Feb 2018

Do Better at Solving Physics Problems

February 12, 2018

People generally stay away from physics; the subject has this reputation of difficulty that makes people scared even before encountering their first problem. As a result, people think that those who stick to physics and are actually good at it have a natural gift for the subject, but they don’t. While some truly are, the fact is that most of them simply put more effort into it than most.
If you’re struggling with your physics lessons in school and feel you need an physics tuition, you’ll find these tips to be of a huge help.

Problem Solving Tip #1 – Stay Calm

Does the problem seem too complex for you? Don’t panic! Breathe in deep, close your eyes, and count to five. The level of physics you’re dealing with doesn’t matter. If you don’t tackle it with a calm and collected mind, you won’t be able to solve it.

Problem Solving Tip #2 – Give Yourself Time

Time for what? To analyse things of course!
Take the time to first figure out the context of the problem and how you’re going to solve it. You don’t even have to fully understand the problem. What’s important is that you give yourself time to know what exactly you are dealing with. Do that and you’ll soon find that the problem is much easier to solve than you initially thought.

Problem Solving Tip #3 – Paint a Picture

Not a literal picture, but a scenario where you can apply the problem and make it easier for your brain to visualise and understand it. Once you have a good idea of what you’re dealing with, the right answer and method to approach it will eventually come out on its own.
You don’t even have to know how to draw to do this properly! A mental image or even a physical sketch of the situation, even if it’s just a rough schematic, can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to use simple objects such as arrows to organise the necessary information.
If the problem already comes with a drawing, even better! Physics problems are best solved by schematics and you’ll find that you’ll miss out on some important details and struggle with problems if you don’t take the time to draw and visualise the problems.

Problem Solving Tip #4 – Solve

So, you’re calm, thoroughly analysed the problem and already have a pretty good idea of the question that lies in front of you. What’s next?
Set a goal and focus. Solve the equations one at a time. Once you’ve finished solving one, move on, but not before taking a few seconds to relax first.

Problem Solving Tip #5 – Practice

It sounds cliché, but it’s true. The only way you’re going to make the most out of your physics tuition and improve is to continuously practice what you have learned.
Ever encountered someone who took a lot less time than you to solve that problem that took you an hour? As much as you might think that they have some God-given talent (well, some do, but that’s not the point), they’re probably the most hardworking in your class.
Physics is all about trial and error. The more errors you make, the better you’ll know which methods work best. The more problems you solve, the less time it’ll take you to recognise which method is best for specific types of problems.

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