What is the best way to learn physics?

Tom asked on May 18,2019   653
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  • Tom

Physics is really hard if you don’t understand what’s going on. Understand it and it's pissing easy. I mean there is hardly anything to actually know - for most physics exams they give you all the formulas - you just need to understand how the formulas work.

Ok, so here’s how they did it…

We didn’t use any syllabus or textbook, apart from for reference. So, from day 1 they were doing past paper questions. At the very beginning I got 3 past papers and grouped the questions together by topic, so they did 3 mechanics questions, then 4 electricity questions, etc… This was to give them a little depth in each topic. But after these initial 3 past papers, it was just doing past paper after past paper.

For each question, when they got stuck, which at the beginning was pretty much all the time, they’d look it up in a textbook, and if they still didn’t understand I’d explain it. They then moved on to the next question, and by doing question after question they eventually understood all the concepts. It helps a lot that the answers to all the exam questions are readily available. By referring to those they got an amazing sense of what the examiners were looking for.

This simply answering question after question is essentially how I was taught physics at Oxford University, so it’s not some crazy new system. The benefit of this is that all learning is done with a purpose – which is to answer the question at hand – and that makes one focused and it also sticks in one’s mind.

In terms of time, they started off with an hour a day, after about a month it rose to around 2–3 hours a day. A month before the exam they spent around 5 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So physics is piss-easy if you know how to study and put in the time. It’s all a matter of doing past papers fairy intensively. Forget lectures and going through a textbook.

By Tom coves, 2 years ago