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Which physics course? classical or regular...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ccgirl2010, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. ccgirl2010


    Jun 16, 2008
    I am determining my schedule for next year and I need to decide between taking classical physics or regular physics, all I know is that classical is calculus based and that regular isn't. Does anybody else have insight into which course may be better, or easier/harder, or more beneficial?
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  3. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D 5+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    at my school classical is for physics majors, so it's a lot harder.
    both are calc based, though. dont be too afraid of the class just because of calc.. the calc in physics is mostly just basic integration and derivatives for mechanics (physics I)

    i think regular physics will be sufficient for the mcat, and it may be easier. im not sure which would be more beneficial... some people say the harder physics class usually makes mcat physics a breeze for them, but i imagine those are the kids who would ace regular physics with no problem anyways
  4. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod Physician 7+ Year Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    hSDN Alumni
    In my opinion, physics with calculus is actually easier since you learn where all the formulae you're throwing around come from, and many of them can be derived from each other. You'll get a much more holistic picture of what you're learning and probably a more functional knowledge of the material. Then again, I'm very mathematically inclined and enjoy that type of fiddling. Most people probably find "regular" physics much easier and, consequently, more beneficial. Most pre-meds don't have a use for any physics beyond what's on the MCAT, and your regular physics classes will cover that just fine.
  5. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . . Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    I took regular physics and never looked back. i hate calculus, so i don't get all the "fun" in deriving formulae.

    it depends on you. if you're into math, go for calculus. if not, take regular. it doesn't really matter.
  6. Unless you like math, the non-calculus-based physics will be much easier.

    I loved calculus-based physics and was actually a TA throughout college, but I was also an engineering major. :)
  7. BluePhoenix

    BluePhoenix 5+ Year Member

    Mar 17, 2007
    I agree with milkman, it depends how you learn. Regular physics will be easier in the sense that you won't have to integrate or derive things, but at the same time you won't necessarily get the background that ties things together. For me, I thought knowing how the equations can be derived from each other or where things came from made it easier to understand than when they just give you an equation to memorize and you have no idea where it came from.

    If you're really afraid of math or can be content with just memorizing equations, then take the regular, non-physics based class.

    If you like to know where they got the equations or think a better background would be helpful, I'd go with the calculus based class.

    I find that the calculus based classes are sometimes better for giving you tips and ways to feel out an answer without going through a bunch of steps and lots of math. In comparing with friends who took the other physics, it seemed like they missed a lot of the discussion on why and how and focused more on what me, that makes physics much more difficult.

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