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How do I learn physics?

  1. Oct 20, 2011 #1
    It's halfway through the semester, I have a F/D(if im lucky) in my physics 1 class(calc based), and I haven't learned a thing from the professor nor teaching myself. I can't even do one problem without looking at a guide or somebody else's work. I am really good with calculus, but I can't learn physics at all... One week straight I studied 6 hours a day, I don't remember anything that I reviewed and the problems I was doing.

    Why is this class so hard?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2011 #2
    Physics deals with a lot of diagrams, etc..., so did you try drawing from memory? Also, when you study do you read a concept and try to understand that concept before moving onto the next one? From my studies in harder classes, understanding first is key then moving onto the problems associated with the concepts involved. I am wondering whether you used something similar in your approach to studying physics?

    Drawing is essential in my opinion because it will help you get an intuition on what the problem is suggesting and you can develop an approach to solving it.
  4. Oct 20, 2011 #3
    I always do free body diagrams for every problem, I correctly label everything(usually) and then I get stuck. It just seems like there are too many different types of problems in physics for me to comprehend how to do it case by case. The book in itself has no explanation to the upcoming problems at the end of the chapter, I'm using Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Serway and Jewett eighth edition. They just throw down a bunch of equations and graphs, have a couple of examples but no real explanations that I can understand.
  5. Oct 20, 2011 #4
    I'm in the same class right now (using University Physics 13th edition) and I've learned that concepts are the absolute key for me. You may want to find some people to start a study group with. You can all go through the problems out loud. If you can teach it, then you fully understand the concept, and then you can do it. This has helped me a lot...Good luck man.
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