Starting UGrad Phys, haven't studied Maths/Phys for a year

In summary, the speaker is a student who took a gap year to pursue personal goals before starting university. They are now realizing they are out of practice with A-Level Maths and are worried about the intensity of math courses in their undergraduate physics program. They are seeking advice and have been told that the first year courses are often self-contained and don't assume prior knowledge. Typical topics in first year include Vectors, Linear Algebra, Analysis, Integrals, Partial Differentiation, Differential Equations, Complex Numbers, and Vector Calculus. They have also been provided with some resources to help them refresh their math skills.
  • #1
Aaron Rowntree
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Hoping I can find some help here, anyway a bit of context;

I studied Maths/Physics/Computer Science at A-Level (Finished at 18 years old, not sure what that is in America), and passed them all with good grades, and decided to take a gap year to work on some own personal aims/goals of mine before I went to University to continue my studies. Over the year I haven't really done any Maths, apart from helping siblings with GCSE (Age 11-15), so nothing basically. I have however been reading a lot on a range of Physics Topics, but not anything Mathematical.

I am now starting my Course in 6 days, and I have realized how out of practice I am with A-Level Maths and have started to freak out a little bit.

Im making this post in the hopes someone either; Is in the same position and we can wallow in our inevitable failure... OR, someone has some knowledge on how intensive the Maths is in the first year of Undergraduate or BSc Physics, and what Maths ill specifically be using, and some tips on how I can save myself!

Im already using past papers as a main resource, but its going to take me a while to get through all of the content with that method.

Im kinda lost so anything you have helps!

Cheers in advance :)
 
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  • #2
It's important to remember that not only with other students be out of practice, but additionally many international students will not have studied many of the topics that you studied at A-level. As a result, the mathematics courses in first year of undergraduate are often self contained. i.e. They don't assume knowledge and you might repeat a few topics. It's obviously important to return to full speed as soon as possible and many university courses will give you a short recap example sheet at the start of the year to help you achieve this.

Typical topics in fist year will include: Vectors, Linear Algebra, Analysis, Integrals (including multidimensional), Partial Differentiation, Differential Equations, Complex Numbers, Vector Calculus.
 
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  • #3
Woah not so different than me, except I messed for some parts, and different nationality.
 
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  • #4
Matternot said:
It's important to remember that not only with other students be out of practice, but additionally many international students will not have studied many of the topics that you studied at A-level. As a result, the mathematics courses in first year of undergraduate are often self contained. i.e. They don't assume knowledge and you might repeat a few topics. It's obviously important to return to full speed as soon as possible and many university courses will give you a short recap example sheet at the start of the year to help you achieve this.

Typical topics in fist year will include: Vectors, Linear Algebra, Analysis, Integrals (including multidimensional), Partial Differentiation, Differential Equations, Complex Numbers, Vector Calculus.
Hey can you answer this not for me https://www.physicsforums.com/index.php?threads/955128/ I'm also in same condition as OP, starting it from complete scratch at a point where I'm not going to make the same mistakes as I made in high school.
 
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  • #5
Thankyou so much for the replies, that's setted me massively! :)
 
  • #6
Aaron Rowntree said:
Thankyou so much for the replies, that's setted me massively! :)
So how are you planning to start your studies or recall it? With Math I would suggest you to start with spivak Calculus (not Calculus on manifolds)
With Physics, start with Halliday&Krane Physics (4th edition). Then move on to Kleppner and Kolenkow.
Also check this book for mathematical skills http://www.physics.miami.edu/~nearing/mathmethods/
 

Related to Starting UGrad Phys, haven't studied Maths/Phys for a year

1. How can I prepare for UGrad Physics if I haven't studied Maths or Physics for a year?

It is natural to feel anxious about starting UGrad Physics after a break from studying Maths or Physics. However, you can prepare yourself by reviewing basic concepts and principles of Maths and Physics. You can also use online resources or textbooks to refresh your knowledge and practice solving problems.

2. Will not studying Maths or Physics for a year put me at a disadvantage?

It is not uncommon for students to take a break from studying Maths or Physics before starting UGrad Physics. While it may take some time to get back into the swing of things, with dedication and effort, you can catch up and perform well in the course.

3. What are some tips for balancing my workload in UGrad Physics with my other classes?

UGrad Physics can be a challenging course, especially if you haven't studied Maths or Physics for a year. To balance your workload, it is essential to prioritize your tasks and manage your time effectively. Make a study schedule, seek help from professors or classmates, and don't be afraid to ask for extensions or accommodations if needed.

4. How can I improve my understanding and performance in UGrad Physics?

To improve your understanding and performance in UGrad Physics, make sure to attend all lectures, actively participate in class discussions, and take thorough notes. Additionally, practice solving problems regularly, seek help from professors or tutors, and join study groups to review material and discuss challenging concepts.

5. Are there any resources or support available for students in UGrad Physics?

Yes, there are various resources and support available for students in UGrad Physics. Your university may have a tutoring center, study groups, or workshops specifically for physics students. You can also seek help from professors during office hours or reach out to classmates for support and study together. Additionally, online resources such as Khan Academy and YouTube tutorials can also be helpful for reviewing concepts and solving problems.

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