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Emilia1320

Struggling with physics :(

Hi :)

I'm on Pre-DP and I've got pretty good grades this far, at least on mathematics and experimental sciences.

Humanist side is eternal struggle but, however now my problem is physics.

I somehow managed to keep up until this point but now I fell ill for almost 2 weeks. I've managed to more or less catch up on other subjects but physics is hard.

I am fine on mathematics and calculation side of the subject is easy to me but all those notations etc.

for example I easily get mislead by units. I even spent 15 minutes trying to solve unknown "K" which actually meant Kelvin :D well, that was bad from even me and usually I'm not that stupid, but yeah, you get my problem. Also rounding feels weird, since I've always done all my calculations with exact values :(

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I would say that you don't have to worry that much. Physics wasn't my favorite subject either, but I managed to score a 6 in it. (Pre-IB). As for as I know, don't be sad, you're still in Pre-IB, if you want it next year, then pleeeeeease tell the teacher - if you haven't - that you feel like you're kind of struggling, and tell your teacher what part of the course you are struggling in.

 

Don't mistake it as an insult to them - Teachers REALLY like it when their students acknowledge how they feel in their subject, because it shows your concern and your will to do better :love:

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I guess once you get into the real IB you won't have to worry too much about it.

I am finding physics enjoyable and easier than other subjects.

I am currently taking physics HL and receiving 7 in both grade 11 and 12 semester 1 (basically all ib years). 

 

Good luck :) 

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Try reading the questions more carefully, and also to practice more. Practice really makes perfect! ^_^ And don't despair - coming back from a two weeks leave and managing well in all subjects except for physics is impressing!

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I am fine on mathematics and calculation side of the subject is easy to me but all those notations etc.

for example I easily get mislead by units. I even spent 15 minutes trying to solve unknown "K" which actually meant Kelvin :D well, that was bad from even me and usually I'm not that stupid, but yeah, you get my problem. Also rounding feels weird, since I've always done all my calculations with exact values :(

 

1. Realize that you have lots of time left to improve.

 

2. When practicing, write down all mistakes that you've made into a small notebook. And look at these notes every time you do a practice question. This is to maximize your memory of previous mistakes, thus helping you to avoid them in future.

 

3. Focusing on the theory should also be a very important part of your study. In fact, it's more important than practicing the questions itself. This is because once you get the theory, the questions would be so much easier to do.

 

4. Try to understand the mathematics behind the theory. Remember that mathematics is the best description of nature that humankind has ever made. So focusing on the mathematical derivations & understanding would not only help you understand the theory itself, but also help you establishing some sort of mathematical mindset which will probably make it easier for you to solve problems. This could also be a practice for the use of notations & symbols, thus helping you to quickly realize that 'K' actually stands for kelvin & not something else :P

 

5. Avoid 'plug-numbers-into-equations' mindset. Physics is not only about plugging numbers into suitable equations. But it's also about 'abstraction'. The real process of solving a question is like this: First, translate the wordings of the question into some sort of mathematical abstraction; Second, use the laws of mathematics to figure out the result. Third, translate the result back into physical reality. However, i've seen a few people skipping the first step. All they do is to look at the formula booklet, then 'intuitively' choose a suitable formula, and finally plug in the numbers. So they basically have missed the actual understanding of the physical reality, which is important in physics. So avoid this mindset.

 

6. Don't use your calculator unless it is absolutely necessary or unless you've come to the final step of solving the questions. If your calculations involve fraction, keep it in fraction form because there's no need to use the calculator to change it into a decimal number. Only use calculator for questions that involve trig calculations such as sine & cosine. Also, try to derive everything first before using calculator to get the final result. This tip is good because you can then avoid many lengthy calculations, and all the unnecessary round-ups in between.

 

I guess that's all i can come up with right now. Remember that making mistakes is perfectly normal in IB. It's the 'learning from mistakes' that matters..... So conclusion: Don't worry! :D

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