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Really bad at Math, but really interested in Physics

  1. May 22, 2010 #1
    Hi there. Just for clarification, I am a Junior in High School getting ready to wrap up this year. As such, we have all had to make our schedules for next year at my school and I'm actually looking forward to my senior year. I am aware that this board is meant for people who are in college or grad school, but I couldn't find a board that is meant for High School students. Anyway, I'm signed up to take IB Physics SL next year, which is a one year college course in Physics offered in my school. I did well enough in Chemistry that I got permission from the science department chair to take it and skip the regular level physics offered at my school. Of course, I was pretty happy when I found out, but I am worried about one thing. I'm extremely bad at Math. My average in Math is around 82, and I fear that I will not do well this quarter.

    This isn't calculus based physics, but still I am worried that I will not do well because of my somewhat "poor" performance in my math. Is it a good idea to soldier on into IB Physics despite excellent performance in Chemistry and somewhat poor performance in Math? It just never came easy to me, almost to the point where I think I have dyscalculia...but that's a different story. I do like the sciences...a lot, but I don't think I have the necessary "aptitude" to grasp all of the different concepts and problems in an IB Physics curricula.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2010 #2
    You are bad at Mathematics, you say? Good. Now that you pinpointed your problem take the necessary steps to solve it. Learning Mathematics, like any other subject, is about practice and understanding. There is no magic behind it.

    "despite excellent performance in Chemistry" does not make sense; you did well in Chemistry so you will perform poorly in Physics? Sense no make. The sciences are interconnected; you do well in one branch, you may perform satisfactorily in another. Take the Physics class and enjoy it. All you need is effort and determination (harder to get than "natural aptitude").
  4. May 22, 2010 #3
    There is now way you can be good at physics but bad at math. You're weak in math, so what? Work on getting better! And then you can tackle physics.

    Btw 82 is not a bad average, you'll be fine. Physics is understanding the problem. Once you understand where you're at and where you need to be the rest is easy plugging of the formulas.
  5. May 22, 2010 #4
    Hello Xelb,

    First and foremost, your math score is good. I don't know where you got the notion that an 82 in Math is bad. I'm sure you'll do fine in a physics class as long as you posess that willingness to study hard, and progress further in your mathematics. Indeed, Math can be difficult, but it is important not to give up despite the circumstances surrounding your inability to comprehend all of it. Perhaps you should take the time to study some math during the summer if you really feel you dont understand the fundamentals of mathematics needed to understand physics.
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