Physics is indeed a challenging subject to many students since the nature of the subject is as such; abstract concepts and difficult application questions are the most feared by students. Physics private tuition teachers find themselves having to guide more and more students over the years as the syllabus is only getting tougher as the years go by. Nonetheless, this does not mean that it is impossible for students excel in it!
So, here are the best study tips to follow to ace physics exams!
Firstly, it is important to understand that preparation for an exam does not only refer to the efforts done right before it. Doing well for an exam also requires consistent effort for a long period of time. Thus, the first important tip is to take notes for each class or lecture. During each lesson, teachers will not always stick to what they are supposed to teach in the notes and it is not uncommon for them to go more detailed or relate it to other topics.
Taking note of this extra information and examples that the teacher provides will already place the student at an advantage as they will be more prepared on what type of questions the teacher can ask.
This tip of taking notes should also be used when reading textbooks and watching related videos. When students are unsure as to how this can be done, they can seek the help of their Physics home tuition teacher. When revising for an exam, it is always easier and faster to read notes than to read an entire textbook or watch an entire series of videos.
Secondly, teachers generally will not set questions that are too out-of-the-box from what they have taught and ask students to practice (although students must beware that they might still set some tricky questions). Many students naively think that reading their textbook and watching videos repeatedly before an exam is more than enough to ace it. What they do not know is that having the knowledge in a topic is only half of what’s needed.
Knowing how to answer a question based on the knowledge known requires a completely new skill set and developing this skill set is very important. Thus, students should redo the tutorials, Homeworks, quizzes, tests and any other study material they received from their physics tutor as they will definitely train the students sufficiently to solve the questions in their exam both quickly and efficiently.
Thirdly, although understanding a concept is always more important than just memorising the details, memorisation is still necessary especially for a subject like Physics. Physics has a lot of equations that students need to know so that they are able to solve the questions. Although it is possible to derive some of these equations on the spot, this may be too time consuming and too stressful in an exam setting.
Thus, students will be required to memorise these equations and it is important to have a good method to do so. Simply reading the equations again and again will not be helpful. Instead, students should practice making their own formula list for each topic which will give them the experience of writing the equations again and again.
They can also try to associate an equation with a funny phrase, story or picture as remembering these will be easier. After experimenting with these methods, students will be able to find a suitable memorisation method for themselves which will be much more useful than it seems.
Fourthly, when studying alone it may be easy to miss out certain details and fall victim to common misconceptions. One way to counter this is to clarify any doubts that occur with teachers. Many students are too scared to arrange consultations to clarify doubts about what they have learnt and this is a bad mentality that should be changed.
Physics tuition teachers are usually more than happy to help their students, especially before the exam period. One-on-one tuition is a great way for students to find out their strengths and weaknesses in the subject. For students who still are too shy or too hesitant to go to their teachers for help, they can arrange group study sessions with their close friends.
In group study sessions, if one person makes a mistake there is a high chance that someone else will realise the mistake and point it out. This study structure will allow students who are strong in certain topics to help their friends and their friends can instead help them for topics that they are weaker at.
The only problem with this is if everyone in the study group makes the same mistake and has the same misconception. Thus, it is still more advisable to arrange consultations with teachers and do group studies concurrently to reap the benefit of both methods.
Lastly, there are certain tips that students should also follow on the day of their exam. Students should sleep well the day before the exam no matter how much they think they need to study last minute. It is more beneficial to be slightly less prepared for an exam with more sleep than to study into the night and turn up for the exam tired.
Similarly, students should also set some time to eat dinner the night before and eat breakfast on the morning of the exam. Hunger can be a very big distraction during an exam and the only way to avoid it is to eat well before the exam.
It is of paramount importance that during the exam, students remain calm and read the questions properly as this will help them avoid careless mistakes. If they start getting stressed, they should take slow and deep breaths to regain their composure!