1. It's very math-focused. Unlike biology and physiology, but similar to chemistry, you frequently. need to translate what you're reading into mathematical terms.
2. Physics is extremely conceptual. It's hard to visualize many of the concepts covered in physics; waves, vectors, Newtonian laws of motion, etc. Yet, visualization is absolutely critical to success on exams.
3. They take physics before they are ready. Doing well in physics depends on you having a solid math background. Pre-Calc is the minimum and many physics sections will require calculus. Make sure you find out if your school offers different levels of physics - the calculus version and the pre-calc version. For students who feel strongly about their math skills, many people recommend the calc version over the pre-calc version of the class.
4. Students underestimate physics. I've seen it countless times. A student will take physics along with 4 other difficult science classes. Since physics is so unlike most other classes, it tends to be the odd one out and grades in that class suffer.
5. Help is sought too late. Never wait until you're having trouble to get tutoring. The time to reach out for advice from tutors is at the very start of the semester. You want to be pro-active in how you approach your work, your studying, and your test taking!
6. Not enough practice problems are done. Physics, out of all the classic pre-medical classes, requires the most practice problems. Sure, with Orgo and Chemistry you should also be doing problems - but physics is all about memorizing those formulas and knowing how to apply them!!
7. You don't understand how the material will be tested. This is another common error. Will the exam have problems to solve? Terms to define? Multiple choice? A mix of all of these? If you are doing practice problems to prepare for the exam, make sure your problems reflect the exam itself.
"Don't feel overwhelmed, the trick to tackling physics is developing an effective approach that works for you. Use that same approach for every topic!"
When studying physics you should be able to derive EVERY SINGLE VARIABLE in a formula. Often half the battle is learning how to get to F when neither m or a is given.
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