Hello everyone! Welcome back to another blog! I hope everyone has had a great week and that the pleasant weather has got everyone in a good mood. I am guessing that everyone is just about starting their last term of school, what exciting times! For anyone who missed last week’s post, we discussed the importance of a cheat sheet and how you can go about creating your own cheat sheet. I pointed it out as being a great starting point for revision, so if you haven’t made your cheat sheet yet, have a go at that before you try the methods we discuss this week! Speaking of this week, let’s talk about questions and practice exams!
What is the best approach to revising Physics?
Coming to the start of term 4, after preparing my cheat sheet for physics, there was one main question that was on my mind. What is the best way to address areas of weakness that I have identified through creating my cheat sheet? Whilst this took me some time to figure out, the process of identifying the best way to revise was very beneficial, not only in my exam preparation but for my future studies. To this day, I incorporate methods that I developed in year 12 into my studies and I have found learning how to study to be one of the most valuable skills I took from year 12.
There are two major avenues of revision once your cheat sheet is complete: completing practice questions and completing practice exams. Both aspects are similar in the sense that you are applying your knowledge; however, I think there are benefits and detriments to each which must be considered. Through my own experiences, I have found that completing practice questions, especially for physics, before attempting practice exams is the most efficient way to go about things. This is simply due to the concept of targeted revision. Whilst completing practice exams is great to test yourself on all of the concepts you have covered, it can be a bit too broad to start. Through creating your cheat sheet, I imagine you realised that you are stronger at certain topics and weaker at others. With physics being a disjointed subject (not all of the topics link together), I think targeting your weaker areas first is crucial and the best way to do this is to complete questions that address those particular topics. This will allow you to ensure that you are confident with all topics and that your subject knowledge is now broad enough to start doing practice exams. But, how should you complete practice questions?
At this stage of the year, I timed all of the questions I did. If I picked out a 5-mark question for motion, I would give myself 5-7 minutes to complete the question. The reason that I did this was so that I will still mimicking exam conditions, despite not doing practice exams themselves. Was I stressed if I didn’t finish within the 5-7 minutes? Absolutely not! Timing yourself is just to give yourself an indication of how you are going. If you are not completing the questions in the time limit, that is completely okay, because you will be aware that you need to work a bit faster. Over the course of completing many questions, this will eventually lead to you becoming more effective at working within a specific time frame (as is the case with the exam).
After completing practice questions or getting to the stage of being comfortable with all of the topics in the course, I would encourage you to move onto some practice exams. With the changes in study design, physics practice exams (at least VCAA exams) may have some questions which are not relevant. I would recommend keeping a printed copy of the study design next to you when going through practice exams to make sure that the questions you are doing are still applicable. Like with the questions, I recommend that you time your exams as firstly, there is no harm in doing so and secondly, you will get through exams a lot quicker… a win-win situation! Keep track of all of the exams you do and make sure that when you correct your practice exams you take the time to go through them properly. Ensure that you go over any questions that you got wrong and go back and revise over the relevant content. More of this to come in the coming weeks!
Overall, moving onto practice questions and practice exams is the next step in your physics revision! Ensure that you target these two in the most logical way to make sure you get the most out of your revision!
What mindset should I have for Physics this week?
A motivated mindset is one that will be ideal for this week! In attempting to apply your knowledge, being motivated to test and improve your skills will go a long way in your revision process. Remember that all of the work you are doing now will not only benefit you come the exams, but will help you in the future as well!
Weekly Tips and Tricks
That is all from me for another week! I hope that you are able to smash out some practice questions and maybe even attempt a physics practice exam this week! Here are three parting tips and tricks to help you get through the week:
1. Track your progress
Note down what questions and exams you are completing as you are going along
2. Update your cheat sheet
As you complete questions and exams, add important and useful information to your cheat sheet
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!