A level Physics- best way to revise/learn content Watch

Nehal:)
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I'm finding it really hard to understand physics, feeling quite demotivated and uninspired :/ I really just need to start understanding and getting confident. My letter isn't the best and alot of people have said that if you don't have a good teacher then it's hard, but I don't blame him. I need to find something new that works. Im doing the AQA as Physics A. What would your recommend, what would work best? for revision and learning contact. maybe some good sites? Any help would be great
Thank you
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minacolada
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I did OCR and got an A last year in both exams. This is what I did:

Made notecards (questions on one side, answers on the other) to read on the train
Highlighted and copied out all terms that need to be learned; definitions are EASY marks.
Ditto with equations; most we didn't need to know but if you don't know them it won't occur to you to use them when the right question comes up. Know all off by heart and how they link.

If you get bored you can watch some really good lectures like Prof. Lewins MIT ones which are free online, and Khan Academy. Your school may subscribe to physics-online.com which shows all relevant ones for each topic and exam board.

Lastly; murder every past paper and any other questions you can get your hands on. I think this is key for Physics. Good luck!
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heartlesswhore
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Pray.
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oli_G
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*Subscribes*
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Nehal:)
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(Original post by minacolada)
I did OCR and got an A last year in both exams. This is what I did:

Made notecards (questions on one side, answers on the other) to read on the train
Highlighted and copied out all terms that need to be learned; definitions are EASY marks.
Ditto with equations; most we didn't need to know but if you don't know them it won't occur to you to use them when the right question comes up. Know all off by heart and how they link.

If you get bored you can watch some really good lectures like Prof. Lewins MIT ones which are free online, and Khan Academy. Your school may subscribe to physics-online.com which shows all relevant ones for each topic and exam board.

Lastly; murder every past paper and any other questions you can get your hands on. I think this is key for Physics. Good luck!
Thank you I don't think i'm quite there yet, I still don't have a good grasp of the information. I'm finding it really hard to just understand it and make it make sense in my head. I also think I'm missing quite a lot of basic physics knowledge I'm not quite sure what but i feel like ive got gaps. Like what symbols mean, units, and that kind of stuff. I'm quite an adaptable learner and usually find what's the best for the individual subject, but i just cant find anything that works for physics- my notes are very bare, i have no understanding to do exam questions (i've tried) and so on :/ I feel quite lost and really don't like it >.< what other ways are there to learn and cover the bulk information, just so then I can start to get an understanding- cause even reading isn't working for me :/ do you think copying out of the book would do anything?
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nmudz_009
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Practice, then discuss! (This can be very boring but really helps)
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minacolada
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(Original post by Nehal:))
]do you think copying out of the book would do anything?
I usually start by copy, cover, write, check; copy what you need to do, cover it up and try and do it from memory then check and repeat until you know it. I know it's tedious but it works.

There should be lists of units, symbols etc. You NEED to know these and your orders of magnitude before attempting to answer problems!
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cooldudeman
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i have the same problem. its like 85% to get an A in AQA physics. thats really high!
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shorty.loves.angels
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(Original post by minacolada)
I did OCR and got an A last year in both exams. This is what I did:

Made notecards (questions on one side, answers on the other) to read on the train
Highlighted and copied out all terms that need to be learned; definitions are EASY marks.
Ditto with equations; most we didn't need to know but if you don't know them it won't occur to you to use them when the right question comes up. Know all off by heart and how they link.

If you get bored you can watch some really good lectures like Prof. Lewins MIT ones which are free online, and Khan Academy. Your school may subscribe to physics-online.com which shows all relevant ones for each topic and exam board.

Lastly; murder every past paper and any other questions you can get your hands on. I think this is key for Physics. Good luck!
Subscribed - especially after reading these cool ideas.

You know the notecards, what sort of questions? I can only think of basic descriptions; scribbling out big examples won't help

I might also draw the odd example set up - I need visuals.
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TheUltimateProof
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I'm an A2 Edexcel Physics student so I'm not 100% sure how exam boards differ, but grasping concepts is pretty uniform through physics.

I always felt like I never quite understood what was going on or why things happened, once I begun using the techniques outlined below, for me everything fell into place.


Tips
1 ) Learn the theory solidly. Use flash cards, posters and as many good books that you can get your hands on. I use 4 different books to study from, each has their own slightly different styles of teaching or explaining the concept so I maximise my chances of finding one that best suits me. Usually, after getting my head around one the other make sense.

2 ) My most important tip is to draw out and understand every mechanism/experiment you can come into contact with. I had a small booklet, full of around 50 experiments for my AS level exams. Each showed all the equipment use, what happens at each stage, what this means and why it happens.
From understanding as many scenarios as I could, once in the exam they just reappeared, with slightly different wording or situation but the theory was exactly the same.

3 ) Assemble prompts and answer. This is my most effective and efficient way of learning. Once I have many pages of notes accumulated from my time studying, to revise I would build a small booklet with questions and answer in. This covered the main points of the theory. Re-trying the questions which covered the main points, testing myself until the answers stayed in my head and highlighting and going over the ones I tended to keep forgetting until I memorised them.
I add to this as I do past paper questions, around 1 month from the exam date putting emphasis on my mistakes.

