Mar 29, 2009

How to Study Physics for SPM?

Although I scored an A1 in Physics for SPM, I am not exactly the right person to be asked, "how did you do it?" So, I posed the question to my friend, Jasmine, instead to see what she had to say. Jasmine and I have known each other for 5 years (yes, throughout my secondary school years) but, our fathers know each other longer than that! Anyway, here is what she had to say:

Firstly, Physics is very different compared to the other subjects. Physics is one of the toughest Science subjects for many people. Physics is more to the Maths side as it is mostly calculations, formulaes and principles.. Biology is 100% memorising, Chemistry is 50% calculation, 50% memorising, Physics on the other hand is 100% calculation and formulaes. The study of Physics is very deep and it involves a lot of techincal details: heat, electricity, electronics and so forth. Every minor detail is important and that makes the subject complex and sometimes even tedious. Nevertheless, once mastered, Physics is very useful for survival purposes in our daily life.

One very important thing in Physics is understannding. You must understand what you are learning, not just memorise for the sake of exam. Physics is actually an easy subject to study. All you must know are the formulaes and principles involved.. What usually happens is the teacher will twist the questions and asked them from different angles. That is when it becomes tough. What you must remember is the basic pronciples involved. No matter how tough the question is, in the end, it will always go back to the basic principles.

I would recommend a good revision book for this subject as the school textbook alone is not enough to score. Pay attention in class and ask questions whwnever you don't understand. Do not be scared or shy to question your teachers as it is necessary for you to know in detail about Physics. For eg:
Where did the formulaes come from, how are they derived, how are the variables involved connected to each other, conversion of units and many more.

Master your calculations and make sure you choose the right formulaes for each question. This can be a problem sometimes. Physics is not a mugging subject, you cannot simply study it by the book. You must attempt questions from workbooks and do a lot of exercises. Only then you will be exposed to a wide range of different ways questions can be asked. Hence, you will be able to answer various types oy questions no matter how tough they may seem.

Interest plays a vital role in scoring in this subject. You must show keen interest in studying Physics. Most people dislike the subject as it is far more complicating then the other Science subjects. Therefore, they make no effort to master the subject.

Finally, try attempting the past year questions for Physics. Analyse the questions and topics that have come out in the previous years. SPM questions are always very similar, so chances of the same type of questions coming out every year is very high. Please take note, same type of questions, not same questions. Make sure that you are able to do all the past year questions. If so, you will not have a problem during the actual exam.

It is very important for you to understand in Physics. You MUST know what you are studying. Only then will you be able to score in the subject. Physics is not a difficult subject. I feel that it is much easier than Biology and Chemistry, bur it requires a lot of patience, interest and understanding.

NEXT, I asked her what type of reference books she would recommend. Also asked why she was very interested in the subject.

I don't know what are the reference books they have nowadays for Physics but I would recommend either Success or Focus. I found both quite good. But you can also check out the others that are there now.

I was always interested in tools and mechanical stuff ever since I was small. I love playing with my father's gadgets even now and I suppose that's why I love Physics. This is something that has to come from within I guess.

So, there you have it. Feel free to add on to the above mentioned points. One question for all of you out there, how do you spark an interest in Physics?

1 comment:

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