Admin Control Panel

New Post | Settings | Change Layout | Edit HTML | Moderate Comments | Sign Out O level A level A A1 A2 home private tuition physics chemistry mathematics maths biology trigonometry physics H2 H1 Science Score tutor tuition tuition tutoring tuition biology economics assessment exam exams exampapers exam papers NIE JC Secondary School Singapore Education tutor teach teacher school student agency

Physics in a Nutshell for Os and As

Breaking down Physics

The best way to solve a big problem is to use a method called divide and conquer; i.e. divide it into smaller parts, then solve each part individually. Why is this the best way? This is because solving a small problem puts lesser stress and uses mental power than a large problem.

The above principle can be used for many things, for example studying. Physics is like the big problem described above. The best way to learn and understand it is to sub-divide into many small parts, then conquer them individually, before finally grouping them together.

So how can we divide physics into smaller parts? In my opinion, there are five parts to physics.

1) Newtonian Mechanics
2) Waves and Oscillations
3) Thermodynamics
4) Electromagnetism
5) Modern Physics

The first step is to understand each and every single part. Once the first step is done, the second step will be to draw linkages between these parts to further improve our problem-solving capabilities. For example, Mechanics can be present in Electromagnetism and vice versa, hence the importance of linkages.

Question-based Approach to Scoring

The second part I’m going to share is the technique of using questions to improve understanding and scoring for exams. The main idea behind this is to read the notes once, then do a large number of questions with your notes/textbook in hand. In this technique, you are allowed to read and search your notes/textbook for the answers. However, you are required to do at least 6 complete test papers worth of questions (means just do a lot of questions).

This method is what I will emphasize more than merely memorizing or/and reading and re-reading of the notes. Why do I say so?

80% of your notes/textbooks are useless junks that are not tested in exams

NOTE that this is not to say 80% does not contribute to greater understanding and interest of the subject. What I really meant is that the most important portions of the notes (that will be tested) lies mainly in 20% of the notes/textbooks. By reading the notes/textbooks as you do questions, you will (i) be able to focus more on this important 20% that will most likely be tested, and (ii) do it in a shorter amount of time. This results in higher throughput; you learn more (only for doing well in your exams) in a shorter period of time. The only setback is that this reduces your exposure to other interesting aspects of physics.

The old adage practice makes perfect still holds true. If you read only your notes again and again, you will only be good at reading notes. However, if you do questions again and again, then you will be good at doing questions, which is what examinations are all about!


The above two approaches can not only be used in physics, but in other subjects (and life situations) too. I wish you success in employing them effectively. Feel free to point out any errors or misunderstandings, or just ask for clarifications.


Related Articles by Categories

Singapore's first free online short to
medium questions and solutions database

Related Posts with Thumbnails