Updated: Jul 21
Physics explores why and how the universe works, from subatomic to universe scales. It is the basic science that underlies all the natural sciences.
New discoveries by physicists can cause a dramatic shift in our perception of the world and contribute significantly to the development of society. Students learning physics nowadays all have the potential to become the ones who drive society forward in various fields. It is then particularly important to learn physics well and to build a good foundation in secondary school.
To find out more about what is physics, the video below may help.
But how can we learn physics well?
The first thing we need to know is the difficulty we might encounter when studying physics. It is only after we know the problem that we can suit the remedy to the case.
Main Difficulty: Hard to understand the concepts and apply the rules
A blend of multiple subjects
Because physics utilizes elements of other branches of sciences, biology and chemistry for example, it has the reputation of being more complicated than other sciences. Apart from that, mathematical skill is also significant in learning physics.
In O level Pure Physics and A Level H2 Physics, more than 50% of the marks require mathematical calculation.
The requirement of cross-subject abilities and the integrated knowledge makes physics very complicated and difficult to understand. Even though you have grasped a good understanding of basic physics principles, it’s still difficult to apply them to solve the real questions. That’s because each physics question often requires more than one knowledge point to solve. If you could not understand one topic and be able to apply it fully, you may have more difficulties in applying the knowledge in a cross-topic question.
In O Level physics syllabus, physics are divided into: Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Waves, Electricity, Magnetism.
In A level Physics syllabus, you will learn the following themes: Mechanics, Gravitational Field, Electric Field, Oscillations, Thermal Physics, Waves, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism, Quantum Physics, and Nuclear Physics.
Memorize =/= Understand
Also, many of us tend to memorize the concepts and formulas rather than understand and question them. In fact, we haven’t fully understood what we’ve learnt, we memorized them. Just memorizing everything doesn’t always work!
In O level Physics, you can get 30% of the total marks if you memorize the rules and directly use the formula, whereas in A level Physics, without a deep understanding, you may get at most 10%!
How can we solve these difficulties?
Develop good learning habits
Develop a good learning habit can help a lot in learning physics. In my observation, students who are good at physics all have developed good learning habits compared with the common students. They attach great importance to summarising and reflecting. Therefore, they can better absorb what they have learned in class and can further consolidate the knowledge by reflecting on their mistakes. It would be much more beneficial if we can not only listen carefully in class, but also be diligent in asking questions, summarising, and reflecting.
Also, in Powerphysics, we totally can understand students’ need to improve their abilities to understand and apply the concepts in various scenarios, which we will ensure by helping all students develop good learning habits in the study process.
Firstly, during each lesson, students will discuss with Tutor Young on various concepts learnt. Tutor Young will make sure that the knowledge absorbed is through an “engaging and understanding” way. Whatever we remember we may forget. Whatever we do not remember, we will not forget. Whatever we understand, we will always remember as it becomes a way of thinking.
Secondly, students will be given the learning materials and exercises which are designed in a systematic way to help students to learn, absorb and apply whatever they have learnt.
Thirdly, students will have a topical test to know if they have mastered the concepts. They can continue to take the tests until they pass the tests with 80% and above. Therefore, through the weekly lessons, good physics learning habits will be instilled and students will make progress bit by bit in understanding and applying the complicated physics concepts.
To learn physics well is not only because of the school’s requirement, but also due to its wide application in various fields in our life. The process might be difficult, but it’s worth the efforts. As long as getting help with good learning habit and consistent work, surely then you will learn physics well, find physics interesting, and find the world interesting.
To find out more about learning physics, take a look at the following articles.
Or go through PowerPhysics website.