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How to regain my touch in Physics? Also help me choose between two schools.

  1. Jun 10, 2012 #1
    So I took 4 A-Levels last year (Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology), and I got 4A*. I am from a low-income family and my family have to struggle to pay my through college. And the worst thing happened to me during my AS examinations; my father passed away. He was the breadwinner of the family and I knew I wasn't able to afford college so I didn't bother to apply.

    I decided to take a gap year. For the whole time I took up multiple jobs to keep up with household expenses and to earn some savings for college. I told myself I have to go to college no matter how hard.

    Finally, after months of working and some help from close relatives and friends, I accumulated enough money to pay for one year of college. So I applied via UCAS for 2012 entry. To my joy I got into all my choices. I am still trying to decide between Imperial College London (BSc Physics with Theoretical Physics) and University College London (BSc Theoretical Physics). I have also applied to various sponsoring bodies for scholarships and landed a full scholarship to pursue my course at UCL.

    School is going to start this fall and time is running out. Now I am having concerns about my Physics knowledge. I have not used Physics for almost a whole year and I have lost touch with my Physics skills. I certainly do not wish to blow my chances of getting a first. And afaik UCL and Imperial are insanely competitive schools and I don't want to lose the rat race.

    I have another concern that is my mathematical skills. Typically Physics students at UCL and Imperial College take Further Maths during A-levels. I didn't since my school doesn't teach it. I am afraid without a background in Further Mathematics I will be disadvantaged in my university years.

    How can I regain my touch in these few months? How should I start? My memory on many topics are really hazy, except for basic Newtonian mechanics. Any suggestions? Book recommendations are welcome too since I live near a public library.

    Also, now I'm appealing to the scholarship board to consider sponsoring me to Imperial College London. If my appeal is unsuccessful should I waste the scholarship and still go to Imperial? In terms of reputation Imperial should be better but UCL isn't that bad either.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2012 #2
    First, congratulations on the scholarship and your acceptances.

    Well, you can start by doing some sort of 'refresher,' just to see if you really have forgotten a lot, or if you just need to see it again quickly. For that, I would recommend going to khanacademy [dot] org. A lot of my classes that I took, I would look at the videos on here first, and ended up doing way better in the class having seen it before.

    If there isn't much of a difference in the colleges, I would personally use that scholarship at UCL. But, if the other one is your dream school, and there isn't much of a difference, and the money won't cause problems later, it might be good to follow your dream.
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