Biology vs Chemistry vs Physics

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The syllabus launched new content material not taught within the earlier syllabus. In 2019, the Extension Science course was launched and allowed Yr 12 college students to take an extra unit of science for the primary time.

On this publish, we reply some continuously requested questions from Yr 10 college students about choosing the proper Science programs for Yr 11.

  • What are the variations between Biology, Chemistry and Physics?
  • Ought to I select Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics?
  • Which science course ought to I research if I’m taken with finding out Well being, Medication or Dentistry at College?
  • Is it true that there’s an overlap between Chemistry and Physics?

Yr 11 Science is the primary yr of Stage 6 Science. Stage 6 refers to years 11 and 12.  Yr 9 and 10 Science is named Stage 5 Science.

Stage 6 Science provides three totally different science programs – Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Extra particulars about Stage 6 may be discovered on the NSW Training Requirements Authority (NESA) web site.

Yr 11 Biology, Chemistry and Physics programs are break up right into a expertise element and 4 modules of research. The talents elements can be coated inside the 4 modules of research. The modules for the Yr 11 curriculum are:

Yr 11 Biology Yr 11 Chemistry Yr 11 Physics
Working Scientifically Working Scientifically Working Scientifically
Module 1
Cells because the Foundation of Life Properties and Construction of Matter Kinematics
Module 2
Organisation of Dwelling Issues Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry Dynamics
Module 3
Organic Variety Reactive Chemistry Waves and Thermodynamics
Module 4
Ecosystem Dynamics Drivers of Reactions Electrical energy and Magnetism

Please be aware that Yr 11 college students at Matrix begin the course one time period forward of faculty. This implies Yr 11 college students will begin their research in October of the earlier yr (when they’re in Yr 10 in school). Be taught extra about Matrix Yr 11 programs.


Evaluating Science programs: Biology vs Chemistry vs Physics

The Yr 11 Science course construction is printed within the desk under:

Biology Chemistry Physics
Goal Develop an appreciation and understanding of organic ideas which might be used to discover the variety of life, from a molecular to a organic methods stage, and the interactions between residing issues and the environments by which they stay. Develop an appreciation and understanding of supplies and their properties, constructions, interactions and associated purposes. Develop an appreciation and understanding of the appliance of the ideas of physics, and of the theories, legal guidelines, fashions, methods and constructions of physics.
Goal Develop information and understanding of the construction and performance of organisms and the Earth’s biodiversity and the impact of evolution Develop information and understanding of the basics of chemistry and the traits and driving forces in chemical interactions Develop information and understanding of basic mechanics, electromagnetism, and power.
 Overview An in depth research in any respect ranges of organisation of life, spanning from organelles and cells in an organism to communities and ecosystems. Chemistry is the research of matter and the way it interacts. Yr 11 chemistry establishes the fundamentals of chemistry. College students develop an understanding of the conceptual foundations of physics – of mechanics, electromagnetism and power.

Additionally they develop logic and drawback fixing expertise, together with calculation expertise.

 Abstract Yr 11 Biology begins by investigating cells as the premise of residing issues, and contemplating the construction and performance of cells.

College students then study how cells construct into tissues, organs and organ methods, and the way these totally different methods kind particular person crops and animals.

College students then research how the person suits right into a group and ecosystem, and the way environmental pressures can drive the evolution of residing issues by means of a handful of case research.

Yr 11 Chemistry research the elemental ideas required to know the properties of matter and chemical reactions.

College students first study the in regards to the construction of atoms and the way this determines the reactivity of various components, and the way atoms are organized in several compounds and mixtures.

College students study to make calculations regarding the quantities of matter concerned in reactions, and achieve a deeper understanding of why substances behave in sure methods by way of their bodily and chemical properties.

Yr 11 physics covers basic ideas from classical physics.

They research forces and movement and study to make use of vector arithmetic and graphing strategies.

College students additionally study about wave properties and movement, and the way power could also be transferred by a wave or within the type of warmth.

College students learn the way charged objects work together by protecting electrical energy and magnetism.



Choosing the proper Science course (Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics)

College students ought to take into account the next when making a call:

  • What topics they’re taken with.
  • What they’re good at.
  • How a lot time they could must commit to every course, within the context of their whole Yr 11 and Yr 12 workload.
  • What they want to pursue at college.

By the Yr 9 and 10 modules – The Dwelling World, The Chemical World, and The Bodily World – college students could have sampled Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These modules kind a foundation for the Stage 6 syllabus, and allow college students to find out which of the science topics they’re taken with. College students also needs to take into account how they carried out in every of the modules and the way difficult they discovered them.

The totally different science programs could also be really helpful programs or assumed information for sure college programs. The flowchart under exhibits the final development from highschool to school programs.  Extra detailed data for particular college programs is supplied in following sections.


Science Progression Chart


Figuring out really helpful Science topics for various college programs

Listed under are the minimal ATAR outcomes wanted for home college students to have been accepted into some standard college programs in 2017, and every course’s assumed information and really helpful topics. College students who don’t fulfill the assumed information necessities ought to undertake a bridging course previous to the graduation of their diploma. (Bridging programs are intensive programs that try and cowl massive parts of the Stage 6 syllabus over brief durations of roughly 10 days.)

