Is your child struggling with Physics? Fret not. We have come up with a compilation of tips and tricks specifically to help you out! With these tricks, your child will have the edge that he/she needs in order to ace the examinations.
Physics is a difficult subject, especially at the A levels. The amount of understanding and application it requires is very high. Therefore, it is important that one knows certain tips and tricks in order to aid one’s learning. This article aims to provide you with just that. Let’s get started!
Tip #1: Focus on understanding each topic separately
In physics, hybrid questions are very common. It is not rare to see multiple topics combined together to form a synoptic question. Despite this fact, it is very important that we are able to understand each topic separately before we attempt to complete these hybrid questions. The reason for this is simple. Synoptic questions require very deep understanding of separate topics. It is only once we have conquered each of them separately that we are able to take on the combined questions.
Therefore, we should aim to have a deep understanding of individual topics first and foremost. The way we go about doing this is to go deeper than what is usually required. We must understand all the subtleties, all the nooks and crannies that are not normally touched on. We must understand the derivations of formulas, for instance. This brings us to our next point, which is…
Tip #2: Prioritise understanding over memorisation
This is especially important in Physics. In order to have a deep understanding of topics, we must first focus on understanding, not memorising. Although memorising may be enough to barely get us by secondary school, it becomes completely useless in junior college. The level of difficulty in junior college in considerably higher than in secondary school. Questions are no longer straightforward.
They are now convoluted and introduce new concepts that students must be able to grasp on the spot. This change in the difficulty is what shocks many students upon entering junior college. In truth, science at the junior college level is more similar to university than anything else. A deep understanding is therefore more important than anything else at this level. Even if your child is not at the junior college level, it is still important to prioritise understanding over memorising. The benefits of doing so extend beyond merely junior college. It is better to be prepared earlier than later.
Tip #3: Do as many practice synoptic questions as possible
In physics, it is the synoptic (combined) questions that are difficult. These questions combine multiple topics together, and can easily stump students. Some examples of common topic combinations: Electric Fields + Circular Motion; Electric fields + Electromagnetic Induction. The list goes on. The trick is to do as many of these synoptic questions as possible, in order to get used to them. The combination types are quite easy to spot after a while, and become predictable. Of course, there is always a chance that Cambridge comes up with a brand new combination that is never before seen. However, these types of new combinations only appear once a year. The rest of the combination types remain constant throughout the years. Therefore, it makes sense to do as many as these questions as possible, to familiarise yourself with the combinations. This brings us to our next point, which is…
Tip #4: Keep a log of all the difficult question types
This is the final and possibly most useful tip. The only way we can ensure that we are able to comfortably complete difficult questions is to keep a log on the question types. An example would be to have a notebook filled with all the common combinations between topics. To take things one step further, we can also write down tips for us to tackle specific question types. This lets us become a sniper of sorts, picking off the difficult questions with ease. We must make sure that we have the skills required to tackle each and every question type in our toolbox.
To summarise, in order to excel in physics, we suggest that you:
- Focus on understanding each topic separately
- Prioritise understanding over memorisation
- Do as many practice synoptic questions as possible, and keep a log of all the difficult question types
We believe that if your child(ren) follow all the tips outlined in this article, he/she will be able to ace the physics examinations with ease!