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Best way to study?

  1. Mar 28, 2009 #1
    Hey everyone, i'm new here, so here's my first question. As the tile says, what is the best way to study for Physics? I'm studying to become a mechanical engineer at Penn State University, and i am in my first physics course right now, 3 more to go after this one. I haven't had too much luck with the first 2 exams, and my professor said that with my track record so far, i would need to get at least a 70 on the next exam and the final to pass. My current form of studying is to read the book and do the homework. What else can i do?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2009 #2


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    If reading the book and doing the homework is not enough to success for you, I suggest you to do more exercises and especially harder ones that still fits in your course.
    Try to find your weaknesses and work against them until you reach to do any kind of exercise easily.
  4. Apr 1, 2009 #3
    Unfortunately, you just have to practice practice practice. Keep doing problems until its second nature. Do the homework questions from your book, find old assignments and redo those, find old tests and practice on those, find other textbooks and do problems from those if you need to. It'll come to ya eventually!

    Good luck!

    The Subversive Guide to Engineering
    Latest Post: Grades vs. Effort: The Engineering S-Curve
  5. Apr 1, 2009 #4


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    There is no single best way to study. Really, you have to learn how you learn.

    It might help to take a good look at how you do what you are currently doing. When you read the textbook are you actively or passively reading? Do you make notes? What do you do when you come across something you don't understand? Do you try to apply the concepts covered in the book/course to phenomena outside of the examples covered in class?

    Are you actively engaged in the lectures? Do you ask questions? Do you make your own notes in addition to just copying or reading hand outs? Do you devote 100% of your attention to the lecturer? Do you sit as close to the front of the lecture hall as possible?

    When you do the homework assignments, do you do every question on your own, or do you 'reference' answers from other classmates or look up solutions online? What actions do you take when you're stumped? How much do you talk about the questions with your classmates? Do you take advantage of your professor's office hours?

    When preparing for an exam, what approach do you use? I found what worked for me was a solid review of the material and then I would make my best guess at what the professor would reasonably ask on an exam. Even if I was only partially correct, it certainy helped.
  6. Apr 2, 2009 #5
  7. Apr 3, 2009 #6
    I've found the best way to study is without a book in front of me.

    Whenever I walk from class or I'm driving in my car by myself I think about what I learned in my current math or physics class. If I think about something while I'm driving or w/e and can't figure out a problem or forgot something, it bugs me so much I almost never forget the solution when I go look at my textbook.

    By working out the formulas in my head it forces me visualize *everything.* This helps reinforce what I learned even more from my experience.

    Overall, nothing bets a good ol' obsessive attitude!
  8. Apr 3, 2009 #7


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    I will just reinforce that this is the best advice offered, and is a great set of suggestions to evaluate where weaknesses exist in one's studying.
  9. Apr 4, 2009 #8
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