Physics Lens

5 Strategies to Do Well in JC Physics

1. Make sure that you allocate the same amount of time as you do with other H2 subjects.
This may not mean spending the same amount of time each day, but over the long term, such as the same average time over a week. An over-emphasis on subjects that are perceived as more “challenging” may cause some to neglect subjects that are supposedly “easy to score” when in reality, Physics is not as easy as it was in the O levels. It involves a lot of time spent trying to comprehend concepts (and how they are inter-connected) and practice (just like Maths).

2. Master your Maths
Speaking of Maths, the solving of Physics problems employs a significant amount of Mathematical skills, ranging from basic calculus and trigonometry to vector additions and even arithmetics. You can check the list of mathematical skills needed in the syllabus details (pg 25-26). Examples include sine rule $$(\frac{a}{\sin A}=\frac{b}{\sin B}=\frac{c}{\sin C})$$ and cosine rule ($$a^2 = b^2 + c^2 – 2 bc \cos{A}$$).

3. Start Simple
For students struggling to pass Physics, it might be better for you to start with strengthening your fundamental concepts before moving on to more challenging questions. Take half an hour to make sure you at least understand the worked examples in the lecture notes before attempting the tutorial questions because those are the simplest questions you can get. Diving into the deep end straightaway will only serve to discourage you or worse, “drown” you.

4. Read the Recommended Texts
Make a trip to the library every week to read up on the topic that is being lectured. The list of recommended books should be found in the Scheme of Work given out in the beginning of the year, or downloadable from Matrix. Some of the books recommended for supplementary reading are:

College Physics by Serway and Faughn

AS/A2 Physics by Chris Mee, et. al.
Physics by Giancoli

The book “College Physics” by Serway and Faughn may be found on Amazon UK, although I don’t recommend that you buy the books as we have multiple copies available in our library. The books do not cover all the topics in our syllabus as well.

 5. Make Your Own Notes

This helps to organise your concepts and draw connections between them. It can be in point form (e.g. list the characteristics of an ideal gas) or in a mind map form.

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