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karham20

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I am currently taking the first course in a series of 3 physics classics at my university. This is physics for life science majors, so it isn't necessarily too deep and integrative; it should be relatively easy.

I took Calculus in High School/College and I am not required to do any more. So far, I have understood all the math in my physics class; that is not where I am getting hung up.

This particular course focuses on mechanics -- we have covered motion, projectiles, FBD, friction, circular motion, gravitation, work, kinetic energy, conservation of energy, power, potential energy, momentum, collisions, impulse, center of mass, rotational dynamics, torque, and inertia.

I am fine in understanding the problems in the context of homework, because I have all the time in the world to make sense of what is going on. However, in test situations I find myself guessing what to do most of the time. I want to be at the point where I know what is going on in the problem and I can solve it with confidence. There is a little over a week before the final; I can definitely get a high mark in the class, but I want to enhance my understanding of physics, not just for this class, but for the remainder of the series and beyond as well.

My main issue is setting up equations. I am given the problem and I get overwhelmed by the amount of potential equations to use. I usually end up going down the wrong path.

I am assuming that my understanding of conceptual ideas is off which is why I struggle. I should probably mention that my professor is of no help, as his lectures focus on theory and derivation of equations rather than problem solving and breaking it down for students to understand.

I bought Schaums 3000 Solved Problems in Physics to help guide me and it has helped, but it has more supplemental value than actual lessons. Is there any website that anyone recommends to help clarify my misconceptions in mechanics and that can potentially help me understand how to set these equations myself? I know practice makes perfect and that is what I intend to exhaust for the next week, but any additional advice would be appreciated. Thank you!