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February 27, 2021, 06:04:22 pm

Author Topic: ✰Physics - Resources, Tips and Recommendations! | Guide✰  (Read 794 times)  Share 

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✰Physics - Resources, Tips and Recommendations! | Guide✰
« on: December 13, 2020, 08:12:47 pm »
🌌🌠🌟Hi everyone and welcome!🌌🌠🌟

This here is a little physics guide to help anyone keen on learning physics, no matter what level you are currently at. The guide also has some resources, tips and reviews related specifically for VCE Physics!
Well anyway, let’s get started ;D

💫Resources for Year 12 Exams💫

Tired of looking at the same, repetitive VCE exams and want something new? Have a look below!
Please note, certain states have a specific maths requirement that needs to be done to do Physics (mostly Methods) which is represented through some numerical questions.
Tasmanian Year 12 Exams:
Tasmania's Year 12 covers a lot of similar topics: projectile motion, waves, photoelectric effect, magnetic and electric fields.
NSW Year 12 Exams:
These past exams contains questions on projectile motion, satellites, special relativity, motors, induction, electric and magnetic fields.
https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/resources/hsc-exam-papers (Scroll down to Physics)
South Australian Year 12 Exams:
These past exams contain questions on motion, circular motion, momentum, satellites, electric and magnetic fields, wave interference, photoelectric effect, electron wavelength and energies, interactions of light and matter, and experimental data analysis.
Western Australian Year 12 Exams:
These past exams contain questions on forces, projectile motion, interactions light and matter, photoelectric effect, DC motors, magnetic forces, special relativity, circular motion, de Broglie wavelengths, induction, energy, forces, circular motion, and the photoelectric effect.
💫Book recommendations to up your Physics game💯😎💫

Giancoli Physics: Principles with Applications by Douglas C. Giancoli [10/10]
This is the holy grail of all Physics textbooks. One of the best textbooks you can get your hands on! It assumes that you have no Physics knowledge when you begin and the questions in it are much better than your standard VCE textbooks. Some of the harder questions in the textbook may need you to have a background in Math Methods (Unit 1 should be enough), however, most of the questions can be done if you have done Year 10 Maths. Giancoli also has amazing explanations of certain concepts in more depth which I highly recommend reading.

Fundamentals of Physics by David Halliday [8/10]
A good textbook with amazing questions and explanations to certain topics. However, unlike Giancoli, some of the explanations are not as ‘straightforward’ to understand (hence why the 8/10). It is not as accessible as Giancoli as there seems to be a stronger maths background needed (would highly recommend that you have done Methods ½ before looking at this book. If you do Further/no maths I would suggest you look at Giancoli instead) but other than that, a great read!

Conceptual Physics by Paul G.Hewitt [9/10]
If there is one thing you want to read to improve your Physics understanding, it is without a doubt this book! Very easy to understand and helps you to question Physics in a good way. This book as the title suggests attempts to help you understand conceptually and has no numerical examples inside (great to read if you want to avoid looking at maths). Certain parts of the book can be a bit boring to read sometimes, however, most of it is pretty good. Do yourself a favour and read this!

💫VCE past exams broken down into certain topics💫

Unit 3
AOS 3 Motion:
2013-2016: Section A – Motion in one and two dimensions
Section B: Einstein’s Special Relativity
2012-2005 Exam 1: Section A – Motion in one and two dimensions
Section B: Einstein’s Special Relativity
2004-2002 Exam 2: Section 1 – Motion

AOS 1: Fields:
*Note: Fields are quite new hence why you will only find mainly gravitational fields. There are some hidden electric/magnetic field questions in the previous Synchrotron detailed study that may help. Please refer to the other states’ exams above for more exam-style questions on electric/magnetic fields.
2013-2016: Section A – Motion in one and two dimensions (mainly gravitational fields)
Section B: Synchrotron and its application (Not all questions are relevant)
2012-2005 Exam 1: Section A – Motion in one and two dimensions (mainly gravitational fields)
2012-2005 Exam 2: Section B – Synchrotron and its applications (Not all questions are relevant)
2004-2002 Exam 2: Section 2 – Gravity

AOS 2: Induction and transmission of electricity:
2013-2016: Section A - Electric Power
2012-2005 Exam 2: Section A - Electrical Power
2004-2002 Exam 1: Section 1 – Electrical Power
Unit 4
AOS 1: Waves
*Note: Waves are quite new to VCE, hence you will need to look at other sources excluding VCE past physics papers. Please refer to the other states’ exams above for more exam-style questions on waves.
2013-2016 Section B: Sound (Not all questions are relevant)
2012-2005 Exam 2: Section B – Sound (Not all questions are relevant)
2004-2002 Exam 1: Section 1 – Sound (Not all questions are relevant)

AOS 2: Light and Matter
2013-2016 Section A: Interactions of light and matter
2012-2005 Exam 2: Section A – Interactions of light and matter
2004-2002 Exam 2: Section 3: Ideas about light and matter
💫Top tips for learning Physics💫

1.   Understand and question everything
The biggest thing that I cannot stress enough in Physics is to understand what you are doing. Physics is NOT a subject that you can keep doing large quantities of practise questions from exams and think that is all you need to do. In fact, the more you understand something, the more likely you will be able to answer any question that is thrown at you. Instead of doing many questions, what you may want to try doing is finding questions that challenged your understanding (best questions for this are those written-response ones not the numerical)

As Albert Einstein said, “Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” If you can’t explain a concept simply to someone else, you don’t understand it well enough. Try taking turns to teach your friends and ask a lot of questions – that alone will get you very far. Do not stop when you think you know enough, instead stop when you have no more questions to ask.

