magnetic fieldYesYes, opposite direction to alpha particleNo
Deflection by electric fieldYesYes, opposite direction to alpha particleNo

 

 

The Use of Flowcharts

Flowcharts are useful tools for:

  1. Summarising information in a logical and sequential manner
  2. Establishing a relationship between cause and effect.

Here is an example of the use of flowchart for summarising Rutherford’s atomic model in a logical and sequential manner.

How To Ace Your Trial Exam - Rutherford Atomic Model Flowchart
Rutherford Atomic Model Flowchart

 

 

Step 4: Test your exam-readiness with past HSC Physic Trial Exam Papers

The final step of the process is to gain exposure to exam style questions early and test your exam readiness by

  • Attempting exam-style questions under strict exam conditions for each topic.
  • Recording and tracking your exam scores for each topic.

 

Attempt Physics Trial Exam papers as soon as possible

It’s critical that you start doing past exam papers as soon as possible for the following reason.

It takes 4 hours time to complete an exam paper: 3 hours for each exam paper and 1 hour for marking. This means you are not able to do more than a couple of exam papers per day without compromising its effectiveness. What about the time and efforts required for addressing the knowledge gaps identified from completing the exam paper?

 

Record and track your Physics Trial Exam scores

In order to measure whether you are making progress or not, you will need to measure and track your exam scores. One way to measure and track your exam-readiness is to use a table like the one shown below:

Exam PaperExam ScoreTime Taken
2019 HSC Physics Exam PaperSection I: 15/20
Section II: 70/80
Total: 85/100
Section I: 45 min (+10 min)
Section II: 2 h 30 min (+15 min)
2020 Learnable HSC Physics Trial Exam PaperSection I:
Section II:
Total:
Section I:
Section II:

 

By recording and tracking your exam scores, you can gain actionable insights about your performance in terms of accuracy and speed.

 

Looking for HSC Physics Trial Exam Papers?

Thousands of students have already accessed our 2020 HSC Physics Trial Exam Paper with detailed solutions written by experienced HSC teachers.

Written by DJ Kim

DJ is the founder of Learnable and has a passionate interest in education and technology. He is also the author of Physics resources on Learnable.

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