What Should I Revise From Year 11 HSC Physics?
Essential Concepts to Revise Before Starting Year 12 Physics
Starting Year 12 Physics can seem challenging, but with the right revision, you can confidently tackle the syllabus. Many Year 12 topics build upon the foundations laid in Year 11, so reinforcing your understanding of key concepts is essential.
What you should revise from Year 11 Physics depends on the teaching order of the HSC Physics course at your school. Therefore, you should find out what the order is before school holidays.
If your school will be starting Term 4 with Module 5: Advanced Mechanics, or Module 6: Electromagnetism, revising Module 1: Kinematics, and Module 2: Dynamic is crucial. In addition, revising Module 4: Electricity and Magnetism is also important prior to starting Module 6: Electromagnetism.
In rarer cases, revision of Module 3: Waves and Thermodynamics is important if Module 7: The Nature of Light will be the first module in your HSC course.
The rest of this article provides an insight into specific topics you should focus on when revising each module from Year 11 Physics.
Module 1: Kinematics
Kinematics focuses on describing the motion of objects without considering the forces that cause the motion. It’s the foundation of understanding movement in physics and is particularly important if Module 5: Advanced Mechanics is the first topic your school covers.
Key concepts to revise:

Displacement, Velocity, and Acceleration: Ensure you can define and calculate these quantities. Know how to interpret motion graphs and the relationships between displacement, velocity, and acceleration.

Uniformly Accelerated Motion (SUVAT Equations): These equations are central to solving problems involving constant acceleration. Make sure you understand how and when to use them effectively:
$$v = u + at$$
$$v^2 = u^2 + 2as$$
$$s = ut + \frac{1}{2} + \frac{1}{2}at^2$$
 Practise applying these equations to various problems involving objects in free fall, projectiles, and other scenarios where acceleration is constant.

Graphs of Motion: Review how to interpret and draw positiontime, velocitytime, and accelerationtime graphs. Understanding these graphs will help you visualise and solve kinematics problems.
Module 2: Dynamics
Dynamics takes the next step by explaining why objects move, focusing on the forces that cause or change motion. This section will be essential in Advanced Mechanics and many other areas of physics that involve forces e.g. electromagnetic force in Module 6: Electromagnetism.
Key concepts to revise:

Newton’s Laws of Motion: These laws describe the relationship between forces and the motion of objects. Be sure you understand the significance of each law and how they apply to different scenarios:
 Newton’s First Law: Inertia
 Newton’s Second Law: `F = ma`
 Newton’s Third Law: ActionReaction

Types of Forces: Become familiar with various forces such as gravitational, normal, tension, friction, and applied forces. Understanding the effects of these forces on objects is vital for solving dynamics problems.

Free Body Diagrams: These diagrams help you represent the forces acting on an object and are essential for solving complex dynamics problems. Practice drawing these diagrams to clearly identify the forces at play in different situations.

Force Equilibrium and Net Force: Revise how to determine whether an object is in equilibrium or accelerating by analysing the net force acting on it.
If time permits, revision of the following topics will be beneficial:
 Energy, Work and Power: Revise their definitions and equations, as well as how they relate to forces.
 Momentum and Impulse: Revise their definitions and equations, as well as how they relate to forces.
Module 3: Waves and Thermodynamics
Module 7: The Nature of Light introduces concepts that build on basic knowledge of waves, so a satisfactory understanding of what a wave is and its properties is crucial before commencing this module.

Waves: You’ll need a strong understanding of different wave types (e.g., longitudinal and transverse waves), and how waves behave, including key phenomena such as reflection, refraction, diffraction, and interference. These concepts form the basis for more complex ideas about the nature of light, such as waveparticle duality, which is crucial in Module 7.

Pay particular attention to the following:
 Wave equations: `v = f \lamda`
 Reflection and Refraction: The way waves change direction when they encounter boundaries or travel through different media.
 Superposition and Interference: How waves combine to form resultant wave patterns.

Thermodynamics: While this topic carries less weight in Year 12 compared to others, a basic understanding of heat transfer, specific heat capacity, and the laws of thermodynamics can still be useful. Thermodynamics is most relevant in Module 8: From the Universe to the Atom, but its revision can generally be left until later in the year.
Module 4: Electricity and Magnetism
If your school starts Year 12 with Module 6: Electromagnetism, your knowledge of electricity from Year 11 will be essential. Electromagnetism deals with the relationship between electric and magnetic fields, but you’ll need a solid grasp of basic electricity concepts to fully understand this module.
Key concepts to revise:
 The Basics: What current and voltage (potential difference) are

Ohm's Law: `V = IR`, understand the relationship between voltage and current.

Electric Fields: Refresh your understanding of electric fields and forces. Know how to calculate electric field strength and the relationship between charges and electric forces.
$$F = qE$$
$$E = \frac{V}{d}$$

Magnetism: Revisit the basics of magnetic fields and how they relate to electricity. Understanding how currentcarrying wires produce magnetic fields and how these fields interact with charges is fundamental to electromagnetism.
Final Thoughts
As you prepare for Year 12 Physics, focus on building a solid foundation across all topics and modules is crucial. However, focused revision of more important topics mentioned in this guide will help you prepare for Year 12 in a more timely manner.
Approach your revision with a balance of conceptual understanding and problemsolving practice, as both are key to excelling in HSC Physics.