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Almost scared away from Physics

  1. Mar 17, 2015 #1
    So here is what happened. I never learned algebra in high school. I joined the military after highschool and got out with goals of going to college. My degree of choice was physics. I took the SATs and my school put me into algebra 2 (out of 3....4 if you count pre algebra) based on my SAT scores. Well, I didn't have a clue what was going on, and I didn't realize that it was a class that I was missing two prerequisite classes to. I just thought I was awful at math. I passed with a C after going to tutoring every day after class. It was a real pain to pass that class and it made me think i was complete trash at math. After that I did two years of and English degree (I love writing). But now I want to get back onto the Physics horse. I know that I was put in a class too high for what I knew, but I still feel apprehensive about math. Once i understood things better, I realized that the algebra was really quite easy, but I'm not sure if it just became easy due to the amount of tutoring I did lol.

    So I'm a bit afraid, a bit relieved that it was so hard for a reason, but not sure if that reason is really good enough to justify how much of a pain it was. I don't know what to think. Its been two years as well, I'll have to find a way to take pre algebra and algebra 1, even though I've already completed algebra 2.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2015 #2
    Once you finish pre algebra and algebra 1 and 2 which you did before, at the same time you should take general physics which is grade 11 level. This you would be abled to manage once you have algebra. So the most important thing for the physics when you do it while you do algebra is that you MUST understand the topics which you are doing and they are simple. You should check them up they are
    Units and measurement
    Waves and optics
    Electricity and magnetism
    Physics of the atom
    These topics are easy once you finish your algebra one and two. Remember first do the grade 11 level of those topics that I do because grade 12 will require a little more math like calculus which still will be easy once you put your mind to it :) good luck ! And by the way Khanacademy and drphysicsA on YouTube will help you for physics and patrickjmt and Khanacademy will help you for the algebra you won't need a tutor its not that bad :)
  4. Mar 17, 2015 #3
    Thanks a lot! I had seen Khan academy years ago but now it looks amazing compared to back then!
  5. Mar 18, 2015 #4
    Yea it really did improve a lot! Keep me posted if u have any questions :)and your welcome!
  6. Mar 26, 2015 #5
    I'm in a similar boat. I scraped by with Cs throughout algebra(8th grade) to Calculus 2(college) (although I took calculus 1 two times). I gave up studying physics and switched to business management, and just finished my BS in it. I'm going to go back and study physics again but this time, I'm going to start with the basics, algebra and take my time instead of 4 or 5 classes a semester.
    I realize that I need a much stronger math foundation.

    Also, I was kind of brought up to think I sucked at math. My dad tried to teach me algebra when i was in 5th grade, since that's when he learned it(he's from China). Of course, I didn't get it(Damn those train problems..) and that made me fear math. Everytime I do math, I still get scared that I'm too dumb, so theres a psychological factor that I need to get over.
    Most of all, I wish I kept in mind that studying physics was something I wanted and enjoyed, and forget about parents and society pressuring me to finish college in 4 years and get a job. (I ended up taking 5.5 years to finish college and get a business degree)

    One last thing I learned after switching to business is don't set rules for yourself. When I was taking a lot of math courses, I told myself that math is logic, not art, so I limited myself to trying to only think logically. This time around, I will use my "right and left brain"

    Resource wise, I'm using Khan Academy, and I also still have my Calculus book, but I get scared everytime I look at the book.... the kind of illogical fear you get when you see a spider.
  7. Mar 26, 2015 #6
    I must say congrats on the business management degree. That stuff is challenging. But fear is one thing that you should try not too have when studying Physics, also I must say that maths is the language of physics so you shud be pretty good at it. And secondly the reason why you are scared of math is because you probably never had a fully confident teacher and just to tell u there is nothing to be afraid of when studying math. :) good luck in the physics studies and don't be afraid
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