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How did you ACE Physics??!!?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by inkysphinx, Sep 1, 2002.

  1. Help!!! I NEVER got physics in HS, and I'm really trying to get it now. It's true, I don't think that I gave it a fair chance, but now I really lack the confidence to do it. ANY words of advice will be helpful. . .Or suggestions on supplemental reading. THANX!!!!
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  3. Wahoo07

    Wahoo07 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2002
    I found that MCAT review books were often more helpful in understanding the concepts than the actual textbooks. I usually studied from both sources. I would also recommend doing at least a few practice problems every week. Physics is one of those subjects where you can know everything about the current topic, but still fail the exam because you didn't know how to apply it. Good luck. :)
  4. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    In physics 1 and 2 it really came down to doing as much practice problems (from textbook and outside of it) as possible. Understand the material as best as possible.

    For physics 3 I slacked off a bit and did mediocre on the midterms. On the final though, out of 20 questions (very calculation intensive mult choice Q's) I had to guess 6 and got all correct so I squeezed by with an A- (lucky me). But when I had to study it over again for the MCAT, I noticed the MCAT books to be quite helpful. Examkrackers physics was quite nice.
  5. JulianCrane

    JulianCrane The Power of Intention 10+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2001
    I am in the same boat. If anyone can offer tips on how to get an A in physics, I would be so grateful.
  6. Doctora Foxy

    Doctora Foxy Meow 7+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Try to find a solution guide that accompanies your LOTS of practice problems and go over everything you get wrong.

    Practice makes perfect, especially in physics. :)
  7. limit

    limit Molesting my inner-child 10+ Year Member

    Jun 21, 2000
    New York City
    Yea yea thats what I forgot to say. Solving problems is usually a waste of time. Take a quick glanse, try to solve it in your mind. Envision the problem solving technique... go straight to the solutions for the nitty gritty calculations and pay close attention to the manipulation of formulas. Almost everything can be explained with a few basic formulas.
  8. wgu

    wgu Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 29, 2002
    Practice probs did it for me. Once you get to a point where you can education varies practice problems to other students, you know you've done enough

    same w/ orgo
  9. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27 10+ Year Member

    I hadn't taken physics in HS but managed to get A-'s both semesters. I basically studied a TON and did every practice problem I could find. I had a great prof and TA and used them extensively. My best friend was in the class, and we'd spend hours together going over problems. Physics for the MCAT didn't seem to be a problem for me.

  10. ditto the suggestion about the practice problems. also try to understand the concepts behind equations instead of just memorizing them (unfortunately this mistake killed me and most of the rest of my class on our Pharm exam which we took on Friday). I got an A first semester (the prof's exams were ridiculous and he had to curve so that 60% was an A) and just missed an A second semester b/c of some personal turmoil in my life. no HS physics whatsoever. good luck!
  11. missmod

    missmod Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 15, 2002
    I actually disagree with that. Perhaps it might be different tests and different professors, but I tried to zip through problems during the beginning of the year. What wound up happening was, I THOUGHT I knew how to do it, but when I got a different problem with a little twist, I'd make a small mistake here (like a sign change) and another small mistake there (like getting a direction wrong) and totally screw up the problem. When you need to ace a class, that can't happen.

    In any case, I feel that doing each problem really gets it well into your head. Read the problem. Draw a diagram. Write out all the steps. That helped to get me to understand the concepts behind the formulas.
  12. PrincessCKNY

    PrincessCKNY Crown Royal Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2002
    PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Approach physics like you would for a math class or organic chemistry. It is impossible to cram and learn from a few glances. I was also deathly afraid of the subject because I had totally slacked off in the class in HS. I just buckled down, did practice problems, and took a tutoring service on the side (which helped greatly). I think I ended up w/ about a 3.9 for a physics GPA.

    Check out the post(s) on calc vs. non-calc based physics to decide what's best for you.
  13. famousdoc2b

    famousdoc2b Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2002
    The best way to conquer physics is to get a solid understanding of the material. First, i would suggest checking out 5-7 basic books about general or college physics from the library. Secondly, go online and research the topics that you are currently studying. You will find example tests from other schools along with solution problems and sets. Also, take your time when reading the literature and study your class notes daily. Don't hesitate to ask your instructor for help before or after class. Write down every word that comes out of your instructor's mouth whether it's on the board or not. This worked for me. My tests did not come from homework problems or classnotes. It was all new material with comprehensive finals. Best of luck!
  14. SloppyJoe

    SloppyJoe Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    take it during the summer. The classes are usually easier, but you still want to study hard because you guys need it on the MCAT. (I'm pre-dental. :) )
  15. Random Access

    Random Access 1K Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    Not to simply reiterate what other said, but practice the stuff. In my AP Physics class in high school, we did all the AP Physics exams from the previous 10 years as practice, as a review for the AP. By the time you were done, the AP-style was drilled into your head. Of course, on the actual AP, they asked a totally new style of question on the mechanics part...bastards...

  16. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 12, 2001
    anchorage, ak
    Come down with a case of mono during an intensive "year of physics in one summer." :( Still managed to get an A. :)
    Practice, practice, practice, even in your sick bed!

    Made for a great LOR!! :D
  17. saiyagirl

    saiyagirl Guest

    Aug 23, 2002
    FIRST--get the concepts. i have to agree with a previous poster that MCAT books actually helped a lot. See if you can get your hands on the Princeton Review's mcat physics book (the one they use in class...not the one in a bookstore).

    AFTER you feel fairly confident with concepts, Practice problems, over and over. and over, and over.

    and don't forget to go to your prof or your TA for help!! that's what they're there for!
  18. agent

    agent agent, RN 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2002
    Near Chicago
    anyone got a good recommendation for an mcat study book that i might be able to get off of amazon?

    im going to be taking physics soon and if the mcat books help with concepts, i might as well get one now.

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