The Student’s Guide to HSC Chemistry is a brand new form of study guide, acknowledging the deficiencies of the way existing resources are presented to students while simultaneously accentuating their strengths. All of this is done in a way which closely mirrors the way many students already organise their own notes a method adopted for several reasons. Whilst textbooks and various other resources may have been compiled according to their own structure for time immemorial, it has been noticed that time and time again students turn to a syllabus dotpoint format when constructing their own notes. It is my belief that this is an extremely effective way, organising the students thoughts in a comprehensive approach which includes all necessary details while omitting yet other details which are really quite superfluous to scoring full marks in an exam.
This guide offers a means of revision, and in doing so must be distinguished from a textbook. A syllabus is provided by the Board of Studies for every course, detailing precisely which areas are examinable and what is expected of students. As stated above, the unique structure of this guide allows for a definitive treatment of each dotpoint, detailing exactly what must be learnt to achieve the highest possible marks, while offering the benefit of streamlining all information such that the student is far less likely to feel overwhelmed with information. At the very least, it provides a useful overview for introductory and/or review purposes so as to make Chemistry that much simpler.
By the very same token, it must be stressed that this guide is in itself simply a means of revision. While I have no doubt it is sufficient to gain a student a respectable mark by itself, if you truly want to achieve your highest potential mark, I strongly urge you to turn to the myriad of resources around you. Where possible, dotpoints are expanded upon even at the sake of conciseness simply so that the point of a dotpoint appears that much more logical. However, how a student learns a concept is highly dependant upon how they personally view the concept, and as such, it may be that one student needs to read up about Concept A in Textbook X yet another student may need to read up about Concept B in Textbook Y. These resources should not be overlooked in the blind belief that simply accepting a fact to be true is sufficient. Textbooks, teachers, internet sites, and most importantly your fellow peers will form the crux of these resources.
At the end of the day, if you get one thing from this guide, let it be the fact that most (I am reluctant to say every, but most) results can be reached through a relatively logical process. If you can reason a result out step-by-step, then you will have no difficulty in expanding upon it come exam time as you not only know it, you understand the concept. In utilising this guide alongside other resources, I have no doubt that this learning process will be greatly simplified.
All that then remains to be said is best of luck!
Alan Wong graduated from Sydney Boys’ High School in 2006, and is currently studying at UNSW.