Physics is one tough nut to crack. It is a branch of science that is concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. It has a lot of sub-fields which include mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms. This is also one of the subjects that is most dreaded by students of all levels.
There are a few reasons as to what makes physics such a dreaded subject, one of which is the fact that it is considerably difficult due to its combination of scientific principles and mathematical calculations. This leads to numerous students ending up confused about the topics as they may have focused too much on one aspect of the subject.
However, what if we tell you that there is a trick to get past the physics hurdle in school? This article will do just that by imparting a few tips on how to handle physics better as a student. If you are interested, then continue reading the article to find out more.
Without further ado, let us jump straight into the tips that will help you get better at physics in a relative amount of time.
The best way to get better and master physics, or almost any other subject for that matter, is by simply getting the basics down. But what are these “basics”, you ask?
Well, these are the central theories that are essential and serve as the cornerstone for every other theory that gets more complex as you go further down the physics rabbit hole. All of the mathematical problems you will encounter in physics will revolve around these central theories no matter how advanced the problems may seem with some degree of variation towards them. You can view these theories as to the guidelines that dictate how to understand and solve problems related to physics.
Just like how the English language follows the base subject-verb agreement no matter how complex the sentence gets, physics also has its own central theories from which to derive other and more advanced fields. So, you better get familiar with your basics if you want to start understanding and excelling at physics.
Another tip we can provide which will certainly aid in your pursuit towards physics mastery is to think conceptually. As you advance further into physics and encounter more complex theories, there will be instances where some problems will be difficult to visualize as they transcend the way we view and observe the universe.
During these times, it is of great importance to think conceptually and not to be confused with the limits of human observation. Conceptualizing the way coil, as well as the magnetic and electric fields are oriented to give the maximum magnetic flux is one such example of things we fail to observe but can be conceptualized if you try hard enough.
Just as previously mentioned, physics is a combination of scientific theories and mathematical equations. And while the previous two tips have focused on the former, this tip is aimed to develop the latter.
Mathematical skills are a necessity once an individual wants to excel in physics as it is one of the major building blocks for the subject. And while you will need to follow certain rules that abide by the theories of physics when solving equations, you will essentially be tasked with following basic mathematical concepts such as PEMDAS and the rules of exponents. So, paying close attention to your skills in calculating as well as your ability to understand theory is something you should work on if you want to get better at the subject.
In physics, there are certain standards for the units to be used in the equations that need to be followed to avoid confusion and to make things uniform. These units are called the SI base units or the internationally accepted standard units defined by the International System of Units.
Unless specified in the problem, the answers to any equation related to physics should follow the SI units. However, there are still a lot of individuals that get tricked and forge to convert the units to the SI units which leads them to gain a lot of incorrect marks during their exams. Be mindful of these units as they can often make a perfect score in your next quiz into just barely passing the test if you are not careful enough.
For basic physics, it is best to just visualize the concepts of physics into everyday activities in order to understand them better. Of course, this doesn’t apply to those theories that go beyond our comprehension. If you happen to play basketball then you will be familiar with the trajectory a ball will go through when shot at a certain angle. This seemingly simple piece of knowledge is the focus of a certain topic in physics.
It should be no surprise that physics includes a lot of word problems. These problems’ difficulties range from straightforward to complex and confusing. This is why one needs to analyze each individual problem carefully before trying to solve the problem in order to avoid being scammed by trick questions.
Word problems are an integral part of the average physics test and are used to gauge an individual’s level of understanding of both the theories and methods to solve a specific topic in physics. So being careful around them and analyzing them before trying to solve them can really save you the time, effort, and extra points you would have missed if you acted rashly.
Some topics in physics are concerned with only the 2-dimensional plane, and thus, can be drawn on any piece of paper. Topics such as kinematics, projectile motion, and vectors are examples of topics that are compatible with the 2-dimensional plane.
It would be helpful to draw the problems related to these topics and utilize graphic aid in order to better understand these topics. Drawing makes the task of visualization easier as you no longer have to remember the placements of points in your head. It also helps to determine the relationship between the factors in the problems as they will be laid out in the open for you to study.
What better way to improve on your problem-solving skills than to practice solving word problems on your own? You can search for practice problems to solve in your books or through online sources. By doing so, you will be able to hone your skills in determining the theories behind the problems as well as your mathematical skills.
Doing practice problems and reviewing your answers later on is also a great way to gauge where you fall short when answering physics problems. You can then address these shortcomings by working on them by answering even more practice problems until you finally get them right.
One of the most important traits to have when you want to get better at any subject is persistence. This holds for getting better at physics as well. Persistence to keep solving practice problems. Persistence to continue reading up on the key theories you will need for the level of physics you are studying. And the persistence to see where you fall short and build up on that shortcoming.
These are all the tasks you will need to keep up in order to get better at physics. There is no easy way out of anything, everything requires a substantial amount of effort for someone to get better at it. So, keep up the effort and you will surely be rewarded for it.
There will be times when your physics teacher will not be able to cover everything that is intended to be covered. And whatever the reason for this may be, it would do you best if you were to start learning from external sources in order to supplement your learning at school.
Learning from external sources can include trying out other books aside from the one specified by your school, or by reading online articles or lectures about the topic you are trying to learn about. This will allow you to gain even more insight about the topic and will hopefully answer any question you had about the topic in order to better understand it.
Your efforts alone are enough to make you better at physics, but if you feel like you are in dire need of another mind, then you can always hire a tutor to help you through the difficulties of learning physics. A tutor will be able to give you much more attention and hands-on discussions about the topics in physics you are having trouble with. Plus, you can freely ask them questions regarding physics without worrying about looking like a fool in front of your classmates as you will be in a one-on-one session.
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