Updated: Jul 21
Physics has always been considered by students to be one of the most difficult subjects, but as long as you have a good grasp of the methods, learning it well is not as difficult as you think. There are different ways of learning at different stages of study, so let's start with how to learn physics well in secondary school in Singapore.
1. Be clear with the concepts, be familiar with the laws, and be skilled in the basics
You must be familiar with the textbook and remember the knowledge points clearly. At least the illustrations in the textbook should have a clear impression in your mind. It's not necessary to remember which page it's on, but at least to know whether it's on the left or right page, what it is about, what phenomena it demonstrates, what conclusions it draws, and to be able to extend your understanding of the knowledge point.
2. Complete a certain amount of homework independently
To do some exercises independently (meaning without relying on classmates or teachers) and with quantity and quality. There should be a certain number of exercises, not too few, and moreover a certain quality, that is to say a certain level of difficulty. Anyone learning mathematics, physics and chemistry cannot learn well without passing this hurdle. Solving problems independently may sometimes be slower, sometimes involve detours, and sometimes not even make it, but these are normal and are the path to success for any beginners. It will be very rewarding to understand the topics that you do not understand and to extend your knowledge.
3. Attach great importance to the steps in physics and diagram drawing
It is important to have a clear understanding of the steps in physics, whether it is theoretical steps in deriving formulas or practical steps in carrying experiments. If you are not able to visualize and understand the processes, you are bound to encounter hidden "dangers" in solving physics questions. The problem, no matter how difficult or easy, should be solved using diagrams as much as possible. Some diagrams can just be sketches, while some have to be drawn precisely using a compass, protractor, and trigonometry set, etc., to show the geometric relationships. Drawing diagrams can change abstract thinking into visual thinking and provide a more accurate grasp of the processes in physics. Diagrams will help with the analysis of the current state and dynamic state. The analysis of current state is a state that is fixed at a particular time, while the analysis of the dynamic state is the state that is constantly changing with time.
4. Pay attention in lessons
In class, you should listen carefully and not get distracted. Do not think what the teacher says is simple and give up listening, if this really happens, you can take it as a revision, consolidate, and keep yourself in sink with the teacher. If you have a different opinion, you can ask questions in the class, and you should not keep your own way of different thinking without discussing with teachers, otherwise you might have understood the concepts in a way that is completely different from the syllabus. After you have a solid physics foundation, you can explore and develop your own processes and shortcuts.
5. Be persistent in taking notes
Listen to the lectures in class and also have a notebook where you have to write down some things. The structure of knowledge, good solutions, good examples, the points you have not quite understood, etc. should be written down. After the lesson, you can organise your notes so that you can 'digest' them and add on to make more complete. The notebooks are not for taking down whatever the teacher says in class, rather it should be filled in concepts and questions that the teacher has gone through in the class. Moreover, the good questions and solutions that you find in your homework and self-practice should be written down in your notebook, which is often referred by students as the "good question bank". The notebook that you have worked so hard to compile should be systematically numbered and organized so that you can review them delightfully with ease in the future.
6. Organize your study materials
Study materials should be well kept, well classified and well marked. The classification of study materials includes exercises, test papers, lab reports, etc. Marking means by taking practice questions as an example —— they can be classified as good questions, valuable questions, and questions you tend to get wrong, using different symbols such as *, ? , #, etc. for future revision, which can save a lot of time.
In O level physics, you can apply the 6 tips above and score an A1 with ease. If you would like to have a guidance consistently at a weekly basis, you can sign up for group lessons with Tutor Young in Power Physics. In the group tuition, the study materials, notes, and question banks that have been refined over the years will be provided. Most importantly, you will gain a thorough understanding of the physics concepts and build up your capacity to tackle all the A1 questions in O level Pure physics exams.