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Do I still have have a chance in physics

  1. Apr 29, 2016 #1
    before you read this , I'm 16 years old and I'm currently doing physics as one of my subjects at school.
    The title pretty much says it all. I'm wondering if I still have a chance in physics, after reflecting upon my performance from todays test (first physics test) which I'm pretty sure I got a horrible percentage in, like around 20-40% ( yeah that bad, I definitely failed). I have started to contemplate my pursuit of continuing physics after school, as I want to be either a physicist or mathematician. I know this sounds ridiculous to think that I would do physics, considering that I didn't go well in the test. However, I still have a great interest in physics, the subject fascinates me, as I find it amazing that it manages to represent physical phenomena's in a mathematical representations. Additionally I am interested in the topics still being studied today by physicists, like worm holes, black holes, time relativity. etc.. However, to be honest my commitment to physics,( actually this is for every subject ) in terms of how much time I spend studying it and doing my homework can be argued as zero, by zero I mean I hardly ever do it. My ability in maths is quite good, I find myself understanding everything that comes along in terms of the rules and formulas but I don't practice it often which makes me lose time in tests as I have to figure out the way to do the questions on the spot. For physics, I find that I am able to understand most of the concepts that's being taught, however the most trouble I have is knowing all the formulas for each type of question and being able to detect which formula I should use that will work for the question.So what do you guys think, and thank you for reading the whole thing, and I really appreciate your thoughts.
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  3. Apr 29, 2016 #2
    From what you've said, you have a fair chance in physics. You just need to put in some more effort. You won't have to memorise too many equations if you practice enough questions, because you'd be using them often. Also, you HAVE to know all your equations. If you're not sure which equations to use, write down all the related equations to the topic the question addresses, and write down all your variables. This will help you identify the most useful equations. Finally, practice questions. Practice makes perfect.
  4. Apr 29, 2016 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    As said before, if you continue not to put effort in, this isn't going to happen. If you start putting effort in, it might.
  5. Apr 29, 2016 #4


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    It's ridiculous if you don't want to make the effort. All of the most successful physics students I know worked really hard to get where they are today.
  6. Apr 29, 2016 #5
    Very little time in your undergrad education will be spent on that. The vast majority of working physicists don't work on any of this.

    Well, there's your problem. If you're going to continue putting in zero effort, then don't bother going into STEM.
  7. Apr 29, 2016 #6
    Yeah I noticed my commitment to physics is lacking , I'm going need to apply myself more regularly to physics. I'm also enrolled in the IB course so the requirements to the subject is quite new to me. Also, Thanks you guys for replying to my post, its much appreciated.
  8. Apr 29, 2016 #7
    Look, high school is easy. You can probably get decent grades with minimal work. But university is very different. If you don't learn to apply yourself and work hard, then university will be a big surprise. Compared to high school, university is a lot of work and a lot of material to learn. Many, many people get surprised in their first year of university. Don't be one of them. Start working hard for school now. Start self-studying other topics now.
  9. Apr 29, 2016 #8


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    There is a sort of "cult of genius" vibe that surrounds physics which many people (mostly younger) buy into. I think it sounds like you are one of them. You may think that if one needs to make an effort to learn physics, they are smart enough to be a physicist. That's simply not true and the people who think that way will usually burn out at some point if they don't change their ways. Doing well in classes is one thing, but doing research is another (which seems to be what you want to do) and that is something in which everyone needs to make an effort. If they didn't the problems would already have been solved.
  10. Apr 29, 2016 #9
    I understand what you mean, but I didn't mean to convey myself as a smart person, which I'm not, I guess it was just the way I said it in my original post because reading something sounds different then actually talking. Although I do appreciate the replies and suggestion that's needed for me to execute my goal, I just hope its possible for me, despite my performance in my physics test.
  11. Apr 29, 2016 #10
    Why are you surprised about your performance on the test if you admit you don't study enough?
  12. Apr 29, 2016 #11
    I'm not surprised its just I'm disappointed in myself.
  13. Apr 29, 2016 #12
    That will do you exactly zero good. You can feel bad all you want, it won't fix anything. Start making rigorous study plans and follow them.
  14. Apr 29, 2016 #13
    I'm going to try my best and see if I improve. Also do you know if the content for physics in university courses will be in a somewhat conjunction to the IB Physics course ?
  15. Apr 29, 2016 #14


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    Well what I took from your post is that you think that because you couldn't do well on the test without studying that you aren't fit to study physics.

    As for college courses, it highly depends on the school and the course at the school. I took the more advanced version of intro when I was a freshman and it was at a significantly higher level than the AP physics course (with calculus) I took in high school. However, the regular version might have had more in common with the AP class I took.
  16. Apr 29, 2016 #15
    Well yeah, I'm just trying to figure out if I chance to come back from my bad performance in the test. Also Is it possible that I can still get into University physics courses even though I'm not doing the highest level of Physics in the IB, instead of HL I'm doing SL.
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