A major science subject, Physics is a constant source of dread for students. It is inarguable that some students are naturally good at physics. Most students struggle with the subject and need a lot of work. It is important to have strong foundational skills in the subject and have enough practice to attain mastery over it.
However, most students are more interested in getting a good grade in every exam. These are 4 effective ways to get good grades in physics exams.
- Learn the equations
Keep in mind that 75 – 95% of physics questions include one or two equations. In case you are good at mathematics, you will find it easier to attain mastery over physics equations.
However, even if you are not good at mathematical problems, you can try online searches to find out about the equations and understand them properly. You can ask your tutor or school/college professor to teach you the equations and make you understand how they work.
- Take notes of all that you are taught in the class, equations and other things. Even when you miss a class or two, you should take notes from a peer who was present in the class. This will help you to fill up the gaps and get a complete understanding of all the course material.
- If you have issues in understanding equations and practicing them, it is a good idea for you to study with a friend or classmate.
- You can team up with one or more fellow students and organize regular study groups. This will help you to assist each other and understand all the concepts. You may even hold quiz every month to test how well you have progressed.
In the weeks before the exam, you should take a few tests to check whether you have mastered all the equations and other information properly. Get hold of old test papers and exam questions and try to solve them. In case you cannot get any, you can look online for previous year exam questions and download them.
If your academic institution allows students to access exam papers of past years, you can go through them and find out how to structure your answers. These apart, you can find many websites that contain quizzes and questions on Physics. This include:
- Websites from physics enthusiasts
- University websites
- School websites
- Revision websites
You can use visual aid such as diagrams and mind maps, and audio aids like rhymes and songs to retain the information in a better manner. You can also draw large diagrams or posters of important concepts and hang them on the walls of your room for better retention.
- Revise ahead of time
Do not sit down for your studies in the last few hours before your exam, or the night before. You should ideally start revising at least 2 weeks prior to your tests. The revisions should include all that you have learnt, as well as any lessons that you might have missed. If you have missed one or more classes, you should get the notes from a classmate before revision.
You should keep a notepad nearby to write down the main points of your physics lessons that you go through. Make section-wise categories and write the points down, so that you do not have to go back to your lessons at anytime you feel like you fail to remember a point. A cursory glance at the notepad will refurbish your memory.
Alongside revisions, you should also practice:
- Model test papers
- Old question papers
- Online Physics tests
- Sample exam papers
- Mock exam papers
You should use your time very wisely and allot yourself 15 minutes less the time than what you are allowed in the actual physics exam. It will be very dangerous not to leave out some time for making the revisions.
Once you are adept at solving the question papers in less time, you will not feel the test anxiety when you sit down for the actual exam. You will be better prepared to finish the answers within a short time and yet cover all the points.
Allowing yourself time for revision during home exams will make you surprised. You will be amazed at how easily you have missed out important bits of answers and equations, which can get your marks deducted. One of the worst things to face in a physics exam is to leave out questions unanswered due to time constraints, despite knowing the answer.
During Physics exams, the standard time allotted is one minute for one mark. This can easily cause you a lot of stress during actual exam time. With enough practice at home with model question papers, you can easily make yourself capable of answering all the questions and not leave out anything important.
- Relax and take proper rest
Exam stress can be a killer, and make you anxious for no reason. You should relax and take enough rest to keep in sound physical and mental health. Take sleep for at least 6 hours before the day of the exam. It will be the best stress-buster that helps to retain all that you have learned.
Even with all the lessons, you should take out at least 20 minutes every day for exercising. Take a brisk walk, perform breathing exercises and do some freehand workouts to remove stiffness from your muscles.
On the morning of the exam, take a look at the formulas, go through the summaries of the chapters and study every note that you feel is important. Meditate for some time, and practice deep breathing for at least 5 – 10 minutes after studying. This will keep your stress levels down and make you more focused.
- Carefully go through the question
Never rush through the questions. Take some time to read each question closely and find out what you are expected to answer. Failing to notice even a small detail can put you at peril. You might answer very differently from what is expected of you. After you have understood the question, you have to get quickly to the point.
- It is important that you do not end up repeating the points that you have discussed already. It will be a wasteful exercise, and the examiner can easily make out the lack of clarity in thought on your part.
- Regardless of your answers, you should always cut the unnecessary detailing and rather get to the point.
- Show how you have reached the solution. When you end up making mistakes, such as inaccurately adding up or transposing numbers, you can at least score some marks for the working.
- A clean and to the point answering method will show that you knew the methodology at least, and attempted to use the same.
- Most students fail to understand the question and answer miserably, writing down exactly what is not expected of them.
- If you do not understand a question, read it repeatedly unless you have comprehended it fully. If it seems too difficult, write down the easier ones first and leave it out for later.
- Getting good grades in Physics exam is not about working hard, but working smart. Following these tips will help you to score well on your Physics test.