I took high school in Canada (Edmonton, to be precise) and am now a few days away from finishing my university degree. 16-17 years old; for me, I
turned 16 near the end of grade 10, so this range would represent about grades 11-12.
Grade 11 math, we mostly spent our time working with functions, and how to graph them by hand, usually fairly simple things, like second order (x^2
type) functions or trig functions. Grade 12 math was better, we did some more trig, more complex functions, logarithms, some basic statistics and
probability, conic functions, things like that. I also took high school calculus, where we learned limits and derivatives of a single variable, and a
little bit of integration.
Grade 11 and 12 physics might be difficult to separate in my mind, since I had the same teacher for both (plus I think they rearranged the curriculum
right before and after I took them) but the content, I think, is still similar, it just might be presented in a different order. We did basic
mechanics, with velocity and acceleration, newton's laws, that sort of thing. A bit of simple optics; mirrors and lenses and index of refraction.
Some simple electric circuits, a bit on electric and magnetic fields and forces. (like coulomb's law, lorentz force, etc) We did the concepts of
work and energy. Near the end of grade 12 physics, we did a bunch of nuclear/atomic physics stuff, like E=mc^2, planck quantization of energy E=hf,
radiation and particle decay; some of that stuff I had felt was more like chemistry than physics, but it was still interesting nonetheless.
One important note is that our physics was non-calculus based. (although, naturally, most/all of what we did was derived from calculus; we just
didn't know it at the time!) Also, my sister, who took high school math a few years later (she is 5 years younger than me) found that the math
courses had been dumbed down quite a bit; they just did everything on graphing calculators, and her class couldn't even plot the basic functions that
I learned at the beginning of the course.
When I took those courses (math 20, math 30, math 31, physics 20, physics 30) I didn't have much trouble with them, for the most part. A few
concepts in physics, like the optics, gave me some trouble in high school, though I have since taken a fourth year course in optics at university and
got A-, so I don't have trouble with it anymore, lol. I also had trouble with some of the electric circuits stuff, yet somehow decided that
electrical engineering would be a good choice; perhaps my motivation to learn that stuff was higher in university, since I now know it quite well. (I
wouldn't be graduating this term otherwise, I don't think)
Here's a website from a local high school (not mine) that has some stuff about the diploma exams. (what we call the exams for a core grade 12
When I went there, they said the website would be down for the 21st/22nd, so maybe
wait a few days before checking it out. It has a bunch of study material and past exams, so you can see what they are teaching now. (as opposed to
what they were teaching in 1998/99, as I described above, when I was 16/17.)
Here's a link to a set of course descriptions for my old high school for the coming academic year. www.ainlay.ca...
looked through the math and physics sections, and they have changed somewhat, in both good and bad ways, but seem to be substantially the same, except
for the division of the math curriculum into 'pure' and 'applied' math streams, which did not exist for my year. I notice in particular a few
subjects in 'math 30 applied' that I did not study in high school, like matrices. (which would have helped a LOT in my first year of university!)
The physics seems to be virtually identical to what I did in those two years, only, like I said, they have shuffled some stuff from grade 12 to 11,
and vice versa, and they mention using a lot of practical examples, which we didn't have when I took it.
Yeah, so that is my incredibly long-winded answer to your question. It's always nice when somebody here asks something I have direct experience
with; it makes it so easy to answer