How To Do Well In Physics
This article was co-authored by Sean Alexander, MS. Sean Alexander is an Academic Tutor specializing in teaching mathematics and physics. Sean is the Owner of Alexander Tutoring, an academic tutoring business that provides personalized studying sessions focused on mathematics and physics. With over 15 years of experience, Sean has worked as a physics and math instructor and tutor for Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and Stanbridge Academy. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MS in Theoretical Physics from San Francisco State University.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 72 testimonials and 94% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 550,063 times.
For some lucky individuals, being good at physics comes naturally. For the rest of us, however, getting a good grade in physics requires a significant amount of hard work. Luckily, by learning important foundational skills and practicing often, almost anyone can master their physics material. However, even more important than getting a good grade is the fact that a better understanding of physics may shed light on some of the seemingly mysterious forces that govern the way the world works.
Use Paragraph Length Responses
Some FRQs on the AP® Physics exam will require you to provide a coherent, organized and sequential description of the situation presented. If so, provide an accurate, concise, and factually based response to the question in the form of a paragraph utilizing prose. Make sure that you do not add any erroneous information or subject matter. Read the question carefully and focus on answering all parts of the question in the order that they appear.
Know And Understand The Relationship Between Work Energy And Power
Work refers to an activity involving a force in the same direction of the force . Energy refers to the capacity of doing work. In other words, you need a certain amount of energy to perform a certain amount of work. Using the example, we needed 2,000 Joules of energy to perform the task of pushing the object.
Power is simply the rate of doing work, or the rate of using energy, and is the amount of work that is done during a certain amount of time P=\dfrac. In our example above, if it took us 2 seconds to move the object, the amount of power that was output was 1,000 Watts or 1kW.
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Don’t Be Intimidated By An Exam
A former principal of a school where I once taught liked to give the following advice to Grade 12 students: “Don’t be intimidated by the exam. You intimidate the exam.” He certainly wasn’t encouraging students to be overconfident, but he was encouraging them to be confident in the fact that they had studied well and that they would pass the exam if they made an honest effort.
“Intimidating” an exam might be not be possible if you haven’t worked during the course or have left studying until the last moment. A physics exam will be much less intimidating for you if you prepare for it instead of thinking about it shortly before the exam date. Working conscientiously and efficiently from the start of the course will give you the best possible chance of understanding your physics curriculum and having a good exam experience.
While many people feel a little tense when they start an exam, if you’ve prepared properly your nervousness should soon fade and you will be able to not only pass your physics exam but also get a good mark to reward you for your efforts throughout the course.
What Are Your Thoughts On Studying The Morning Of An Exam
Im a big fan of relaxing the day of an exam. The worst thing you can do is stress yourself out.
But this isnt to say you should do nothing the morning of, you still need to make sure youre in the physics mindset.
The morning of is a good time to skim over your notes and run through a broad overview of the range of content in each topic. Youve put in the hard work the night before so all you really need to do is just refresh your brain. Anything you dont know by this stage isnt going to be learned by you panicking over it the morning of.
Likewise, you shouldnt freak out that youre going to forget what you already know. The physics explains this situation best: matter cannot be created nor destroyed.
Search The Internet For Physics Problems
Nowadays, a lot of teachers are providing their resources online. A few simple searches can lead you to class resources such as: Mr. Hansens Physics Class, Mr. Galichs Physics, and Laufer Physics. Other websites focus on practice problems, such as APlus Physics and AP® Practice Exams. Find resources that you find helpful and easy to use. Consider what you want from the source: classroom links usually provide notes and some sample problems, other sites might focus on practice exams. Some sites also have questions that are already answered and will walk you through the various steps of the problem. Bookmark your favorites so that you can return to them any time. While most resources will be broken down by unit, if you need additional material, conduct searches using keywords such as AP® Physics problems, sample kinematics problems, circular motion problems, or other topics and phrases such as those outlined in the table in Tip 1.
If Its The Night Before The Exam My Guess Is That The People Reading This Need Some Comic Relief Whats Your Favourite Physics Joke
In Star Wars they should say may the mass times acceleration be with you. Hopefully everyone reading this is just as much of a nerd as me, otherwise thats pretty cringy haha.
