First year physics difficulty level

In summary, a lot of the material in regular physics is based around technology and it can be difficult. However, there are resources available to help you out, and most students find it challenging at first.
  • #1
45
1
I'm starting a physics major this year and I'm currently enrolled in foundation physics (algebra, vector based). However, during second semester I'll be doing doing a regular physics unit which is based around technology. The main topics are Electromagnetism (LOTS and LOTS of circuits work, quite similar fashion to EE), fluid mechanics and Quantum ( Schrödinger equation, uncertainty, spin etc) and their applications on technology. I was wondering how hard these courses are especially the circuitry work since I've little experience with circuits during high school.
 
Last edited:
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
I'll be taking calculus & linear (1st semester), and modelling & statistics (2nd semester) .
 
  • #3
On a scale of one to ten it's a fish.

More seriously, it's difficult to answer a question like this because it's very subjective. A lot depends on how well your high school education has prepared you for the material, how much learning you've done on your own, and how well you learn from the professor's teaching style or the textbook. Plus you have to factor in time that you have to devote to the material, your personal study techniques, other factors that may interrupt your focus, etc.

It sounds like you have an idea of what the syllabus will be like. If you can, purchase the textbook ahead of time. Work your way through a few of the problems. That's the best way to know how difficult the course will be. If it helps, most students tend to find first year physics challenging, but the subset of those who chose to major in physics generally enjoy it.
 
  • #4
The problem is, the high school physics syllabus in where I'm from has been completely dumbed down to the point that it has little to no relevance to university (think impact of physics on society, environmental issues and history of physics rather than critical and analytical quantitative aspects). E.g. Majority worded response w/th a few calculations sprinkled on top. Also, there are 2 textbooks for first year (college physics a strategic approach used for foundations) and University Physics Technology Update for 2nd semester. The university organizes textbook exchange so we don't have to buy both but I haven't been informed o which textbook to buy.
 
  • #5
If you give specific information about the textbooks you mention then would-be advisors might determine what you face. Perahaps you can find links for the books on Amazon or Barnes & Nobel.
 
  • #6
I never took a physics class in high school, or a science class really for that matter since I went to a very conservative Christian school. Going into college, I jumped in at around the same level as you (except calculus-based), and the first time I made a circuit in E&M, I didn't even know how to attach alligator clamps. The point is, there are always resources to help you out, and your story isn't uncommon. I guarantee a lot of people will be in your boat as well. Your professors can't expect everyone to be a physics master when they enter college, in fact I think you'll find that a lot of people will be at an even lower level than you.

TL;DR - you'll be fine.
 

What is the difficulty level of first year physics?

The difficulty level of first year physics can vary depending on the individual student and their prior knowledge and understanding of the subject. However, in general, first year physics is considered to be a challenging course that requires a strong foundation in mathematics and problem-solving skills.

What are some common challenges students face in first year physics?

Some common challenges students face in first year physics include understanding and applying complex mathematical concepts, grasping abstract concepts, and developing strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Time management and balancing the workload of other courses can also be a challenge for some students.

How can I prepare for the difficulty level of first year physics?

To prepare for the difficulty level of first year physics, it is important to have a solid understanding of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. It is also helpful to review basic physics concepts and equations before starting the course. Additionally, developing good study habits and time management skills can help make the course more manageable.

What resources are available to help students with the difficulty level of first year physics?

Many universities offer tutoring services, study groups, and office hours with professors and teaching assistants to help students with the difficulty level of first year physics. Online resources, such as practice problems and video tutorials, can also be beneficial. It is important for students to seek help and utilize these resources when needed.

Is it normal to struggle with the difficulty level of first year physics?

Yes, it is normal to struggle with the difficulty level of first year physics. This is a challenging course that requires a lot of effort and dedication. It is important to remember that it is okay to make mistakes and struggle, as long as you are actively seeking help and working towards understanding the material. With persistence and hard work, most students are able to successfully complete first year physics.

Suggested for: First year physics difficulty level

Replies
4
Views
692
Replies
21
Views
561
Replies
1
Views
763
Replies
11
Views
1K
Replies
21
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
2K
Back
Top