How to overcome the subject that seems to stump most students
How to pass Physics? It’s one of those classes that most students at the college and high school level think is the impossible subject to understand and do well in. Questions like: “What is a force?” “How do I draw a free body diagram?” “What in the heck are harmonics?” These are all valid questions and are what students typically ask because sometimes these concepts just come in one ear and leave out the other at the speed of light. This usually occurs because students tend to forget the fundamentals on how to study.
Well, in this post we cover 3 helpful tips in how to better prepare you for an upcoming physics exams as well as provide you some great resources that you can use to practice for your upcoming exam.
Tip #1: Don’t Procrastinate, motivate
This seems like it’s a no brainer, but a lot of people still don’t seem to want to do it due to laziness. Well, it is with my strong recommendation that you do not leave studying till the day before an exam. Now, when I say study early, I don’t mean go hardcore and break out the Red Bull® and study for hours on end.
What you should be doing is going at your own pace and just going over the big core concepts that was covered in class on a certain day and before even reading your notes ask yourself, “Do I understand what this concept means?” If your answer is no, then make it an effort to just skim over your notes while paying attention to key equations. After looking over the daily notes, ask yourself the same question, “Do I understand what this concept means?,” and I guarantee you that you’ll be much better off then where you were before reading the section.
Tip #2: Do some Practice Problems
This is really helpful to reinforce some of the concepts that you read in your notes. It’s also useful to get used to doing practice problems because that’s what will most likely be the type of problems you will get on the exam. Do problems from your textbook, get some practice from online websites, or perhaps your teacher/professor has examples of old practice exams that you can use. There are so many resources for students out there nowadays that you should use as much as you can to help you prepare. Trust me when I say that doing the same type of problems over and over again is going to drill the method of solving them inside your brain so much that you’ll be able to solve kinematic questions with ease.
Practicing for your class requires the use of some resources that can offer you practice problems. Here are some of the best physics resources available out there on the internet (in my opinion) that can help with preparation:
a.) DC Physics
The site offers questions, broken down by concept. Though the question sets are somewhat limited, it's a good way to get some practice in to help enforce the concepts you already know.
You can practice for your exam with us! Our platform includes full length practice exams for Physics in the form of multiple choice that are timed and cover lots of different topics in the realm of physics that you would see in your typical upper level high school and college level classes. The content currently follows the AP Physics curriculum, but the questions can still be used for general practice, especially if you want the challenging questions that you would probably see on your physics exam.
c.) Varsity Tutors
The site offeres a variety of questions in physics also in the form of multiple choice that can be viewed by difficulty, topic and number of questions. Great resource to have for quick practice.
Tip #3 : Visit your Teacher/Professor or Teaching Assistant (TA)
Now this is something you may want to do if tips one and two didn’t work for you at all and you are as loss as you were in the beginning. Your professors and teaching assistants are your best resource because they are supposed to be experts at this subject. Not only that, but they are being paid to teach you the dang subject, so they better know their stuff.
This is coming from personal experience, because whenever I was stuck on a topic and reading notes and doing practice problems just wasn’t working, I would go to the professor and voilà, all my questions would be answered. Yeah they are just that good. What students don’t realize either is that visiting your professor consistently helps you build a good relationship with them because it shows that you actually care about how you’re doing in the class, so they in return will give you the respect and attention you need. Getting to know your professors is a must, especially for those in the college setting. All about those connections people!!!!
The way to passing physics I think ultimately comes down to your motivation. It is my personal belief that anyone can learn anything. It really matters how much effort you put into learning the subject and finding the right resources to help you understand what you can't.
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