I am a sophomore physics major and having worries about the junior/senior level optics class that I'm currently enrolled in (Optics by Hecht). The prerequisite for the class is only intro physics II which I had last semester but I fear that I still have some catching up to do. A lot of the notation and jargon is new to me, and I'm having trouble judging how well I'm doing with the material. Mainly, I'm just worried that I'm not going about learning the material in the most efficient way, and I think I need a new strategy for succeeding in upper level physics courses. In past physics courses I read before lecture and did all of the homework as soon as it was assigned. It was very straightforward what I was expected to know for the exams... Basically study the homework problems, problems covered in lecture, old exams, recitation problems and there would usually be no surprises on the exam. I fear that this optics class will not be quite this straight forward though. It is the first time this particular professor has taught the class and I find it to be pretty unorganized so far. I've been reading before lecture and rereading after lecture because he goes VERY quickly. Basically the entire lecture is just derivation of equation after derivation of equation with hardly any explanation whatsoever so the book has really been my friend. We have had two homework assignments so far and I finished them pretty easily for the most part. I had to look up the solutions to more than a couple of the problems but now feel that I understand them. The problem is, I have absolutely no idea what the exams are going to be like... I'm afraid that he could potentially put some complicated derivations on there, but on the other hand the homework problems are relatively simple. I tried asking him what I should be expecting and he just told me "it's very simple math, you should be fine" so I really have no idea... Any advice?