How to Pass a Physics Exam

Four Parts:Learning techniquesKnowing what to revisePrior to the examAnswering the questions

Physics exams can be hard to pass at the best of times, but fortunately, they can be easily beaten with these simple steps.

Part 1
Learning techniques

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    Start revising early. You will not grasp the concepts of physics the night before the exam. You must follow a gradual learning process over a period of months.
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    Review and revise. This is common sense. Unless you are a super computer, you will not remember everything in one go, so you will need to be able to read it again. And again, and again until it is second nature to you. You should be able to answer any question at any time, only at this time will you have revised enough.
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    Make use of learning aids to retain information better. For example, use visual aids such as mind maps or diagrams. Make audio aids such as songs and rhymes. It can also help to draw large posters or drawings of some of the concepts and place this on the wall near your bed; study this before going to sleep each night.
    • Write formulas on Post-It notes or other scraps of paper. Pin these up around the house, including the bathroom. Learn as you're doing regular activities around the house.
    • Summarize all of your physics notes. Type them all up. Put them into a text to speech program. Listen to this audio file at night while you sleep.
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    Learn some things by heart. It is a good idea to learn as many equations and definitions as possible by heart; that way, you get to concentrate on the problems, rather than worrying about what the equation is or scratching your head over what something means.
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    Test yourself. In the weeks leading up to the exam, do tests so that you can see whether you're understanding the information properly. Try to find old exams or test papers to do. If you can't get these, look for exam questions online and do those.
    • Some schools allow access to old exam papers, while other schools don't. Ask before assuming you can't get them.
    • There are numerous online sites with physics questions and quizzes. This includes revision sites, school sites, university sites and sites from physics fans.
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    Study with someone else. Team up with friends or fellow students and hold a regular study group. You can ask each other for help in understanding the concepts; you can also quiz one another.
    • Teach each other. It's actually a great way of learning.

Part 2
Knowing what to revise

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    Learn all the equations. This can be hard to do, but about 75 to 95 percent of physics questions involve an equation or two. If you do maths, this will be easier than you think, but even if you do not, don't worry about it. A Google search or two can help you with the ones you do not fully understand.
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    Revise everything taught in class. This includes any missed lessons; just because you weren't there doesn't mean it won't come up in the exam. Get notes from someone else if you've missed a class or more.

Part 3
Prior to the exam

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    Have the right equipment. This does not mean have a ruler, or a pen, find that pen you know you will get you the results. You should know what type of pen you want to use, as having to use one you are unfamiliar with can put you off. Be prepared as soon as possible.
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    Get a good night's sleep. Sleep as normal, as breaking the cycle can be worse than sleeping for about five hours.

Part 4
Answering the questions

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    Use your time wisely. It goes without saying that if you waste your time on one question, rather than moving on, this can be very dangerous. If you ever want to do a physics paper perfectly, you need to know that answering more questions equal more marks (hopefully). The standard time mark ratio is one mark to one minute, but sometimes changes.
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    Read the exam questions carefully. Do not rush ahead assuming you don't need to read it closely; a small change might be present that throws off everything you've assumed.
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    Get to the point quickly but show your working. Do not repeat your discussion points, as this is wasteful and it demonstrates a lack of clear thinking. Whatever your answers, always show how you reached them. When you make errors (such as transposing numbers or adding up inaccurately), sometimes the working can help score you at least something for the question because it demonstrates that you at least knew the methodology and tried to use it.
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    Have confidence. Unlike the English test, physics wants you to be as cocky as anything. You need to show this exam who is the master, and they only way to this is by tackling every question as if you are a physics ace.
    • Do be careful not to be overconfident, as you will stay thinking that you are actually a physics ace rather than actually being one, and that will only end badly.

Tips

  • Learn what type of studying suits you, as this can help you revise better.
  • Don't understand something? Ask the teacher for help well before the exam date.

Warnings

  • Do not say it is easy at the end, unless you are so sure about it, you will kill yourself if you don't.
  • Do not be overconfident.

Article Info

Categories: Physics | Tests and Exams