So if your physics exam is tomorrow, take a leaf out of Ians book:
- Spend the night before looking over the syllabus to make sure you have a broad cover of everything, making sure to take some time to do some practice questions as a warm up.
- The day of make sure to remain calm and keep your study at a reasonably low intensity.
- Approach the exam with a plan in mind and make sure to watch the clock: even in black holes the passage of time still exists.
Good luck for tomorrow, and as Ian said, may the mass times acceleration be with you!
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Practice The Steps For Solving A Word Problem
The basic steps for solving a word problem are described below. You may prefer to follow different steps, which is fine, but if your method for dealing with word problems isn’t reliable you might want to try the following sequence of events.
- Draw a diagram to represent the situation whenever possible.
- Label the diagram with the data given in the problem or list the data.
- Identify the information that you are being asked to find.
- Choose an appropriate formula or formulas to find the required information based on the given data.
- Substitute the data in the formula or formulas.
- Solve for the required information.
- Check your answer.
Design A Proper Study Plan
Students should prepare a daily study schedule in which a minimum of 1 hour should be allocated to the Physics subject. While making the schedule, students should take some time to analyze their previous preparation and find out the topics in which they are weak and strong. This will help them to prioritize their preparation for the board exam. The study schedule should be time-bound, and they must follow it. This will create positive pressure on students and help in completing the tasks more effectively.
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Research The Scope Of The Syllabus
A large chunk of the SAT Physics exam will test basic physics concepts: approximately 40% of the questions testing our knowledge of mechanics and just over 20% of the questions on electricity and magnetism. So prioritize these two areas of physics first when revising! The SAT physics exam also rewards students who are well read in the history of physics, so it is a very good idea to read about the origins of the discoveries and formulae we learn. Not only are the history of science questions easy, but if you are generally interested in physics this is the most interesting topic to revise. Also, reading scientific articles is also a great way of preparing for Natural Science passages for the ACT and SAT. If you are taking AP Physics courses at the same time, do use AP multiple-choice sections to help you revise for the SAT physics exam. Finally, physics and maths go hand in hand, so we might as well embrace this age-old fact and make sure alongside SAT physics you do some extra maths revision. The SAT physics exam is a non-calculator exam which does require knowledge of algebra and trigonometry at a high school level.
Usage Of Flashcards To Study:
Physics is a study which involves principles, concepts, units and new words. Make a note of all this so that you can follow your theory and enhance your memory which helps you face problems in the subject.
In order to remember all this, flash card or memory study can be useful and help you remember.
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Do Lots And Lots And Lots Of Practice
You wouldnt run a marathon without any prior training, so it makes no sense to not do mock exams prior to your Physics SAT exam. It is important to complete as many practice papers as possible under timed conditions. You should reserve college board papers for mock exams nearest to the test date, and make sure you time yourself. It is always a good idea to try and mimic the real exam as much as you can during mocks, so if possible, try and ask tutors and school teachers if they can help you arrange mocks rather than you doing them in the comfort of your room. You are allowed to do the exam more than once, so dont panic and good luck!
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Have The Right Mindset:
One of the greatest setbacks I see every student go through is simply a lack of confidence. They become overwhelmed by the material or face mental paralysis when it comes time to take the exam. Dont let the exam beat you. If you put in the work, and push yourself to master the subject, you will do well on your exams. Go into tests with the mindset that youre not just going to pass, youre going to get a perfect score.
I gave the example of coming into physics wanting to prove to my premed adviser that I was good enough for medical school. Give yourself that edge. Aim higher than just an A. Theres something psychologically invigorating about re-evaluating the standards you hold yourself to. I didnt want to make an A. I wanted a perfect score. I wanted to get every question right. I knew that the difficulty of my exam would pale in comparison to what Id encounter on the MCAT. I knew that the course could not be any harder than what would be expected from me in medical school.
Most of us conform to the standards that are set. If you only worry about passing, you will subconsciously devote only the amount of energy and time required to make a C. If you want an A, youll go the extra mile but still cut corners. If you aim for perfection, you know that you cant settle for studying only an average amount of time or skipping over material before youve fully mastered it.
Didnt think so.
