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Studying How do you effectively self-study physics using a textbook?

  1. May 5, 2016 #1
    How do you effectively self-study physics using a textbook?
    Defining "effective" (in decreasing order of priority):
    - Understand the topics more at the conceptual level than "standard problem solving/plug n chug" level. Think final goal being to prepare for research in the field or like a preparing for a Phd qual rather than preparing for a specific course exam.
    - Do that in the least possible time.
    - Being as intense as possible (say spending a month to finish a complete book/certain required level in the field) without burning out. (I agree this might attract highly subjective opinions so put at the last).

    Additional Details:
    Don't generally have someone to bounce ideas with. Always have Internet though (I know it's no substitute). Would be great if you considered this and gave some good places on the web to do this/ any other ideas.
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2016 #2
    If you can't work the problems, you don't understand the material.
  4. May 5, 2016 #3
    I agree. I tried to say "standard exam problems" -> "usual plug n chug problems". Changed the question details to better reflect my point.
  5. May 6, 2016 #4


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    The point "do in the least possible time" is a bad one. Studying a difficult topic will require spending as much time as necessary or as much time as possible to learn. Trying to spend "least possible time" is a poor study guideline.

    Dr. Courtney wrote:
    Part of good studying is to try to work the example exercises as much on your own before looking at the included solution for it. If you read the exercise and continue on straight to the solution, you are using the example wrong.
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