If you want to get good scores on university testing, you need to find out what professor is making the tests and then look at tests+solutions from the previous years/decades. Basically profiling the testing patterns of that professor. Also the stuff that professors utter verbally during their lectures is more important then what you can find in the study material, because there are considerable economic pressures that make professors shy away from externalizing the pedagogically valuable information onto paper.
If you just optimize for the best possible comprehension of the subject matter, you will not get the best scores. The nature of scoring systems are like puzzle games, and to get the best scores at the game you need to optimize strategy for puzzle solving, which is not the same as being better at understanding physics. There is considerable overlap between understanding physics and getting a good score in physics, but there is divergence as well.
Many students research professors to find out which professor will get them the best scores, some look for professors with the least difficulty or the greatest mental compatibility.
Taking tests is a skill that is distinct from understanding the subject matter. If you do a lot of training tests you will get better scores even if you do not advance your level of comprehension. So if you get the tests from the last 20 years or so, and focus on completing these tests and tailor your studying and learning towards being able to complete those tests, you will likely do better.
Academia is a competition, so your tests scores will also vary based on how well or poorly you do compared to your peers, it's not an objective knowledge measurement. This is after-all a production pipeline for making mental-workers that solve technical problems for employers. And in capitalism they are more interested in relative performance. Physics is a technical field so they are more interested in having the best technology on the market than actually having the best technology that is possible at any given scientific level. Based on that many students try to find established mental workers, that already work in the field they aspire to and try to replicate that same academic parkour.
You might have noticed that a lot of this is about careerism. And academia is impacted by the class interests of labor aristocrats that want to give their children a advantage over the children from proletarian parents. They exercise pressure on universities to design university courses and tests for students that can hire tutors, and usually the system is designed to make some information you need to pass only easily accessible via tutors, who will play along because the tutoring gigs are better than other student side-jobs. You can get around this a little via the test-first learning method i wrote about in previous paragraphs.
>my thermodynamics course
It's worthwhile understanding the intersection with explanations with ideology. For example there has been a shift in how entropy is explained, explanations used to focus more on order and disorder but now there is more focus on energy being defused spatially. IMHO they are trying to downplay the link between thermodynamics and information theory. I don't know why exactly, maybe because high-tech capitalists don't want an awareness of how much physical impact cloud servers have, maybe they want to uphold the idealism that the cloud is ethereal, rather than servers switches and cables, but that is speculation, on my part.