Thursday, August 21, 2014

Advice from students who took physics to students about to take physics

At the end of the school year, I collect advice from my students who are finishing their physics classes. I ask them to write as if they are writing to my next year's incoming class of physics students. Here are some of the tips they offer:

“Find someone good to study with. Don’t try to do everything on your own. It’s inefficient, frustrating and time consuming.”

“I made good friends through this class.”

“Work on physics homework throughout the week”

“Go to every class and start your homework on time”

“Practice, practice, practice. You won’t regret it. Understanding the theory is not enough, you need to experience it.”

“Brush up on algebra, trig and calculus. Seriously!”

“Pay attention in class. What you learn in class will save a lot of time.”

“Getting to know the instructor's formula sheet and the homework really really well should get you a decent grade.”

“Don’t panic. Physics has a reputation for being intimidating, but I found that the best strategy was to do the work, and when you get stuck on a problem, keep trying. Approach it from a different angle, go to a friend, talk to the tutors, but don’t stop trying. And when you finish solving a problem, make sure you understand why!” 

“Be true to yourself, make sure that you love what you [are majoring in].”

Great advice! Have advice to add? Add it to the comments please.

Best of luck and enjoy your first physics class!

Dr. Hay

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