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Tips to Survive Grade 12 Physics

By Ishleen Sudan

Physics is perhaps the most logically oriented of the three sciences, and because of this, many excel with little effort, whereas others struggle immensely. Luckily, there are no gaps in knowledge and understanding that hard work cannot mend. If you follow these pieces of advice, success in the Grade 12 Physics course is imminent.

1. Do the textbook reading the night before the lesson.

Although formulas and calculations are a large part, concepts are what make Physics so interesting. Unsurprisingly, a science that attempts to explain the inner mechanics of the universe can be difficult to understand at times. By doing the reading before the lesson, you acquire a level of familiarity with the content before having to thoroughly understand it. Not only will this enhance your grasp of the theory, it will leave you with more time to consider questions you may have or things that remain unclear. The chances of you comprehending the subject matter the second time, when you hear it simply construed in class, are exponentially higher.

2. Make note of difficult problems.

This saves valuable time before the test, sparing you from redoing every homework question, and also allows you to apply your thinking once you have amply reviewed the content at hand.

3. Regularly make notes on key concepts.

Having to flip through pages upon pages of notes the night before a test, or worse still, an exam, is harrowing. Take 15 to 20 minutes every night, and note down key ideas and formulas from a lesson. The textbook often has paragraphs of information that is irrelevant to your understanding, and class notes can be messy and difficult to interpret. By creating a 2-3 page summary sheet for every unit, reviewing before assessments will be effective and quick. Not only this, but you will deepen your knowledge every night by creating notes.

4. If you have no idea what to do, write out all given variables, the needed variable, and use formulas that fit.

This suggestion is rather self-explanatory. When all else fails, hope that simplicity will suffice. Oftentimes, you have the tools to solve for the missing quantity, but the question is so garbled that you haven’t the faintest idea where to start. By laying out the necessary information, and referring to your handy formula sheet, your strategy will become apparent. That being said, remember to read the question carefully, and reread it for good luck, in order to make sure you have not missed any glaring pieces of information that could alter the outcome of your method.

5. Ensure your complete understanding before moving on.

Perhaps regretfully for some, physics is a cumulative course. For instance, the various equations for momentum will become increasingly hard to make sense of if you are still unable to master kinematics and Newton’s Laws of Motion. Save yourself this struggle, and keep yourself on track. If you still do poorly on, say, a unit test, consult your teacher on methods to improve. Chances are, the very formula you cannot seem to get lays the framework for the next two units, or will be the basis of a thinking question revolving around the marriage of two different learned ideas. Unlike most other courses, you cannot forget about a difficult unit once it is over. Instead, you must face your fears head on. Who knew high school physics could be such a terrifying endeavour?

Thankfully, like all scary things, fear of physics is rooted purely in misunderstanding. And with an ample amount of effort, time, and dedication, this misunderstanding will melt away, leaving a high school student of grounded demeanour but soaring potential. Best of luck!

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