21 Apr How To Prepare For Your Physics Exam
Physics is an important subject that combines math and science to explain how the world works.
Here are some tips that will help you succeed and send you into that exam ready to win!
Don’t Wait Until Exam Time
To do well on a physics test, you can’t wait until exam time to begin preparing. Physics requires constant effort. World-class physicists didn’t master the laws of harmonic motion, Bernoulli’s equation and Lenz’s law in a night, and neither should you try.
To succeed in physics—and reduce your stress levels—you need to be reading, writing and thinking physics on a daily basis. A general rule is that every hour of class time requires two to three hours of out-of-class effort. This guideline certainly holds true for physics. After each lecture, rewrite your notes in your own words. Every time you read the book, take notes and solve practice problems. And be sure to review frequently.
How do I study?
It’s not that easy to score an A. Understanding is still the core of what Physics is about. Mr Dave Sim, the founder of Physics Cafe explains below.
“A student who simply memorises the system and follows step 1 to 5 will not improve significantly. Yes, he should be able to pass. But this will not help improve his cognitive and analytical ability.
An ‘A’ grade student behaves differently. He looks at the system, understands the principle behind the system, tests the system on different questions, and fine-tunes the system to cover a wider scope of questions. How do you know when you are ready? When your own notes are more precious than any other notes or textbook, that’s when you know you are ready.”
Try to simplify the situation as much as possible. The Physics problem you are reading may seem difficult to solve at first but take another look and begin to analyze it and you will realize that is easier than you first thought. It is important to remain calm and try to bring the problem to a situation which you are familiar with by simplifying it in your mind.
Here in The Physics Cafe, we will test you! With each physics or maths class, you will have a 30 minutes short test after every 3 to 4 topics. You will soon realize that for all the hard work you and your teachers put in, you have only 30 minutes to perform. You will learn how to perform under stress and under exam conditions. Most importantly, We will make sure you improve. When we give the test review, we will highlight the concepts. You will discover your weakness and improve. Eventually, you will realize that every problem we have given you is extremely simple. Conceptually, they were not so simple. But from a math point of view, they are trivial. We may make it sound easy, but when you really attempt it, it’s going to be difficult. However, you are not alone. The initial phase is always difficult, but the path will get smoother gradually, sooner than you can realize.
Five Mistakes to Avoid:
1. The Calculator Trap: Calculators crunch numbers, they don’t solve problems. You need to understand the principles underlying a problem in order to know what equations and numbers to use. If you think your calculator will get you through the exam, think again.
2. Procrastination: Falling behind, even just a little, can be disastrous in a physics class. Every lesson builds on what came before. Slacking off in week three can turn the next 12 weeks into exercises in futility.
3. Memorization: You will need to memorize, but realize that memorization doesn’t lead to success in physics. Put most of your effort into understanding the underlying principles that govern a problem—only then will the equations you memorize make sense.
4. Passivity: Passively reading examples in the book and watching your professor solve problems on the board have limited value. You need to do the problems yourself, as you will do on the exam, to learn the material.
5. Isolation: Physics is hard, so don’t make the mistake of going it alone. You’ll learn far more by working with classmates and seeking help when necessary.