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Physics failure

  1. Nov 1, 2009 #1
    Hello all!
    This year i have signed up for Physics B AP, it is an algebra based physics class that deals with E&M. I have been very inspired by this class, it is very interesting and intriguing, but i am horrible at the subject. I average 40% on tests/quizzes, when the class averages around 65%. I love the subject, and i wish i could be better at it, but i have no idea how to get better at it. Does anyone have any ideas on what i could do to get better at the subject?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2009 #2
    I had the same problem when I took my first physics class back in 11th grade. What I did was to do the hardest problems from the textbook and made good use of all the online resources available. After a quarter of spending a ridiculous amount of work studying physics (for me it was like 2+ hours a day), I got better and eventually took AP physics C and aced that class. Physics takes a while to get used to. Don't give up. I had my fair share of failing grades when I took honors physics.

    Go to a search engine and type in ap physics b. So many ap teachers put their notes, practice questions, and such online. Look for them. I did that and that's greatly helped me to improve.

    For starters try this site: www.hippocampus.org

    Look under the physics section. The animations really help you understand the concepts.

    Good luck.
  4. Nov 1, 2009 #3
    I remember when I first took physics in highschool. I was so excited to start learning the subject but I did awful the first couple of tests because my math skills were just not where they needed to be. I studied a lot and ended up with a B+ in the class because of my first few tests but I got a 5 on the AP test! Then the next half of the year I took E&M, got an A and a 5 on that test.

    My point is if you really find the material interesting dont get discouraged yet. Its just a matter of finding the right way to study. And the first step is to figure out what your weaknesses are and work on them. My weakness was not my understanding of the physical concepts but my algebra skills. So thats what I worked on and it paid off.
  5. Nov 2, 2009 #4
    update, i just got a 30% on my physics unit test,
    does anyone else have any ideas on what i can do to get better?
  6. Nov 3, 2009 #5
    The first thing to do is to check for the easy problems and do them till you feel comfortable that you can solve them. Then continue on and go for the tougher ones till you run out of time or can do anything.

    If you get stuck on a problem read those pages in the book again. Then try the problem again. Repeat till you can do it, if it takes a few times and you still don't get it then look it up on the internet or ask someone. Do not give up on a problem till you have sat with it for several hours.

    Doing this will let you improve.
  7. Nov 3, 2009 #6
    I am currently in AP Physics B and just finished my quarter with a 91% average.... top 5 students in a class of 100...

    Just study hard and make sure you learn the material OVER A LONG PERIOD..

    for instance if a test is on friday i soak in information throughout the week over 30 minute study sessions instead of cramming in one night...

    also on tests you never see a problem that is remotely (ok it will be similar but you can't just know equations) like a problem you have had on homework, but if you know your principles/equations and can apply them to the problem at hand, you can "build" the problem from the ground up using your "tools"....


    some people are naturall "gifted" in this sort of thing but by no means should anyone be getting 40%s in AP Physics B unless your school is ridiculously hard (I mean insanely hard)

    Also please realize physics is a struggle for EVERYONE, especially hard AP courses, and that even the guys who are tops in my class (one kid has a 99%) still works hard and his trouble with problems etc. Physics really is a struggle...

    Good luck
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
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