Week starting 19 October

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another blog! I hope that everyone has had a good week back at school! I have heard from some students that all SACs have just about been completed and this is great as it means that you can turn your full attention to the exam! Another friendly reminder that the exam is in about a month! Not long to go now! Last week we talked about what aspects of the physics exam you can incorporate into your revision. If you missed the post, I would highly recommend giving it a read as we will be extending upon those ideas this week. Speaking of which, let’s talk about how you can try and predict what is going to be on your exam!

How to predict what types of questions will come up on the exam

Okay, okay, this title may have had a hint of clickbait, but I promise to shed some light on how you can best prepare for what is to come on the exam! When I was in year 12 a lot of the discussion my friends and I had when completing practice exams revolved around deciphering what content was likely to appear on the exam vs what content was “surely not” going to be on the exam. Such discussion commonly came up when we encountered a really hard question on a practice exam which we collectively agreed was not likely going to be on the exam. As I moved into more of my individual revision, this discussion became something I actively tried to figure out. VCAA makes exams every year so I figured that there must be some trends in the types of questions that they produce. Going through past exams, I discovered that this was exactly the case… well sort of!

In using the same study design for multiple years, VCAA is only able to test students on certain material. This year there have been further amendments made to the study design to counter for the disruption to learning; this is something you should make yourself familiar with if you haven’t already. Regardless, the learning objectives that VCAA have set have not changed over time, so it is likely that similar questions are going to appear on future exams. By similar questions I don’t mean that VCAA are going to reuse the same questions with different numbers, but rather VCAA is likely to test similar concepts in similar ways. For example, VCAA has utilised the idea of muons in many of their special relativity questions. Despite changing the example from muons, to particles and setting these questions up in different ways the underlying principles of time dilation and length contraction are tested through this type of question. This is the case for many other topics as well, and therefore is something I highly recommend that you take note of.

Such note taking does not have to be extensive at all. I created a simple spreadsheet recording the way in which questions were presented by VCAA. I had a column for the topic and a column for the type of question that was given. This task should not take you long at all (a couple of minutes at the maximum) as at the end of the day it is not too important; hopefully, you will be able to answer any question that is thrown at you! In saying this, it is great to get an idea of how questions might be presented to you, as you can then go and find similar questions to complete for revision. This will allow you to target your revision directly towards the style of questions that are likely to come on VCAA exams. I want to stress that I would only do this for VCAA exams. At the end of the day VCAA is producing the exam, thus our interest is only really in how they present questions.

Moreover, extending from last week’s idea of exam techniques, I think now is a good time to start settling on a particular order of questions. By now, you may know what topics you prefer and can complete quickly and as such I would suggest that you get into the habit of doing questions from those topics first when you do practice exams. As I alluded to last week, there is nothing better than starting with an easy question and by practicing this you are basically predicting the route that you will take in completing the final exam!

This week’s basis of discussion has been very specific, and I have done this for a particular reason. By now we have gone through a lot of exam tips and tricks and discussed in depth how to go about your revision and I designed this content to try and help you take your performance to the next level! As such, these are not the most vital aspects to revision, and I would recommend trialling these methods only once you are feeling comfortable with your practice exams and questions. These are not essential and just added bonuses that will hopefully give you a little boost come exam day!

What mindset should I have for Physics this week?

This week I have decided to give you the option of picking your own mindset! We have discussed many mindsets over the weeks, and I think that you are more than capable of picking a mindset that works for you. I would recommend writing your mindset on a sticky note and sticking it right where you will see it every day, just so it is there as a reminder for you as you work through the week!

Weekly Tips and Tricks

That is all from me for another week! I hope that you have success in trying to predict the exam and I hope that you are able to nail your exam technique. Here are three parting tips and tricks to help you get through the week:

1. Complete a full physics exam under timed conditions. Now is a good time to give a full exam a go!

2. Complete the traffic light method for all the topics. Reallocate colours to the topics and see where you have made improvements

3. Have plenty of breaks (same as last week)! With everything that is going on, it is very important to ensure that your health and wellbeing is flourishing! Make sure to take plenty of breaks and have some fun in between attending classes and studying

Have a question?

In the final weeks before exams Ashane will be hosting 2 Live Q&A sessions to help everyone get fully prepared for exams. If you have a question on how to best get prepared, have been stuck on an exam question or want to clarify an area of content send it through here, and Ashane might answer it live!

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