The Student Room Group

Advice for applying for physics undergrad

Physics has always been my favourite subject. But I’m worried at the moment . I’m in Y12 and a lot of my topic tests on mechanics specifically have been… not my best. The thing is, I know where I went wrong and I keep improving at home, but I just panic in the exam and don’t work through problems the way I should. But when I think about courses and all my options, I keep coming back to physics and there’s nothing else I’d rather study. I’m not really looking for answers on whether or not to do physics since my heart is set on it, but I would appreciate anyone’s advice on overcoming setbacks like this and well any advice in general.
Anyone managed to do their dream course despite finding things tough at A Level?
I’m really really keen on this and am working hard to do well in my end of years which determine predictions.
Original post by Nat4695
Physics has always been my favourite subject. But I’m worried at the moment . I’m in Y12 and a lot of my topic tests on mechanics specifically have been… not my best. The thing is, I know where I went wrong and I keep improving at home, but I just panic in the exam and don’t work through problems the way I should. But when I think about courses and all my options, I keep coming back to physics and there’s nothing else I’d rather study. I’m not really looking for answers on whether or not to do physics since my heart is set on it, but I would appreciate anyone’s advice on overcoming setbacks like this and well any advice in general.
Anyone managed to do their dream course despite finding things tough at A Level?
I’m really really keen on this and am working hard to do well in my end of years which determine predictions.

Hiya,

I'm a 3rd year astrophysics and cosmology student at Lancaster Uni and after reading your post, I really related to it as I used to really struggle with the subject during year 12 but I knew there was nothing else I wanted to pursue in further education apart from physics, so it was a case of really dedicating myself to relearning content and a lot of practice so I feel confident in exams and don't panic.

Personally, I think what you're doing is fantastic and at the moment the main thing you can do is identify weaknesses within the course content so far and keep working on those until you can confidently answer exam-style questions.

Overcoming setbacks is very much easier said than done as it is very mentally draining continually asking yourself why something isn't working and why you can do it independently but in an exam setting, it all falls apart (it still happens sometimes at uni I'm afraid!). What I found works is what you're currently doing: plenty of practice so you feel confident going into an exam with the knowledge you know so you can easily apply it. Also, trying to do timed practice, for example giving yourself a minute per mark to complete a question (some questions may require more time than that so maybe start off giving yourself a but more time) but the main idea is to create an exam setting to practice in so the real thing involves less panic.

But overall, what you're doing right now is fantastic and is a great mindset to have to improve your grade overall - it does pay off, so keep going!! It also might be worth asking teachers for any resources (questions / asking them to explain a topic / any websites or books like Isaac Physics) to assist you achieving higher marks as they have access to a lot of material so I'm sure they would be more than willing to pass it on! Additionally, asking any peers for advice regarding how they revise / prepare for tests and if it sounds like something you would like to try then it might be worth applying to your study routine.

I hope this helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
Wishing you all the best for you end of years!
-- Arya (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)
Original post by Nat4695
Physics has always been my favourite subject. But I’m worried at the moment . I’m in Y12 and a lot of my topic tests on mechanics specifically have been… not my best. The thing is, I know where I went wrong and I keep improving at home, but I just panic in the exam and don’t work through problems the way I should. But when I think about courses and all my options, I keep coming back to physics and there’s nothing else I’d rather study. I’m not really looking for answers on whether or not to do physics since my heart is set on it, but I would appreciate anyone’s advice on overcoming setbacks like this and well any advice in general.
Anyone managed to do their dream course despite finding things tough at A Level?
I’m really really keen on this and am working hard to do well in my end of years which determine predictions.

My daughter is a 4th year at lancaster and she finds advance relativity and dynamics hard. She calls it the death module. She found in physics shes not good at every topic. Its ok though. Just keep practicing and also do some exam papers so you get used to the style of questioning. I wouldnt put a time limit to start with so your not panicking. Just take the time to think about how you will tackle the question. Then as time goes on, then start to time yourself on the questions.
Reply 3
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hiya,
I'm a 3rd year astrophysics and cosmology student at Lancaster Uni and after reading your post, I really related to it as I used to really struggle with the subject during year 12 but I knew there was nothing else I wanted to pursue in further education apart from physics, so it was a case of really dedicating myself to relearning content and a lot of practice so I feel confident in exams and don't panic.
Personally, I think what you're doing is fantastic and at the moment the main thing you can do is identify weaknesses within the course content so far and keep working on those until you can confidently answer exam-style questions.
Overcoming setbacks is very much easier said than done as it is very mentally draining continually asking yourself why something isn't working and why you can do it independently but in an exam setting, it all falls apart (it still happens sometimes at uni I'm afraid!). What I found works is what you're currently doing: plenty of practice so you feel confident going into an exam with the knowledge you know so you can easily apply it. Also, trying to do timed practice, for example giving yourself a minute per mark to complete a question (some questions may require more time than that so maybe start off giving yourself a but more time) but the main idea is to create an exam setting to practice in so the real thing involves less panic.
But overall, what you're doing right now is fantastic and is a great mindset to have to improve your grade overall - it does pay off, so keep going!! It also might be worth asking teachers for any resources (questions / asking them to explain a topic / any websites or books like Isaac Physics) to assist you achieving higher marks as they have access to a lot of material so I'm sure they would be more than willing to pass it on! Additionally, asking any peers for advice regarding how they revise / prepare for tests and if it sounds like something you would like to try then it might be worth applying to your study routine.
I hope this helps and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
Wishing you all the best for you end of years!
-- Arya (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)

hi, thank you so so much for your detailed and kind reply! you have no idea how reassuring and helpful it was to hear this from someone who is studying my dream subject! Its wonderful you were able to get to this stage and it is nice to know i am not alone in feeling like this, i will be sure to take your advice on board and also keep going.

also, ive done paper 1 of my end of years and im really happy to say it was quite good! i guess all that work has started to pay off hopefully!

thanks again
Reply 4
Original post by Ghostlady
My daughter is a 4th year at lancaster and she finds advance relativity and dynamics hard. She calls it the death module. She found in physics shes not good at every topic. Its ok though. Just keep practicing and also do some exam papers so you get used to the style of questioning. I wouldnt put a time limit to start with so your not panicking. Just take the time to think about how you will tackle the question. Then as time goes on, then start to time yourself on the questions.

omg wishing your daughter the best with the 'death module' sounds scary!
thank you so much for the advice i will be sure to keep going and try
Original post by Nat4695
omg wishing your daughter the best with the 'death module' sounds scary!
thank you so much for the advice i will be sure to keep going and try

haha its only scary as she doesnt get on with it, but theres always one topic no matter what course it is. I hated Alevel standard deviation in biology. could never get it lol

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