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Am going to have to cram some college physics is it possible?

  1. Jun 14, 2009 #1
    I'm taking a summer college physics course and am very behind. It's completely my fault...I'm taking two classes that only last a month, a history and physics, so it's 7 hours credit in one month. A lot of class time (lab is 3 days/week).

    I just wasn't used to this compact schedule, partied the first weekend, and also a girl I liked and began to hang out with at the end of Spring was put in the apartment next door, so we ended up spending many late nights together even though my classes are at 8am every day (yep, complete idiot).

    So now here I am, we are basically half way done. I didn't take the first test...will be taking it tomorrow. Then will have another test Tuesday. Our book is Serway's College Physics, for anyone who's had it....

    Test 1....Ch. 1-4.
    Starts at basics, covers units, standards, conversion, trig. One dimensional displacement, velocity, acceleration, motion w/ constant accel, freely falling objects.

    Then 3rd chapter does vectors and motion in 2d, and 4th chapter is Force, Newton's laws, and friction.

    Assuming I'm decent at math, if I study all day today can I get that down for a test tomorrow, or am I screwed? I'll get back on what's on the 2nd test on Tuesday after I get the first answer...heh.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2009 #2
    If you don't study for the test you'll be screwed. Depending on how much you already know and how quickly you learn, you may be able to get enough down to pass the first test. Do what you can, practice some problems, and see if you can meet up with someone else from the class who can explain things. Don't expect to pass with flying colors, but you'll certainly do much better than if you did nothing at all.
  4. Jun 14, 2009 #3
    do the best you can. it sound like pretty basic physics so you should be able to get most of it down if you practice a lot.
  5. Jun 14, 2009 #4
    Here is something that my high school physics teacher had us do to prepare for our final exam. We were told that the test would be an 'open card' exam. Along with our TI-35 calculator (could do basic trig, etc) we could cover a 4"x6" index card with any information we wished to which we might refer durring the exam. (presumably this would be formulas, constants, etc). The card would be handed in on the eve of the exam and returned to us at the exam for use. Getting a years worth of formulas, etc onto a 4x6 card required small writing and a sharp pencil.

    I did what most of the students did and went through my textbook and notes and transcribed all of the critical formulas, etc onto the card in very tiny writing. (as it happened, I had over half of the back side of the card left blank when I was through the book..... I had to go back and search for anything else that might be useful..... I managed a few helpful diagrams).

    When we were seated for the test, and had our cards handed back along with the test, our teacher told us (correctly) "I bet most of you won't look at your cards more than three or four times."

    The process of creating that card, as he well knew, worked very effectively as an overall review of the material and almost as if by osmosis, I found myself with a remarkably firm grasp of the formulas.... undoubtedly better than had I just banged my head agains the book and the notes in a more 'standard' form of study.

    While I dont expect that you will have the luxury of 'open card', the process of constructing the card is amazingly effective (assuming you otherwise grasp the underlying concepts) at reenforcing some of the more mechanical aspects of the proccess. And the card will be a useful reference that you will have to keep and use when you do happen to need.

    Best of luck,
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  6. Jun 14, 2009 #5
    Yea it's going to suck pretty badly I think. But as I said, it's my fault for slacking. I truly underestimated summer courses and should not have taken two classes with one being a lab science (even my teachers said this...after the fact).

    The first test is tomorrow and then I'll have test #2 the day after, on Tues. The tests are on a computer and are multi-choice, which makes things somewhat better. I think certain eq's will be given (like kinematics and stuff).

    I'm using the guide "physics made simple" by Dr. Chris Lee as a supplement to the text. The first ch's are going smoothly...he doesn't use many pages to sum up what I'm trying to learn, but we'll see once I tackle all the prac problems I have.

    More worried about the second test....involves work, KE and PE, power, rotational motion/gravity/equilibrium stuff (not sure, just copying what I see in my notes.).

    Probably not going to end well, but might as well try...
  7. Jun 14, 2009 #6
    What I would recommend is reading the example problems, and reading the problems in the end of the chapter/section, but trying to just see what equations and concepts apply rather than working the whole problem start to finish. In other words, with the amount of time you have I would concentrate on reading problems and sketching the solutions rather than doing the entire solutions.
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