Physics is one of those subjects that often evoke fear in students. Physics is considered as one of the hardest subjects in school, and it can be a pretty hard mountain to climb if you don’t have the right tools.
Physics is the study of matter and is one of the oldest fields of study, which means that you have to go through hundreds of concepts when you take up this subject.
With these overwhelming odds, how then can you become effective at this subject? If you are serious about improving in physics, then join us in this article discussing simple solutions to help you breeze through the subject.
1. Pay attention.
Being bombarded by a lot of information can be pretty overwhelming. But remember that, much like math, physics is structured wherein every formula discussed is directly tied to the next one.
Being absent or not paying attention in class can have adverse effects if you’re looking to improve in physics. That’s why even though this tip might sound basic to some, this is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly since this will be the foundation of your knowledge in physics.
Focus cannot be stressed enough, especially during this era of instant information and gratification. This article states that the global attention span is narrowing, and it’s all due to having a lot of information to consume. Counteract this by not becoming just another statistic and focusing on what you want to achieve in physics.
2. Prioritize the foundations.
In relation to the first entry on this list, paying close attention to how a formula develops is crucial in mastering the subject.
Think of physics as a building. Without the right base or foundations, the building will collapse. Knowing the basics of each formula is essential to your improvement in physics.
Another analogy might be that of cooking or baking. You cannot bake a perfect bread or cake without following the correct measurements and instructions. If you do not follow the basic tenets of physics, it will be hard for you to progress towards the more complex ones.
So if you followed the first entry and you are already going to class every time, do yourself a favor by following this one as well. It will increase your chances of improving in physics since it will help you grasp the basics of the subject.
3. Keep the Constants in mind.
Much like in math, constants are the foundation of physics. One mistake in the formula can topple your whole solution, and you’ll be forced to go back to the beginning once again.
We have compiled constants that you will encounter on your road to improving in physics. Here are the constants:
- Gravity (on earth): 9.81 meters × second^-2
- Speed of light: 3 × 108 meters × second^-1
- Molar gas constant: 8.32 Joules/(mole × Kelvin)
- Avogadro’s number: 6.02 × 1023 per mole
- Planck’s Constant: 6.63 × 10-34 Joules × seconds
Knowing the numbers associated with these constants is one of the keys to success in physics.
4. Have a keen eye for small details.
Physics is a detail-oriented subject. One of those subjects rewards attention to detail and does not take kindly to mistakes, even small ones.
We have already discussed the importance of focus when it comes to physics. That discussion is in direct relation to seeing the small details in your formulas. Remember that a single mistake is sometimes what stands between you and solving a particular problem. You would do well by paying attention to every number and symbol that you place in your formula.
Those who have already improved in physics will tell you that it’s all about the details, and they are not wrong. If you are meticulous with your problem-solving, then the whole process will go without a hitch.
5. Obsess over your notes.
One thing that you will find among successful people in their chosen fields is that they are obsessed with consuming more information regarding their areas.
One of the things you can take with you from those hours spent listening to physics lectures is your notes. Your notes are what you have when you are reviewing for upcoming tests, quizzes, or recitations. Recall what you have learned during class by intently studying your notes so that the information remains fresh.
6. Look for alternative sources of information.
One good thing about living in this era of information is that everything and anything is accessible to us.
Sometimes, acquiring new and helpful information is just one type and click away. Take advantage of this by making full use of the tools at your disposal, like Google, eBooks, and different instructional videos on YouTube.
Increase your chances of finding the specific thing you’re looking for by following these tips:
- Know what exact concepts you’re looking for.
- Not be distracted by social media or other videos on YouTube.
- Using third-party software explicitly designed with getting a specific search term in mind.
The internet is a vast place. Take advantage of it by being focused on what exactly you want to get from it, and you will undoubtedly improve in physics.
Much like with most things in life, it never hurts to be extra careful. Before marking your work as done and submitting it, always make sure that there are no mistakes in your solution.
Let’s face it; physics is hard. But you will only make it harder on yourself by submitting work that you are still unsure of. You can use different formulas to check whether you might have skipped an essential part of the solution. Think of it as an additional exercise for you to improve your overall skills in physics and not an extra chore to make your life harder.
8. Form a study group with your friends.
This article discusses the importance of forming study groups. It increases your productivity, and it allows you to discover new approaches to the problem.
When you are solving a problem with others, the gravity of the situation significantly decreases since you have people who are struggling with you. The level of comprehension and problem solving also differs from one person to the other. That’s why it’s perfect to have others on board.
Improvement in physics doesn’t have to be an individual effort. Everything in life gets significantly more manageable once you have other people going through the same struggle as you. Keep that in mind when you are facing different challenges in life and in subjects like physics.
9. Learn from your mistakes.
Everyone is bound to make mistakes; we are just human, after all. The only difference lies with how we react to mistakes.
If you are in the habit of dwelling on your mistakes, or if you tend to blame other factors or people for your mistakes, then perhaps it’s time to start changing the way you view things. One thing in common that most successful people have when it comes to how they view mistakes is they see it as a learning experience.
they see it as a learning experience.
Physics is a subject that involves a lot of trial and error. Some might say that it is very unforgiving. But having the right attitude about the failures you might encounter is sometimes the difference between improving in physics and just being stagnant.
Pay attention to your reactions or thoughts the next time you study physics. This might be the change that you need to address within yourself to improve.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Clarifications are essential to improve in physics. The subject can get quite confusing at times, and you shouldn’t make it harder on yourself by not asking questions.