2.   Trust the Physics
Physics is just a game of who trusts an idea the most. One of the hardest things I found was trying to get rid of all misconceptions that could interfere with ‘The Physics’. You need to trust the Physics to the point where it becomes a gut feeling.

Let’s think of a mini scenario. You are holding someone’s hand (assume its Physics for this) and you are in a pitch-black room with an aim to walk from one side of the room to another. Now, Physics over here will grab onto your hand and guide you to the other side of the room, however, you need to have an open mind and trust Physics to be able to get there. As soon as you start doubting yourself or the Physics involved, your hand becomes slippery and can let go of the hand that was guiding you. There are also voices in the room telling you that the Physics is wrong – these are your misconceptions and you need to get rid of them ASAP. VCE Physics is just another way of saying who can hold onto this hand the longest and not let go.

As they say in the examiner’s meeting every year, you will be rewarded for “Good Physics”.  Good Physics consists of trusting the physics, understanding it and applying it in the right manner.

3.   Find a way to graph every concept you learn
Many examiner’s reports have said this statement repeatedly (and will continue too) and that there needs to be more focus on graphing the physics. A good way to see if you understand something inside out is to try graphing it and seeing what you can do with the graph. What does the area mean? What about the gradient? Not only is being able to graph an important skill but also being able to interpret a graph. Practise and integrate this more into your studies with physics.

4.   Do a demo of the concept in real life
Nearly everything in VCE Physics can be explained with a real-life experiment (well maybe excluding the Photoelectric effect). Try doing these more often as it helps bring forth more questions to the table and allows you to strengthen your understanding. This is especially helpful for the visual/kinaesthetic learners out there! Have fun with the demos and use it as an opportunity to explore different areas you may have not thought of originally.

💫VCE specific physics books review💫

Checkpoints [8/10]: Great resource for SAC preparation and sectioned off into topics rather than areas of studies. I would say there is a mix of original questions and ones from past VCAA exams (maybe a little more VCAA). There are some dodgy answers here and there but other than that a great resource to have.
A+ Notes [5/10]: Notes are quite clear to understand but the questions in it tend to lean towards the easier side. They could act as a good starting point for beginners new to Physics however, for preparation for VCE exams, I would only use it to read over the notes.
A+ Exams [3/10]: Don’t. Please don’t. Questions are too easy and I don’t think they are a good investment. Not only that, the answers are on a CD which can make it a little inconvenient. I would stay away and would focus your time (and money) on other resources.
ATAR Notes Course Notes [9/10]: Very concise and easy to understand. Plenty of diagrams are used and concepts are explained in a way that encourages you to question everything. Couldn’t ask for better notes!
ATAR Notes Topic Tests [8/10]: Pretty good tests to use for SAC prep. A mix of original questions and some from past VCE papers. A very small amount of answers at the back of the book are not consistent with some of the past VCE papers (maybe a typo?), however, that can easily be solved by double-checking with the examiner’s report.
Neap Smartstudy Questions 6/10: Questions tend to lean towards the easier side for all numerical questions; however, they have a few diamond worth worded response questions here and there that may be worth looking at. Would stay clear from all the numerical questions in this book and solely focus on the worded response questions if you chose to use it.

💫VCE Exam company ratings💫
(Based on difficulty. 1 being super easy and 10 being more difficult than VCAA exams)
Neap: 8-10/10 (exams are consistent)
TSFX: 3/10 (exams are consistent)
TSSM: 5/10 (exams are consistent)
STAV: 6-8/10 (depends on the exam)
Insight: 6-7/10 (exams are consistent)
Access Education: 7-8/10 (depends on the exam)
LisaChem: 5-8/10 (VERY inconsistent)
Kilbaha: 6/10 (exams are consistent)
QATS: 5/10 (exams are consistent)

For VCE Physics, I find that the Neap exams are the best just because they ask different questions (especially their worded questions) which are not simply repeats of past VCE exams. Something that I’ve noted while doing the VCE trial exams from these companies is that they all ask very similar questions, just like how the VCE Physics papers are quite similar each year. (Which is why I’ve scored a few of them quite low). I highly recommend looking at the other state’s exams, especially their worded answer questions as they are quite ‘unique’ in comparison to the VCE ones. I’m not saying these trial exams are bad (well except the ones scoring 5 or under), it's just there is not enough variety of questions being asked. The trial exams may seem repetitive and not fully challenge your physics understanding, hence why l strongly urge you somehow weave in some other state’s exams either during an exam period or throughout the year.

Well anyway, that is it for now! I might add some more later but that is the end of this guide. Have fun studying physics and good luck!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 08:15:41 pm by ashmi »
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Re: ✰Physics - Resources, Tips and Recommendations! | Guide✰
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 09:33:41 am »
I love this!

Thank you so much for putting this together; I've added it to the resources list :D

Once QCE exams are released the QCAA website will also be a good place to look for exams. There is a lot of overlap but VCE physics students should keep in mind that you only need to look at flux when the coil and field are either perpendicular or parallel (it's not hard to learn how to do it with other angles tho if you want to extend yourself)