4 ) Answer as many questions as possible and analyse the ones you get incorrect. Understand why you got it incorrect and learn from them.

I'm not the best at explaining things, but what I said above managed to steer me towards a 96% average at AS, with 120/120 in my unit 2 exam. So put faith into what I say. At first anything unfamiliar will seem very hard, but once you get your head around the concepts, in my eyes Physics becomes the easiest A-level.

Any questions feel free to ask.
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Xotol
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There is really no 'best way'.

It's all about what works for you. For example, the poster above me used flash cards, posters and prompts to revise and that clearly worked for them (96%).

But that isn't the 'only' way; it's simply a way.

My brother's friend just listed the notes and worked on every single question he could find. No flash cards, posters or tree diagrams. Just linear notes and questions. And guess what? He got full marks in all of his A level written exams for Physics.

For me, it's pretty much the same. Spider diagrams don't work for me as I like a specific order when I read notes - so I tend to just list them in whichever order I find necessary and learn them. Then I do questions from the book, leading up to exam papers eventually (well, that's what I did for GCSE anyway).

If your revision method is not working, I suggest you try different ones written here. It may work for you. If it does, I think you'll know about it.

And what exactly are you finding difficult? I'm doing AQA A too, so I'm just interested. Is it the Particle side or Mechanics?
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shorty.loves.angels
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(Original post by TheUltimateProof)
I'm an A2 Edexcel Physics student so I'm not 100% sure how exam boards differ, but grasping concepts is pretty uniform through physics.

I always felt like I never quite understood what was going on or why things happened, once I begun using the techniques outlined below, for me everything fell into place.


Tips
1 ) Learn the theory solidly. Use flash cards, posters and as many good books that you can get your hands on. I use 4 different books to study from, each has their own slightly different styles of teaching or explaining the concept so I maximise my chances of finding one that best suits me. Usually, after getting my head around one the other make sense.

2 ) My most important tip is to draw out and understand every mechanism/experiment you can come into contact with. I had a small booklet, full of around 50 experiments for my AS level exams. Each showed all the equipment use, what happens at each stage, what this means and why it happens.
From understanding as many scenarios as I could, once in the exam they just reappeared, with slightly different wording or situation but the theory was exactly the same.

3 ) Assemble prompts and answer. This is my most effective and efficient way of learning. Once I have many pages of notes accumulated from my time studying, to revise I would build a small booklet with questions and answer in. This covered the main points of the theory. Re-trying the questions which covered the main points, testing myself until the answers stayed in my head and highlighting and going over the ones I tended to keep forgetting until I memorised them.
I add to this as I do past paper questions, around 1 month from the exam date putting emphasis on my mistakes.

4 ) Answer as many questions as possible and analyse the ones you get incorrect. Understand why you got it incorrect and learn from them.

I'm not the best at explaining things, but what I said above managed to steer me towards a 96% average at AS, with 120/120 in my unit 2 exam. So put faith into what I say. At first anything unfamiliar will seem very hard, but once you get your head around the concepts, in my eyes Physics becomes the easiest A-level.

Any questions feel free to ask.
I could do with your second point!! I can sit working on questions until I understand them but it's the working through an example that I struggle with and what would most help my understanding. Dreading the practicals, I've just had no practise and wish I knew what to expect, eek!
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minacolada
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(Original post by shorty.loves.angels)
Subscribed - especially after reading these cool ideas.

You know the notecards, what sort of questions? I can only think of basic descriptions; scribbling out big examples won't help

I might also draw the odd example set up - I need visuals.
Like on one side I'll put "what are the 5 equations of motion" or "prove/derive X", then the answers on the other side in case I get stuck. It's better for definitions as I can ask myself a definition and make sure I know the textbooks one word for word which are easy marks.
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shorty.loves.angels
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(Original post by minacolada)
Like on one side I'll put "what are the 5 equations of motion" or "prove/derive X", then the answers on the other side in case I get stuck. It's better for definitions as I can ask myself a definition and make sure I know the textbooks one word for word which are easy marks.
Ah that's cool. Could link equations to their topics etc. I'm gona do that, tomorrow! :-)
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Nehal:)
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Wow! There's so much here thank you to everyone :') I'm actually going to start now, My teacher has this tendency to do practical every lesson, and its a night mare for me cause I don't understand the theory, he kindof thinks we all just get it :/ but i love the idea about a note book! I used note card for A level chemistry last year and it worked great just cant get it to work for physics >.< But i'm going to try it again I think one thing im finding hard is staying motivated :/ I'm not one to give up, but I do get overly worked up >.<
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Nehal:)
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(Original post by TheUltimateProof)
I'm an A2 Edexcel Physics student so I'm not 100% sure how exam boards differ, but grasping concepts is pretty uniform through physics.

I always felt like I never quite understood what was going on or why things happened, once I begun using the techniques outlined below, for me everything fell into place.


