Hi, just coming out of HSC and knowing the system relatively well can someone explain to me how uni works?

a) MATH1131 Mathematics 1A (6 UOC)

vs

MATH1141 Higher Mathematics 1A (6 UOC)

b) PHYS1121 Physics 1A (6 UOC)

vs

PHYS1131 Higher Physics 1A (6 UOC)

Some questions:

1) so is UOC like units in hsc?

The typical amount of Units of Credit (UOC) to complete each semester is 24, so you should do 24 UOC to finish your degree "on time". Most subjects are 6 UOC, a few are 3 UOC, and very few are 12, 18 and 24 - the last 3 are mainly for major projects, theses, placeholder subjects etc.

2) what's the benefit of taking higher level subjects? is there any scaling factors or anything? cause say 70wam in math 1141 would be a lot harder than a wam of 70 in maths 1131, what does the uni do for this? would employers just look at wam and not the subject itself?

There is a scaling factor. Whilst I do agree with you that a 70 in MATH1141 is probably harder to achieve than a 70 in MATH1131, at the end of the day, they are both the same marks and that's it - nothing more. However, in my experience (I've done the higher version for all my subjects), the scaling is very good but you do need to work hard for it. I recall in my MATH1241 exam, I literally skipped a whole question and definitely didn't get the other 3 fully correct (there were 4 questions, with many parts to them), and ended up with 88.

3) what would be the best way to get textbooks? buy them 2nd hand or what?

Don't need the textbook for MATH; the physics textbook is useful, but I don't recommend buying it. You can borrow it from the library and continue renewing it.

4) homework, how do you check the solutions? im sure there wont be fully worked solutions, so are these gone through during tutes?

Attend your tutorials. Collaborate with friends/peers. Not all questions can be covered. There are far too many questions. At the very least, most questions have answers to them. The tutor will also have consultations, as well as lecturers, and you can email them as well.

5) past papers: how does this work? i hear those stories of tested content and stuff people studied and doesn't sound too good.....

You will have access to past papers in MATH if you buy the course pack. For PHYS, the lecturer may upload some.

6) [if you're doing commerce/engineering please explain] how do you choose your subjects? according to

http://www.handbook.unsw.edu.au/undergraduate/programs/2013/3715.html
it looks like 1st year is purely engineering, this contradicts to what i've heard

Please helpp

It's up to you, but you should do the first year engineering cores because they determine how far you can progress in your engineering degree. If you don't do PHYS in semester 1, you are rather screwed for engineering especially in 2nd and 3rd year. You may end up completing more of your Commerce degree than Engineering by 3rd year.

l just completed my first year of engineering.

l recommend that you do not make the same mistake l did. take higher maths and higher physics. i**t isn't harder, you just need to learn a bit more content.** plus the scaling is awesome.

Please. It is 100 times harder than the normal/regular and hard questions. The [X] questions are on another level. There's more content and much harder concepts. Being able to do those [X] questions is the difference between mid-80's and high 90's.

In regards to the higher level maths courses did you do maths ext 2, I though that was required to do them?

It is not required for MATH1141, but for MATH1241, there will be grade restrictions. MX2 helps a lot though. A lot of the content in MATH1131 is done in MX2, so you are really expanding your knowledge in MATH1141, instead of learning it all from scratch.

I feel like "higher" implies that it's harder though. Is the extra content the same level of difficulty? Or is it like 2U vs 3U maths level of difficulty.

It is significant in MATH, not so much in PHYS. The gap in difficulty in MATH "feels" (subjective) like Year 10 Maths and MX2 - it's more of a shock factor because you see the question and you have no clue on how to even begin solving the question. But the gap in PHYS is like 2U and 3U, which is not so significant.