Physics is a subject that is generally feared among students because the nature of it is challenging. Students have a general opinion that concepts are incomprehensible, unrelatable and abstract. This can be attributed to the fact that students have to grapple with various representations of the subject such as experiments, formulas, calculations, graphs and so on. The subject requires students to try their hands at different methods to translate what they have learnt in theory, into their practical life (the real-life application is the complex and tedious part of learning physics). Students often miss out on the ‘why’s and ‘how’s, looking at concepts at a superficial level which puts them at a disadvantage. GCE O level physics is certainly not easy to excel in; however, it’s also not impossible.
So, here are some tips for the preparation of GCE O level exams for physics!
#1: BREAKING IT DOWN
Sometimes questions may seem intimidating because they are complex in the way sentences are being structured and they have distracting amount of details all over the place and you are unable to make sense of it all. What seems impossible at the beginning would actually seem trivial at the very end and that is what happens when you are actually learning. It is essential to take things lightly and to not stress yourself too much about not getting hold of the question. You need to take some time to think about the concept being tested, to take note of the details being given (you have to think about why the details are given) and maybe even draw some diagrams to summarise what the question is asking. Draw your attention to what’s important and that way your answers will fulfill the question requirement without going off tangent.
Nothing comes easy; you need to owe your success so hard work is essential. Practicing with a purpose is what will pave the path for achieving an A grade, but this is what many students don’t follow as nobody really clearly understands what it means. Understanding concepts in-depth and detail is one thing aside but being able to apply the understanding to solve questions and to be able to present solutions systematically is another set of skills altogether. With each practice paper or assessment paper, you have done, you have to realise where exactly you have gone wrong and why you have made mistakes upon comparing your answers with the answer key.
Analysing the areas of mistakes, understanding your areas of strengths and weaknesses and working towards rectifying those mistakes will benefit you to a great extent.
#3: EXAM TECHNIQUES
Students often make careless mistakes when they miss out important details in the question. It is important to use your pencil during the exam and annotate to draw your attention to important pieces of information that will guide you in answering your questions. Annotating beside the questions as to what concepts are being tested, or underlying keywords in the questions or texts will craft your answers succinctly instead of rambling on and on.
AFTER THE EXAM
Whether you feel happy or sad about your marks does not matter. Even if you had topped your class in that examination, you would have made mistakes in your exam or test paper and what you have to do next is to take the necessary steps to ensure you don’t make those mistakes again.
All in all, never let success get to your head and never let failure pull you down. Consistent hard work and persistence are important to excel in everything that you set out for. Physics is an interesting subject indeed and hence you have to learn how to enjoy the process of learning it instead of letting the challenging aspects of it affect you.