How to Study Physics in School: A Complete Guide

How to Study Physics in School: A Complete Guide

In the last century, our world saw development in technology more than in the previous 1000 years. But Physics is famous among students for more than this reason. It’s the ability to give nightmares that make it so popular.
Physics is hard! we can say this without question. But we have to study it. At least to pass exams.

How should we approach anything tough and make it simple?

Well, the simple answer is – do it in small steps.

If you read Newton’s Laws of motion today and you are not able to solve all the questions at the back of your chapter, it’s alright.

You need to do it in steps. That way your life during physics years will be sorted.

What Steps should be followed while studying Physics?

Step 1. Attend the class/lecture

Physics is a conceptual subject, classroom learning is very important in this. Its main purpose is to make you understand what part of physics is the high yield for you. There is a lot of material in physics but not everything is important for school exams.

If you study everything is there in the textbook and did all the questions from the big reference books. There is high chance you will end up falling in other subjects. 

So studying rationaly is important in Physics and that you get from your class. 

Lake Howell High School Physics Room
Steevven1, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here comes a problem many students face.
“I don’t understand Physics in the classroom.”

Well, We have a solution for you too.
There are many online lectures available for Physics.
Let me give you links to the ones I loved.

You watch these lectures along with your school Physics. That will be a good combination.

Step 2. Revise the lecture.

Before starting the real stuff i.e problem solving, you must have your weapons ready. So brush up your concepts make sure you don’t miss out on any concept.

A trick to do this.

When you are done with a topic, sit quietly, and make a mind map of all the concepts related to the topic. After doing this, I am sure the concepts will become crystal clear for you.

Description of motion mindmap
Chris Creagh, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Read your Textbook

This is something you can’t replace. Textbook reading is important. Note all the examples, formulae, derivations, graphs you see in it.
For choosing the book I have a separate section. Click Here

There you can see ratings and reviews of books used for physics regularly. You can also give your views.

Now before Jumping to the problem solving round, here’s a checklist.

  1. Do you know all the concepts discussed in the chapter?
  2. Do you know all the definitions of the terms and quantities used in the chapter?
  3. Do you remember all the formulae?
  4. Do you know all the formulae/equations in words? 
  5. Do you know the derivation of every formula/equation?
  6. Do you know all the graphs discussed in the chapter?
  7. Do you know all examples discussed in the chapter?
If you can answer all these questions then we can move to the next round of practicing questions.

4. Problem Solving

Here is the most important part of exams – Problem-solving.

Most students face problems in this portion. If you have answered all the questions in the checklist above, you just need some mathematics to solve the questions.

Learning the art of Numerical solving is not a binge-watch. You need time for it. Let’s see the methodology – 

How to develop the are of numerical solving in physics?

Let’s take the example of mechanics.

Initially when you have a classical mechanics problem –

  1. Start by visualizing the question. This requires practice.
  2. Know all the fundamental forces involved and better you draw a free body diagram.
  3. Use the basic concepts and fundamentals and solve the question.
  4. See if any trick or short formula is there.

After some time when you have a habit of solving problems then take a question and don’t get into details. Directly use the formula.

At the beginning doing the exercise of visualizing and making free body diagrams help you build intuition for the problems.

Same way in Electromagnetism, initially solve via fundamental concepts, once you have build intuition and you learn the art of thinking like a physics student, shift to the tricks and short formulae mode.

Even after this If you have issues –

      Not able to solve questions of a particular topic – Go through the above                    mentioned checklist again.

       Not able to solve any numerical – Work on your mathematics.


4 thoughts on “How to Study Physics in School: A Complete Guide”

Leave a Comment