College of New South Wales

Course Title 2018 ATAR Lower Off Assumed Data Beneficial Topics
Actuarial Research 97.30 Arithmetic Extension 1 English Superior, Arithmetic Extension 2
Aerospace Engineering 92.00 Arithmetic Extension 1, Physics Chemistry, Engineering Research, Arithmetic Extension 2, Info Processes and Expertise, Software program Design and Growth
Architectural Research 95.60 None English Superior, Historic Historical past, Trendy Historical past, Design and Expertise, Visible Arts
Commerce 96.30 Arithmetic English Superior, Arithmetic Extension 1
Electrical Engineering 91.00 Arithmetic Extension 1, Physics Arithmetic Extension 2, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering Research, Software program Design and Growth, Info Processes and Expertise
Medical Research/Physician of Medication 96.00* English Customary (Band 4) Chemistry

 College of Sydney

Course Title 2018 ATAR Lower Off Assumed Data Beneficial Topics
Commerce (Liberal Research) 95.00 Arithmetic None
B Superior Computing New Diploma Arithmetic Extension 1 None
Medical Science 90.00 Arithmetic, Chemistry plus Biology or Physics. None
Oral Well being 83.00* Chemistry None
Pharmacy 90.00 Arithmetic, Chemistry Biology, Physics
Veterinary Biology/
Physician of Veterinary Medication
* Arithmetic, Chemistry, Physics Biology
Science/ Regulation 99.50 Arithmetic None
Superior Science New Diploma Arithmetic None

Macquarie College

Course Title 2018 ATAR Lower Off Assumed Data Beneficial Topics
Actuarial Research 97.00 Arithmetic Extension 1 (Band E4) Arithmetic Extension 2
Arts – Psychology/Legal guidelines 96.70 None Arithmetic

College of Expertise

Course Title 2018 ATAR Lower Off Assumed Data Beneficial Topics
Design in Structure/Inventive Intelligence and Innovation 96.10 English (any 2 models)Arithmetic Visible Arts, Design and Expertise, Historical past (any 2 models)
Engineering (Hons) Civil, Diploma in Engineering Apply 92.00 English Customary, Arithmetic Extension 1, Physics English Superior

* ATAR + further choice standards



Scaling of Biology, Chemistry and Physics Programs

Scaling is the method of changing HSC marks into scaled marks for comparability throughout totally different topics. That is required as college students undertake totally different programs, and a sure mark in a single course might not equate to the identical mark in one other course, e.g. if programs differ in problem. Basically, evaluating the marks of scholars finding out totally different science programs just isn’t correct by way of evaluating college students to at least one one other.

A unique stage of scaling is utilized to every topic, as this displays the totally different calls for of the topic.

As a common rule, the “tougher” the unit of research, the higher the scaling it receives.

Chemistry and Physics scales higher than Biology.

For instance,

    • A scholar in ninetieth percentile (prime 10 p.c within the state) in Chemistry and Physics will obtain a scaled mark of 41.5/50 and 42/50 which equates to 83/100  and 84/100 respectively.
    • A scholar in ninetieth percentile in Biology will obtain a scaled mark of 39/50 which equates to 78/100, whereas a scholar within the 96th percentile will obtain a mark round 84/100. A biology scholar will should be ranked in 96th percentile to acquire the identical scaled mark as a Chemistry and Physics scholar ranked within the ninetieth percentile.

Please be aware that college students shouldn’t be selecting topics based mostly on scaling. As a substitute, scaling graphs needs to be used because the device for figuring out your required place/rank within the state for you to acquire your required ATAR. The scaling graph ought to let you know how nicely you would want to do in a sure topic, which may be thought of together with the scholar’s talents and workload. Take into account the next examples:

  • A scholar is taken with and has been performing nicely in Physics, and Physics scales fairly nicely. The coed is more likely to get good “worth” for his or her effort in the event that they research Physics.
  • A scholar just isn’t taken with Physics and finds it tough. They carry out higher in Biology and discover it extra attention-grabbing, however are contemplating Physics because it scales higher. The coed can be required to work tougher in the event that they research Physics, which is able to eat time they might be devoting to different topics. The coed ought to take into account how nicely they might do in both Physics or Biology, and their different topics, with the time they might dedicate to every.

Scaling is a posh concept. If you need to know extra you must learn All About ATAR Scaling


Similarities between Chemistry and Physics

Chemistry and Physics each enchantment to college students with stronger logical considering as each topics contain calculations, conceptual understanding and explanations of processes. Nevertheless, is there actually any overlap between the 2? The brief reply isn’t any.

While there’s some small overlap within the Stage 6 content material similar to power switch and the construction of atoms, the main points, context, method and emphasis differ between Chemistry and Physics.


In style mixtures

Some college students take a number of science topics relying on their pursuits, strengths and future plans. Listed below are standard topic mixtures undertaken at Matrix:

Biology Chemistry Physics
42% of Biology college students additionally studied Chemistry 12% of Chemistry college students additionally studied Biology 11% of Physics college students additionally studied Biology
15% of Biology college students additionally studied Physics 39% of Chemistry college students additionally studied Physics 56% of Physics college students additionally studied Chemistry


Extension Science

Extension Science has been out there as an choice to Yr 12 college students since 2019. It’s a 1-unit course and may be taken in Biology, Chemistry or Physics along with the common programs.

The extension unit just isn’t like conventional programs. While it comprises some principle content material (principally based mostly on analysing information and statistics)  it’s as a substitute extra like a analysis venture. College students should carry out their very own analysis or information evaluation and write a analysis report that critiques the scientific literature and in addition their very own outcomes. The investigation may be in collaboration with a college analysis group, relying on what preparations the scholar/faculty are in a position to make. College students can discuss with the NESA web site for extra data.


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