HSC Chemistry and Physics Syllabus Dot-Point Notes

The way the HSC is structured is in terms of a course in miracles dot-points that are easy to read and understand. This helps HSC students because as their HSC trials and final HSC exams approach, the syllabus itself can be a useful study tool. For HSC sciences like Chemistry and Physics, the syllabus is a very useful study tool that students should use in preparing for their exams. Exams for these subjects MUST only contain questions that test knowledge within the bounds of the syllabus – that’s how our NSW HSC works.

Each ‘dot-point’ is a requirement for HSC students to understand a certain point, concept or issue. Together, these dot-points form the content of the entire subject. However the beauty of the syllabus is the way it is broken down into separate points, allowing students to study them individually, making sure each dot-point is understood. Because HSC exams (and school internal exams) must only test knowledge contained within the syllabus, studying all the dot-points is a pretty safe and comprehensive study strategy if done correctly.

It is a good idea for all students to make their own syllabus dot-point summary notes nearing the end of the year in preparation for their exams. This reinforces their knowledge of the dot-points, and highlights areas of weakness in their knowledge. Sometimes, only when you need to write about a certain concept do you realise you don’t quite fully understand the concept.

It is important to note that syllabus dot-points should not be looked at in isolation. Most dot-points are in some way connected to other dot-points. For example, they may be dealing with aspects of a larger concept, topic or issue, or they may describe a larger concept or issue together, therefore they should not be looked at in isolation.

The first 5 dot-points of this second section found in Chemical Monitoring and Management all deal with describing ammonia, its basic structure and the chemical reactions that are associated with it. When studying, students need to check that they understand each dot-point individually, as well as the bigger picture these dot-points highlight, in terms of fully understanding the general properties of ammonia.

The syllabus also requires students to conduct “first-hand investigations”, or “gather secondary information” to find out more about a particular topic. Where these dot-points relate to experiments / practicals conducted in your school lab during class, HSC exams can and often do ask questions concerning the major aspects of these experiments / practicals.

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