Some students tend not to do this for fear of asking the wrong questions. There are no wrong questions. Chances are, the teachers are just waiting for someone to clarify something from them.
Take advantage of your teacher being there in front of you during lectures by asking questions. It will also make things easier for you to understand, plus some of your classmates might even have the same questions as you. They are your teachers for a reason. That way, you will be helping them as well.
11. Research about the practical uses of physics.
One thing that ruins the whole experience of studying subjects like math or physics for some students is that they can’t see the practical use of these subjects.
Physics is complex for a reason. The reason is, it is used for complex but necessary things. Just pay a visit to the Wikipedia page regarding physics, and you will see the different practical applications of this study.
You can also watch different documentaries regarding this field of study. The goal here is not to turn you into physicists yourself but to inspire you to improve in physics. Seeing various applications of this field of science might help inspire you to push yourself harder in studying the subject.
12. Draw inspiration from prominent figures in physics.
Some of the most famous figures, not just in science but also in popular culture, are physicists. Chances are, some of the figures you look up to are physicists, and you just don’t know it.
Here are some of the most prominent figures not just in physics but in popular culture as well:
- Albert Einstein – Considered the father of modern physics.
- Nikola Tesla – A key figure in the field of electricity.
- Stephen Hawking – A key theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He was known for the debilitating disease that left him wheelchair-bound.
- Marie Curie – The first female to receive a Nobel prize.
It is a well-known fact that if you are inspired to do something, you will improve at it, so what better way to improve in physics than to keep the achievements of these figures in mind.
13. Don’t treat it as just another subject.
What we mean by this is that it doesn’t have to be a chore. Learning physics can be fun as well.
Different videos on the internet make learning all about physics fun. If you are into sports, there’s Sports Science, a relatively old show that uses physics to teach how and why sports work. There is also Neil Degrasse Tyson, who entertainingly discusses physics. Michio Kaku is also someone who makes physics interesting.
Why not give these videos a try? You might find them interesting, and some of the videos might even cover the lesson you’re struggling with. Finding new and entertaining ways to learn about physics can help in improving your skills in the subject.
14. Consider hiring a physics tutor.
Tutors offer a more personal approach to learning. The one-on-one setting can help in improving in physics.
If somehow a classroom setting or a group study session doesn’t quite help, maybe it’s time to consider investing in a tutor. The advantage of having a tutor in physics is that you can thoroughly cover different aspects of the subject.
This is a costly but necessary option if you’re looking to improve in physics. A little help goes a long way.
15. Simplify the problem.
We often hear in our math and physics classes that we need to simplify the problem. What does it mean?
It means that you should break down the problem into bite-sized bits. Math and physics problems follow certain sets of rules that you should follow closely. This, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot break the problem down into smaller segments.
You can break it down into smaller, easier-to-understand parts, solve those small parts one after the other, and before you know it, you’ve arrived at the right solution.
16. Brush up your math skills.
You might be frustrated that math goes hand in hand with physics, but this is necessary to improve in physics.
Just remember that each mathematical solution that you apply translates to success in different problems in physics. With that in mind, you should be well-rounded in math as well.
For more information on how to improve in math, you can check out this article. This allows you to improve your skill in math, which will then affect your success in physics.
17. Have a positive attitude.
Learning something takes time, and it involves going through a lot of hardships. Physics is hard enough as it is, so you’d be doing yourself a favor by not complaining about it too much.
This advice seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people fail because of not having a positive attitude towards what they’re doing. Physics is a subject that requires total commitment from the students, so if you’re not fully committed to learning the subject, it will reflect on your grades.
Just keep your chin up and not get affected by the difficulty, and you’ll be fine. Couple that with other valuable tips in this article, and you’re bound to improve in physics.
18. Challenge yourself.
Motivation is something that cannot be seen but also carries a lot of weight when it all comes down to it. You should always ask yourself, “how can I stay motivated?” even if things are not going your way.
Motivation or lack thereof is something that students have to deal with daily. Be ahead of the pack by preparing for things like this. How do you motivate yourself? What do you tell yourself during difficult situations?
Only you have the answer to these questions, and these answers are necessary to improve in physics.
19. Set goals.
Goals serve as the prize for yourself if you manage to get through the hardships you’re in. Goal setting is essential for improving in physics and necessary for having a good overall experience in life.
You should always remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you just doing it for the grades, or is it something much deeper than that? If you want to succeed in any subject, you should set goals for yourself.
Remember the word SMART when you’re setting goals:
When setting goals, remember to be smart about it, and you’ll never go wrong.
20. Review diligently.
Allot 3-4 days of review time for upcoming tests. There is no such thing as too much preparation. There is, however a thing like too little preparation.
If your goal is to improve in physics, then you should allot considerable time reviewing what you have learned so far. Tests are designed to check what you have learned so far and in order to retain what you have learned so far, giving 3-4 days for preparation will equip you with the knowledge you need for the test.
Reviewing is part of the process, and embracing the process is part of success. That is why you should review well to succeed.
Are you looking for an effective way to review your lessons? Path Finder Tuition can help you with that. Visit us at our website.
We have covered the technical knowledge that you should have to improve in physics and the mindset that you should adopt.
These are tools at our disposal to help us improve. But, much like other tools that we use, it’s still up to us whether these tools are going to be effective or not. Follow these steps and be on your way to becoming an effective physics student.