There is a common opinion that the two most challenging subjects to deal with are physics and mathematics and there is nothing to be really surprised about. It is true to a certain extent that the nature of subject is rather challenging and could seem intimidating to most students (some don’t feel that way at all!) and this is the reason why there is fear surrounding these subjects and if nothing is done about this, it will never allow students to excel in those subjects no matter how hard they try.
The education system demands a whole lot more from students today than it did about a decade or more ago, it makes an ambitious attempt to get students to stay ahead of the curve, not considering the fact that everyone has different pace in learning. With regards to physics, there is a general opinion that introductory physics is rather difficult because students feel that concepts are unrelatable and abstract. Students have to grapple with various representations of the subject such as experiments, formulas, calculations, graphs and complicated theories. Physics as a discipline requires students to try their hands at different methods to translate what they have learnt in theory, into their practical life.
On the other hand, being unable to excel in Math is not just about the lack of understanding of concepts or not being able to assess the questions’ demands; it’s also about lack of confidence. The moment students start to perform poorly in a few consecutive tests, their confidence takes a beating and everything plummets from there unless there is proper guidance.
So, let’s take a look at some easy ways in which students can learn physics and math without the need to fear…
#1: A HEADSTART
Many students do not realise the importance of reading up in advance before a lesson; it works magic. As a means of being prepped before a lesson, you can read the lecture notes before the lecture/read the textbook before a lesson, you could do research on the topic to find out interesting facts to spark some curiosity and, you could even watch some interactive videos to get the visual representation of abstract concepts.
Having an idea of what is going to be taught in a lecture or during a lesson will give you some sort of a foundation for you to further build on. You don’t necessarily have to understand everything that’s being said in your notes the first time you are reading it, but it will all be stored in your memory subconsciously and when your teacher goes conducts the lesson on the topic, everything will seem to make sense. The reinforcement of information and concepts in your mind will help with great memory retention and this will ensure that you grasp more challenging concepts with ease.
Students who perform consistently well in physics and mathematics have the habit of asking the important ‘why’s and the ‘how’s. In contrast, students who struggle to understand concepts are those who take in information at a superficial level and never question what they are being told. Students have to learn how to dive into the depth of the concepts, analyse every layer of information and even hypothesise (this is applicable when studying physics). When introduced to a formula, it will be a good idea to think about how the formula was derived, how it is being used, why it is essential, so on and so forth. Often times, being able to understand how a formula was derived will answer a thousand other questions. It is crucial to not let things snowball and hence being proactive is a discipline that every student has to bring into his or her life, not just academically.
#3: PHYSICS AND MATH TUITION
Your tutors are there to help you pick yourself up and steer you in the right direction. They will not give you the answers but they will equip you with the mental tools and skillsets for you to figure it all for yourself. Good tutors will be one of the biggest pillars of strengths in your educational journey for sure. There are many tutors who can teach both subjects (physics and mathematics) and the best quality about these tutors is that they can skilfully interlink the subjects and teach how one is applicable for the other.
Physics and Maths tutor (be it private tutors or those who teach at tuition centres) will teach their students the nuances of the subjects and they will also explain the practical aspect which is about how the concepts are manifested in our everyday-life. Being able to relate concepts and think above and beyond textbooks will guarantee an A grade.
Every individual has their own way of storing and processing information with unique neural pathway formation when new pieces of information are being introduced. As long as students use the methods and strategies that they are comfortable with to understand concepts or memorise formulas, they can successfully excel in their academics. Most tutors understand this phenomenon and realise the importance of being accommodative to their student’s needs. Where there is a will, there is always a way, and hence, with patience, proper guidance and determination, it is possible to excel in mathematics and physics.