Looking for that Band 6 in HSC Physics?

Physics is already a hard course, and the introduction of a new HSC Syllabus has made it even harder.

When Art of Smart Alumni David started Year 11, it was one of his weakest subjects (besides English).

Despite this, he finished Year 12 with a grin on his face as he had finally achieved a Band 6 in HSC Physics!

In this video, we’re going to talk to David about his key tips for the subject, and how he was able to attain such a high mark. We’ll cover the following tips:

Tip 1: Physics is More About Application
Tip 2: Organise Your Time Correctly
Tip 3: Get Multiple Resources
Tip 4: Strategically Target Your Study Notes
Tip 5: Be Your Own Critic
How Many Hours Did David Study?
Tip 6: Preparing for Trials and HSC Exams
Tip 7: The Final Recommendation

Let’s jump in!

About David

David is an AOS Alumni who graduated from St Pius X College in 2019. Initially he struggled with HSC Physics. However, he managed to finish Year 12 with a mark of 90/100! This is how…

Tip 1: Focus on Application as well as Theory

In HSC Physics, especially when it comes to the new Syllabus, you have to think about the application of what you’re learning.

This means you aren’t just focusing on the theory.

According to David, the best approach to take is to always have the theory in the back of your mind, but to apply it effectively when necessary.

The key is to have strong theoretical foundation, but it’s MUCH more about application.

Tip 2: Organise Your Time Correctly

The way David organised his study is quite interesting:

He would have 40 minute study blocks for each subject!

In between these 40 minute study blocks he would take a necessary 10 minute break. this would give him time to go for a walk, get a drink of water, have a snack etc.

What was key to David’s success in Physics, was dedicating more of these study blocks to his weaker subjects! This means much more time focused on Physics.

Remember, when organising your study, you have to prioritise.

This method worked extremely well for David, however it might not be what works for you.

If so, you can read more about how to effectively manage your time for the HSC in this article!

Tip 3: Use Multiple Resources

When it comes to self-study, most of us just rely on our one text-book from school.

However, if you want to get a Band 6 in Physics, you need to look far and wide for different resources.

For David, he personally didn’t like the text-book that his school gave him. The questions just seemed messy, and this might have something to do with the new syllabus, as text-book makers have struggled to adapt.

Some alternative resources David recommends are

OR you can check out our wide range of FREE HSC Physics video resources for every syllabus point here!

As David explains, drawing from a wide range of different resources is essential for developing an effective understanding. Each resource has a different explanation and one of these might match your learning style or thought process perfectly!

Additionally, using different resources gives you a greater variety of perspectives and questions which is essential for getting a Band 6 in Physics.

P.S – All Art of Smart students receive a bonus HSC Physics resource book!

In total, our Science resource books are 560 pages per subject – that’s 140 pages per module, per term! They also include a staggering 600+ practice questions for you to use to develop, refine and test your understanding.

Tip 4: Strategically Target Your Study Notes

David didn’t go too hard when it came to his HSC Physics study notes.

He highlights that because Physics is more of an applied course rather than theoretical, study notes become less important.

However, certain topics do require a higher level of dedication to note-taking.

For example, studying for Module 6 requires a lot more notes. This is because there are many KEY LAWS you have to memorise. For example, The Motor Effect or Electromagnetic Induction.

Getting these down-pat is super crucial, and note-taking is a great start.

Put simply, you do still have to take notes for HSC Physics. However, you can make your study notes more strategically targeted for topics where it is necessary. This way, you can focus on the application of concepts more thoroughly. 

Tip 5: Be Your Own Critic

David would do A LOT of practice questions in Year 12.

Key to his achievement of a Band 6 in HSC Physics was his dedication to the practice of self-marking.

David’s Philosophy is: “you don’t know what you’re missing until you actually try and write a response.”

He would go through and complete past papers and practice questions. Afterwards. he would compare his responses to the marking criteria provided to look at where he went right or wrong.

This was especially helpful for qualitative answers, as the marketing criteria gives you an idea of the type of responses HSC markers target as ideal!

Eventually, this became a process of trial and error.

He would complete as many practice questions as possible until he fully understood what he did right or wrong.

Essentially, he slowly worked his way up to getting full marks! 

You can find the HSC Physics Marking Guidelines for the 2019 exam here.

Also, check out our range of free Physics Past Papers and Practice Questions here.

How many hours did David study?

Full marks didn’t come without a large degree of effort. Initially, David would spend up to 1.5 hours studying for each of his subjects everyday!

In fact, David believes that his study habits were too extreme and that his sleep schedule was negatively affected by his dedication. 

So remember, this amount of study might not work for everyone. 

Tip 6: Complete Practice Questions Under Exam Conditions

Leading up to Trials and HSC Exams, David stresses the importance of doing one thing:

Completing practice questions under exam conditions

If you complete questions without time conditions, even if you get full marks, it could all be useless!

David would go through every sample question, calculate how long he would have in an exam to complete it, and time himself accordingly.

Completing questions in an exam is totally different and you need to get in the habit of thinking and responding to questions quickly if you want to achieve that Band 6 in HSC Physics. 

Tip 7: Always Ask Yourself, ‘Why?’

As a final piece of advice, David highlights that while Year 11 Physics is all about theory which can be very boring, in Year 12 you need to look more at how these concepts you’ve learned all link up and apply practically. 

There is SO MUCH STUFF to learn in Physics but you need to look further than just understanding how the formulae work. You need to think “WHY does it actually work like that”.

Go that extra step further into understanding the WHY, and this will be far more beneficial when it comes to application.

According to David, doing so will carry you throughout Year 12, make the subject more enjoyable and put you on your way towards achieving that coveted Band 6 in HSC Physics!

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