Way to ace As physics? Watch

Terrez
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Hi there. My As levels are going really well, feel like I will be able to get A's in bio, chem and geography with work but one is letting me down big time. Physics. I'm really bad at it. In the mechanics etc I haven't managed to get above a D so far and got mocks in 2 weeks. Electricity is ok as well as particle physics but mechanics and waves I'm finding hard. Any tips or tricks? I'm not alone in my class thankfully. On the mechanics test the highest grade was a D... It will be ashame to have a set of three really good results to be let down by one atrocious one. Thanks for any advice.
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morgan8002
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I don't do your exam board, but I assume that the mechanics and waves module is heavily maths-based. If so, do lots of past papers to get used to it and improve your grade.
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uberteknik
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(Original post by Dominosh)
Hi there. My As levels are going really well, feel like I will be able to get A's in bio, chem and geography with work but one is letting me down big time. Physics. I'm really bad at it. In the mechanics etc I haven't managed to get above a D so far and got mocks in 2 weeks. Electricity is ok as well as particle physics but mechanics and waves I'm finding hard. Any tips or tricks? I'm not alone in my class thankfully. On the mechanics test the highest grade was a D... It will be ashame to have a set of three really good results to be let down by one atrocious one. Thanks for any advice.
Similar questions appear on these boards very often.

Try using some search terms in the TSR search box (top right) and I'm sure you will find a rich store of info.

To start you off try this link:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/search.php?filter[type]=post&query=AS+physics+tips+help +mechanics+waves&filter[forumid]=(372+OR+131)&applied=1
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Terrez
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(Original post by uberteknik)
Similar questions appear on these boards very often.

Try using some search terms in the TSR search box (top right) and I'm sure you will find a rich store of info.

To start you off try this link:

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/search.php?filter[type]=post&query=AS+physics+tips+help +mechanics+waves&filter[forumid]=(372+OR+131)&applied=1
Thanks!
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GoddessTan
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Omg same courses as me and I'm finding physics hard
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Actaeon
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This is probably not the most original or helpful response. But really, the best way to improve on an area you're not doing so well in is work more! Revision using class material, textbooks (buying a good general textbook on Amazon can be better than many of the board-specific books), lots of past papers, practice question banks, online revision guides... Unfortunately, there isn't really a better way than extra study. And the above goes for any subdivision of any subject.
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Terrez
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(Original post by Actaeon)
This is probably not the most original or helpful response. But really, the best way to improve on an area you're not doing so well in is work more! Revision using class material, textbooks (buying a good general textbook on Amazon can be better than many of the board-specific books), lots of past papers, practice question banks, online revision guides... Unfortunately, there isn't really a better way than extra study. And the above goes for any subdivision of any subject.
Yeah, practice makes perfect. What I don't like about physics is that you do one question understand it and the the next one is so much harder. May look similar but concerns more working out and throws you off balance. Atm we are doing SUVAT equations and I find them ok but some questions just make my brain fizz
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furryface12
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(Original post by Dominosh)
Yeah, practice makes perfect. What I don't like about physics is that you do one question understand it and the the next one is so much harder. May look similar but concerns more working out and throws you off balance. Atm we are doing SUVAT equations and I find them ok but some questions just make my brain fizz
For SUVAT I used to just sit there and write S U V A T out, for the x an y directions if necessary. Yes it may seem stupid, but if you then write the values next to them (eg a in the x direction is 0, in the y direction -9.81ms^-2), then you can see very clearly where you have values, where you need to find values and where you can do without.

On a more general note, particularly for mechanics just practice! And much as I hate saying it, for the wordy questions particularly car safety (if you're doing G481) look at past mark schemes to see what actually gains marks, as sometimes it can be a bit pointless and not something you'd think of to say- it can often be too obvious! This can gain/lose quite a few marks over the course of a paper though.


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Actaeon
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(Original post by Dominosh)
Yeah, practice makes perfect. What I don't like about physics is that you do one question understand it and the the next one is so much harder. May look similar but concerns more working out and throws you off balance. Atm we are doing SUVAT equations and I find them ok but some questions just make my brain fizz
True, but at A level, they are beginning to try to make you think for yourself in preparation for uni, rather than simply redoing the exact same method you've already done a couple of times. And that's no bad thing! Tackling questions you can't do at first glance is how you learn, and the more problems you attempt, the better you will become at approaching questions in general.

But in general, there are a few tips you can apply to physics questions:

  1. Write out the information you're given in the question, use diagrams for before and after situations, and basically work out what the question is asking before you even start.
  2. Always clearly write out the equation you're going to use.
  3. Re-arrange your equation FIRST then substitute in your values SECOND. Plenty of people do it the other way round, but I really think re-arranging using symbols is easier. There's less room for numerical error, it's easier to check when you come back to it, easier for the examiner to mark, and you can spot if any quantities cancel out easily.


That's just what has worked well for me
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Terrez
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Thanks everyone for the advice, know what I have to do now!
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