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HSC Science: Learn the lingo to smash the exam

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HSC Science: Learn the lingo to smash the exam

Doing well in Science is a matter of knowing what thingsmean and how they work. Easy, eh?

No matter which area you’re studying – Biology, Chemistry,Physics, Alchemy – there’s a lot of of subject-specific language. And that’sreally key to unlocking the questions you’ll be asked in an exam. Speaking of which,makesure you’ve had a look through past HSC papers so you have an idea of thekinds of stuff you’re likely to be asked.

Phase One: Know what things are called

Honestly, knowing the names of things is half the battle. Scientistslove labelling things, which is why every tiny thing inside your skin has aspecial name like “anterior cruciate ligament” or “duodenum”. Knowing your vocabularyis really important, especially because those key words will be used in exam questions– so you’ll need to know the difference between “structural formulae” and “ionicequations” on the day.

Phase Two: Know your core concepts

Depending on your field, these might be the laws of motionor how chemicals react or the ways dwarves turn lead into gold. Make thingseasy on yourself by drilling this stuff into your brain. Once you’ve got thecore foundation of your subject, it’ll be easier to figure out the specifics. And,of course, the specifics include knowing your formulas and how they work.

Phase Three: Know how formulas work

There’s obviously some mathematical crossover here, but whenyou’re studying the sciences it’s really hard to avoid all those letters andnumbers being used in strange combinations. Some of this is memorisation, butideally you’ll be able to explain why things work instead of justrattling off formulas without understanding what they do. Basically, the moreyou understand, the harder you’ll be to stump in an exam scenario.

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