Janet Chow

  • 99.45 ATAR
  • 94 in Physics (Rank 4th)
  • 92 in Chemistry (10th in Exam)
  • North Sydney Girls


  • North Sydney Girls Graduate
  • 99.45 ATAR
  • Physics: 94 (Rank 4th)
  • Chemistry: 92 (10th in Exam)
  • Maths Extension 1: 95

About Me

Year 11 Physics was a completely new experience to me, revealing new concepts which seemed daunting and challenging.

During exams, I would often panic, seeing the page filled with phrases and concepts like forces and electromagnetism which still felt foreign after terms of learning. After each exam, I would come back with a mark I wasn’t fully satisfied with, feeling disappointed about the errors I made, particularly as the exams were filled with questions I had never encountered before, and did not know how to approach.

I stepped into year 12 physics, thinking that the content I was about to be taught would only add to my confusion. I remember thinking, “was I really choosing the right subject?”

But little would year 11 me know, that in a year’s time, I would come to love the subject, look forward to every class and start marvelling at the ideas that physics enabled us to understand. My rank would also fall into the single digits, something I’d never thought would happen just a year ago.

What changed?

In year 12, I started connecting physics with the real world – I tried visualising concepts, understanding how it impacted and directly played a role in everyday occurrences. The content taught to me no longer felt like complex empty words and phrases, but instead actual principles and phenomena we view everyday around us, but never thought about how it occurred. In re-approaching this subject, it created much more enjoyment and elicited curiosity which in turn allowed me to achieve my marks in year 12.

Beyond that, I also began to understand that physics is a subject that leans heavily on a student’s basic understanding of the fundamental concepts embedded within the course. In year 11, I tried to get the concepts in one go, without a solid foundation. And what I found, was that, in order to truly understand, one can only begin from basic general knowledge (like how gravity makes things fall), then build up from there. With students, I am able to break seemingly extremely complicated ideas down into much simpler ideas, before connecting existing pieces of knowledge together like stepping stones to form new understandings.

During classes, I am able to teach with enthusiasm whilst providing utmost support, as having gone through the experience of senior school, I empathise with how hard and overwhelming it can get. Apart from helping out through answering questions, spending 1-1 time and grading responses, I can be part of the student’s support system, as it is a mixture of both support and understanding of content which enables students to truly thrive.