Requirements and Assessment for HSC Physics Syllabus

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Board of Studies, New South Wales
Physics Stage 6 Syllabus, 1999 © Board of Studies NSW, 1999.

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Extracts from HSC Physics Syllabus summarising Course Requirements and Assessment

6 Course Structure

This Physics Stage 6 Syllabus has a Preliminary course and an HSC course. The Preliminary and HSC courses are organised into a number of modules. The Preliminary modules consist of core content that will be covered in 120 indicative hours. 

The HSC course consists of core and options organised into a number of modules. The core content covers 90 indicative hours with options covering 30 indicative hours. Students are required to complete one of the options.

Practical experiences are an essential component of both the Preliminary and HSC courses. Students will complete 80 indicative hours of practical/field work during the Preliminary and HSC courses with no less than 35 indicative hours of practical experiences in the HSC course. Practical experiences must include at least one open-ended investigation integrating the knowledge and understanding, and skills outcomes in both the Preliminary and HSC courses.

Practical experiences should emphasise hands-on activities, including:

  • undertaking laboratory experiments, including the use of appropriate computer based and digital technologies,
  • fieldwork,
  • research using a wide range of sources, including print material, the Internet and digital technologies,
  • the use of computer simulations for modelling or manipulating data,
  • using and reorganising secondary data,
  • extracting and reorganising information in the form of flow charts, tables, graphs, diagrams, prose and keys,
  • the use of animation, video and film resources that can be used to capture/obtain information not available in other forms.


6.1  Preliminary Course

120 indicative hours

The Preliminary course incorporates the study of:

  • The World Communicates (30 indicative hours)
  • Electrical Energy in the Home (30 indicative hours)
  • Moving About (30 indicative hours)
  • The Cosmic Engine (30 indicative hours)


 6.2  HSC Course

120 indicative hours

The HSC course builds upon the Preliminary course. The Preliminary course content is a prerequisite for the HSC course. 

The HSC course incorporates the study of:

a) The Core, which includes:

  • Space (30 indicative hours)
  • Motors and Generators (30 indicative hours)
  • From Ideas to Implementation (30 indicative hours)


b) Options, which constitute 30 indicative hours and include any one of the following:

  • Geophysics
  • Medical Physics
  • Astrophysics
  • From Quanta to Quarks
  • The Age of Silicon
10 Course Requirements

For the Preliminary course:

  • 120 indicative hours are required to complete the course,
  • the content in each module must be addressed over the course,
  • experience over the course must cover the scope of each skill as described in Section 8.1,
  • practical experiences should occupy a minimum of 45 indicative hours of course time,
  • at least one open-ended investigation integrating the skills and knowledge and understanding outcomes is required.


For the HSC course:

  • the Preliminary course is a prerequisite,
  • 120 indicative hours are required to complete the course,
  • the content in each module of the core and one elective must be addressed over the course,
  • experiences over the course must cover the scope of each skill as described in Section 9.1,
  • practical experiences should occupy a minimum of 35 indicative hours of course time,
  • at least one open-ended investigation integrating the skills and knowledge and understanding outcomes is required.


12.5 Assessment Components, Weightings and Tasks

Preliminary Course:
 
Component Weighting Tasks may include:
The World Communicates 25 assignments
fieldwork studies and reports
model making
Electrical Energy in the Home 25 open-ended investigations
oral reports
practical reports
Moving About 25 reports
research projects
The Cosmic Engine 25 topic tests and examination
 
Marks 100  

There should be a balance between the assessment of:

  • knowledge and understanding outcomes and course content,
  • skills outcomes and course content.
HSC Course:

The internal assessment mark for Physics Stage 6 is to be based on the HSC course only. Final assessment should be based on a range and balance of assessment instruments.
Component Weighting Tasks may include:
Space 25 assignments
fieldwork studies and reports
Motors and Generators 25 model making
open-ended investigations
From Ideas to Implementation 25 practical tests
reports
Option 25 research projects
topic tests and examination
Marks 100

Note: No more than 50% weighting may be allocated to examinations and topic tests.  A minimum of 30% weighting must be allocated to tasks that assess studentsí abilities to conduct first-hand investigations and communicate information and understanding based on these investigations.

There should be a balance between the assessment of:

  • knowledge and understanding outcomes and course content,
  • skills outcomes and content.
One task may be used to assess several components. It is suggested that 3-5 tasks are sufficient to assess the HSC course outcomes.
 
 

12.6 HSC External Examination Specifications

The written examination in Physics will consist of one examination paper of 3 hours duration (plus 5 minutes reading time). A formulae sheet will be supplied. The examination paper will consist of TWO sections:

Section I: Core (75 marks)

Part A (15 marks):

  • There will be FIFTEEN multiple-choice questions.
  • All questions will be compulsory.
  • All questions will be of equal value.
  • Questions will be based on the HSC core modules. 
Part B (60 marks):
  • Short-answer and extended response questions.
  • Marks for individual questions will be shown on the examination paper.
  • All questions will be compulsory.
  • Questions will be based on the HSC core modules.


Section II: Options (25 marks)

  • There will be FIVE questions: one on each of the FIVE HSC options. Each question may consist of several parts.
  • Marks for individual parts will be shown on the examination paper.
  • Candidates must attempt ONE question.
  • All questions will be of equal value.


HSC options list:

  • Geophysics
  • Medical Physics
  • Astrophysics
  • From Quanta to Quarks
  • The Age of Silicon.


12.7 Summary of Internal and External Assessment
 
Internal Assessment Weighting External Assessment Weighting
A written examination paper consisting of:
Core Modules 75 Core Modules:
Multiple-choice questions
Short-answer questions
Longer answer question(s)
75
Option 25 Options:
Short-answer questions
Longer answer questions(s)
25
Marks 100 Marks 100

 

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