The next few years are going to be interesting. A new syllabus means that for the next few years, you are the guinea pigs. We all know that doing well in the HSC requires practicing with past questions. But with a limited resources out there, is it still possible to ace your exams?
This is not the drastic overhaul we were all led to believe.
To best explain this change, let's take the example of Acids.
For the old syllabus, we learned plenty historical context, significance of discoveries and how scientists conducted their experiments. All of this is rote-learning and memorising huge chunks of text.
For the new syllabus, NESA is focusing on modern applications of discoveries - how our modern understanding of acids will impact future chemical sciences.
You can find NESA's new syllabus documents here.
Even though the syllabus has shifted its focus, there is PLENTY of carry over from old to new. Most of the concepts are simply restructured and repackaged. So when you use HSCninja to go through past questions, don't be shocked to find questions about Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy or Electromagnetism.
Lets look at a few examples:
|Past HSC Question||Old Syllabus||New Syllabus|
|Describe how atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) could be used to measure the effectiveness of heating water to reduce its hardness.||Describe the use of atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) in detecting concentrations of metal ions in solutions and assess its impact on scientific understanding of the effects of trace elements.||Conduct investigations and/or process data to determine the concentration of coloured species and/or metal ions in aqueous solution, including by not limited to, the use of: • Colourimetry • Ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry • Atomic absorption spectroscopy (Applying Chemical Ideas)|
|Citric acid, the predominant acid in lemon juice, is a triprotic acid. A student titrated 25.0 mL samples of lemon juice with 0.550 mol L–1 NaOH. The mean titration volume was 29.50 mL. The molar mass of citric acid is 192.12 g mol–1. What was the concentration of citric acid in the lemon juice?||Perform a first-hand investigation and solve problems using titrations and including the preparation of standard solutions, and use available evidence to quantitatively and qualitatively describe the reaction between selected acids and bases.||Conduct practical investigations to analyse the concentration of an unknown acid or base by titration. (Acid/Base Reactions)|