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The difficulty of studying Physics - the challenges and some secrets

Updated on May 14, 2017

Physics is not a straightforward subject; and honestly, there are bound to be many difficulties before you can call yourself an expert of Physics.

First of all, the questions set by teachers (or physicists, we call them) in examinations are tricky for sure. The questions are not as simple as the questions you see in normal mathematics and additional mathematics. The questions are deliberately devised in such a way that you will have to ponder and venture for every question, and that means you have to manage your time much more wisely.

I have never spent less than 10 seconds to answer each question, even if it is a multiple choice question. There were words often overlooked by most students due to panic or stress. Scoring a distinction is still feasible as long as you take the pains to study and ask. The bulk of the cohort, however, will find Physics a brainteaser.

Now here is a sample:

I am sorry if the text is too diminutive, but that is what I have. With reference to the question above, you might have to reread it. So you might be recalling the formulas in your head by now. But the question is: what formula should I use? Is it Ep= 1/2mv2? Or is it F=ma (that is not possible, given that the question does not state the acceleration of the box)? Or is it any other formulas I do not know? If I took the first step to find what is the value of Ep, then what will I do later on to find the frictional force acting on the box? Is it W=Fd? If you used the formula W=Fd, and multiply Ep and 5.0m, you will not get any of the options above unfortunately.

Therein lies the difficulty of Physics.

Well, you might say that every subject is difficult, and Physics is not an exception. This is genuine, but in the case of Physics, be it in the subjective or objective viewpoint, the questions are much more harder than mathematics and English. The questions will be testing on your interpretation of verbs and nouns, as well as your mathematics skills.

If you are not convinced, then do read the following questions:

For this question, you have to know about the principles of moments. I am not going to show you the method though. If you did not see this question before, you'd better be afraid. Anyway, it is better to be intimidated now than later, when you are sitting for the Physics exam.

Now, let's have a look at another question:

This question requires your algebra and physics skills. Firstly, you may come up with the formula, Q=mcΔθ. You would disregard the amount of heat energy since it is the same in both cases, and then... are stuck.

There is another more absurd question:

There's so much text, isn't it? How are you going to find the crucial information? What if you do not have any inkling of how a moving-coil loudspeaker works? Will you be able to fathom, and, with luck, get full marks for this question?

There are actually more of this challenging questions, a plethora of them, but to list all of them out here would take a lot of time. Some people might perceive it as a tirade against Physics and physicists. The purpose of this article is certainly not to demoralise anyone, but with the frequent grouses of students regarding Physics, I am urged, out of my own volition, to write a Hub for this.

Do note however, if you are able to solve the questions I have placed here, then please share with us your workings and tips. As the adage goes: helping others is helping yourself.

With that, have a good time studying! Being an infallible physics master is near!


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