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How to improve critical thinking and awareness

  1. Feb 26, 2016 #1
    I'm studying physics, and I've covered calculus and general physics.

    My problem is:
    -My critical thinking is really not good.
    -Whenever someone is asking me about say, object A, I would answer something that is not related to object A (I'm not aware of it until that person tell me that I haven't answered his question/ I'm out of the topic).
    -I tend to forget the things I've learned in say, two weeks time.
    -Typical problems of poor students

    Do anyone know what my problem is? I'm not sure if this is just the common problem i.e. lack of focus or awareness. I feel that I'm focused in what I'm doing but still, somebody would tell me that I'm not in focus, etc. Can somebody recommend me a book or any tips on how to resolve and improve my skills? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2016 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe you're answering too soon; i.e., answering before thinking about what actually was asked. This is probably related to your first point, about critical thinking.
    The fix for this is to go back and review the earlier topics. Doing something once is probably not enough to get the procedure firmly fixed in your mind.
    Such as? Please elaborate
  4. Feb 26, 2016 #3
    Too general. Can you give us a very specific example?
  5. Feb 26, 2016 #4

    What i mean by typical problems of students are maybe out of focus, can't take up the problems very well and sometimes I tend forget what was just said by my professor. What do you think I should do?
  6. Feb 26, 2016 #5
    For example, in the topic of spatial translation, given the translation operator T(α) and suppose I want to translate by a finite distance α, but finite translations can just be derived from infinitesimal translations ε. So we can construct α in the context of ε. T(α) = (T(α/N))^N as N→∞.
    The professor asked me, if α is how much I want to translate and I wrote α/N as the infinitesimal rotation, how many times should I move to reach α? I answered α even though clearly it should be N so that (α/N)N, the N's cancel. These basic stuff that is already obvious, I still can't understand why I'm making those mistakes, at that time I'm sure that I'm correct but after some time when the professor keeps showing me the obvious and somehow the correct answer that is the time I will sort of realize that I'm wrong but still need time to realize the answer. I don't know what is wrong with me.
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