Tips
1 ) Learn the theory solidly. Use flash cards, posters and as many good books that you can get your hands on. I use 4 different books to study from, each has their own slightly different styles of teaching or explaining the concept so I maximise my chances of finding one that best suits me. Usually, after getting my head around one the other make sense.

2 ) My most important tip is to draw out and understand every mechanism/experiment you can come into contact with. I had a small booklet, full of around 50 experiments for my AS level exams. Each showed all the equipment use, what happens at each stage, what this means and why it happens.
From understanding as many scenarios as I could, once in the exam they just reappeared, with slightly different wording or situation but the theory was exactly the same.

3 ) Assemble prompts and answer. This is my most effective and efficient way of learning. Once I have many pages of notes accumulated from my time studying, to revise I would build a small booklet with questions and answer in. This covered the main points of the theory. Re-trying the questions which covered the main points, testing myself until the answers stayed in my head and highlighting and going over the ones I tended to keep forgetting until I memorised them.
I add to this as I do past paper questions, around 1 month from the exam date putting emphasis on my mistakes.

4 ) Answer as many questions as possible and analyse the ones you get incorrect. Understand why you got it incorrect and learn from them.

I'm not the best at explaining things, but what I said above managed to steer me towards a 96% average at AS, with 120/120 in my unit 2 exam. So put faith into what I say. At first anything unfamiliar will seem very hard, but once you get your head around the concepts, in my eyes Physics becomes the easiest A-level.

Any questions feel free to ask.
Thank you :') Just wondering, what are the books the books that you mentioned ? I have Two ones the AQA one and ones a Letts guide, I think maybe getting another will give me information in a different way, but i'm not sure what one i should get >.<
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minacolada
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(Original post by Nehal:))
Thank you :') Just wondering, what are the books the books that you mentioned ? I have Two ones the AQA one and ones a Letts guide, I think maybe getting another will give me information in a different way, but i'm not
sure what one i should get >.<
I have this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Practice-Phy...9906659&sr=1-2

They brought out a new one in this year also on Amazon; great if you need more calculation practice

This (but I have an OCR one):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Level-Physic...9906609&sr=8-3

Good for reading on the train, revision and getting 'the jist' without complicated bits you don't need to know

and this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Collins-Adva...9906609&sr=8-6

Which I'd only get if you're really interested and don't mind lots of text. Really helps my understanding though and covers all exam boards

For OCR lots of people have these:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/OCR-AS-Physi...9906806&sr=1-2

Which have all relevant info and break it down topic by topic. I find them useful too but have only borrowed them as I already have a few as you can see!
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subzero0137
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(Original post by TheUltimateProof)
I'm an A2 Edexcel Physics student so I'm not 100% sure how exam boards differ, but grasping concepts is pretty uniform through physics.

I always felt like I never quite understood what was going on or why things happened, once I begun using the techniques outlined below, for me everything fell into place.


Tips
1 ) Learn the theory solidly. Use flash cards, posters and as many good books that you can get your hands on. I use 4 different books to study from, each has their own slightly different styles of teaching or explaining the concept so I maximise my chances of finding one that best suits me. Usually, after getting my head around one the other make sense.

2 ) My most important tip is to draw out and understand every mechanism/experiment you can come into contact with. I had a small booklet, full of around 50 experiments for my AS level exams. Each showed all the equipment use, what happens at each stage, what this means and why it happens.
From understanding as many scenarios as I could, once in the exam they just reappeared, with slightly different wording or situation but the theory was exactly the same.

3 ) Assemble prompts and answer. This is my most effective and efficient way of learning. Once I have many pages of notes accumulated from my time studying, to revise I would build a small booklet with questions and answer in. This covered the main points of the theory. Re-trying the questions which covered the main points, testing myself until the answers stayed in my head and highlighting and going over the ones I tended to keep forgetting until I memorised them.
I add to this as I do past paper questions, around 1 month from the exam date putting emphasis on my mistakes.

4 ) Answer as many questions as possible and analyse the ones you get incorrect. Understand why you got it incorrect and learn from them.

I'm not the best at explaining things, but what I said above managed to steer me towards a 96% average at AS, with 120/120 in my unit 2 exam. So put faith into what I say. At first anything unfamiliar will seem very hard, but once you get your head around the concepts, in my eyes Physics becomes the easiest A-level.

Any questions feel free to ask.
Excellent tips. I'm doing the A2 Edexcel exams as well. Unfortunately I did terrible at AS(got 2 D's). Nevertheless I'm going to work harder this time. I was wondering if you could list the 4 book you mentioned in tip 1.

Thanks mate, you've given me hope!
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Xotol
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(Original post by minacolada)
I have this:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Practice-Phy...9906659&sr=1-2

They brought out a new one in this year also on Amazon; great if you need more calculation practice
So does that mean it's updated to the new specifications? Is it for all exam boards as well?

I just looked it and it seems pretty old, but I might buy it. More practice can't hurt.
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SnoochToTheBooch
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practice the **** out of any past papers you can get your hands on. That got me through A-level and 4 years of uni physics.

also, google hyperphysics. That website is just what you need.
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