1) Skim the reading prior to lecture
2) Attend Lecture
4) Work the problems
What Did You Do To Prepare For Physics On The Day
I sat in a room in the library with a couple of mates bouncing questions off each other, like, tell me about the photoelectric effect or what was up with the Manhattan project, and just go back and forth like that.Doing easy questions like this was a good confidence boost and stopped us from worrying about making silly errors.
Best Tips For Physics Exam Preparation Tips
Learning and Practicing the core definitions:
In the subject of physics with its myriad of different explanations, theorems, and definitions it can become quite stressful to memorize and remember all these different definitions. The best outcome out of this is to learn by practicing. For example, if you are learning the definitions of Conventional Energy sources, it is essential to know the difference between Conventional and Non-Conventional sources of energy. The difference between them may be quite minute however, if we replace the definitions of one with the other during the examination, it can lead to a whole host of errors. To avoid these, it is important to remember the core definitions of one and the other. Rather than simply mugging up the terms, it is more beneficial if one understands the core definitions that separate the terms from one another.
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Educational apps are incredibly valuable as a mode of learning. As more students are shifting their main method of learning from traditional schooling to more advanced means of learning such as apps. The learning app has interactive training lessons, along with thousands of videos on Physics. Taught by the most qualified teachers and lecturers, it is an excellent alternative to learning.
Check The Formulae And Derivations
Instead of mugging up the formulae and derivations, aim for seeking conceptual clarity. Try to understand the pattern of derivations and practice questions based on them. This will help you register them into your mind for a longer time.
Students who are good at solving numericals should devote more time to chapters like Electric charge and fields, Electrostatic potential and capacitance, Current electricity, Moving charge and magnetism
Listen To Your Intuition
Have you ever thrown a ball or played a sport? If you have, then congratulations: youre an expert in basic physics and calculus. Anytime we engage in activities like this, our minds are calculating vectors, force, gravity, and the area under curves. When youre getting started in physics, trusting your intuition by applying basic common sense can help.
Just remember that more advanced physics moves beyond the realm of our everyday experience. Common sense doesnt apply when it comes to astrophysics or elementary particles.
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Dont Memorize How To Do Problems
Use the laws and principles to get your solutions from scratch. As you solve, write down every step. Pretend your grader doesnt know anything about physics. This way you cover all conceptual ideas, but care must be taken to be proficient at completing questions quickly without sacrificing accuracy. Students who excel on the exam have figured out how they can identify what a question is asking and then answer it quickly without making the errors many students make when they start to race against the clock. Thanks for the tip from Takoa L., Rachel H., and Todd C. from Brea Olinda High.
How To Prepare For Your Physics Final Exam
One of the best ways to prepare for this final exam is to look into some resources that have been developed to help students study for this difficult exam. These resources are usually very thorough and provide detailed descriptions of the material that will be covered on the final exam.
One of the most commonly recommended resources to prepare for a physics final exam is the Physics Final Exam PDF. The Physics Final Exam PDF will give the student the ability to understand the concepts used in the exam and then move on to the harder aspects of the exam. The use of this resource is recommended for a few different reasons.
First of all, this is a complete study guide that will include every section of the exam. In order to understand the exam you have to first understand the concepts used, and then you can work your way down the exam using these concepts to get a better understanding of what will be coming at you next. Using a resource like the Physics Final Exam PDF will make it easier to do this.
The other reason to use this resource is that this resource also contains practice tests that can help to prepare students for the final exam. The practice tests will allow students to familiarize themselves with the concepts used in the exam before they actually sit down to take it.
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Know The Common Units Of The Major Quantities In Both The Cgs And Mks Systems
The units of each variable in an equation should be known and understood. There is an entire section of physics known as unit or dimensional analysis. When you perform a complex calculation you need to follow through on your units. Make sure that you are consistent with the units of either system when doing problems. If the problem starts out in MKS units make sure you solve the problem in those units. If you need to convert from one system to another, make sure you are doing it properly. Consider studying the following table which gives some of the most common units used in physics in both systems or making a table of your own.
|Magnetic flux density||telsa||\dfrac}}, \dfrac\cdot \text}\cdot \text^2}||gauss||\dfrac}}, \dfrac\cdot \text}\cdot \text^2}|