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Struggling in Highschool Physics

  1. Sep 20, 2012 #1

    My name is David and I'm particularly new to this forum. As of now the first grading period of my first semester is going to end, but I'm hit with a bad start on my physics grade. I'm taking Physics AP this year (I'm a junior now), and have never taken any other class before. I guess this is a disadvantage for me since many other students in my class have taken physics before already.

    Learning physics became extremely hard on me these past weeks I've taken it. Although we're learning the basics, I do not understand the material at all. I feel that the blame goes on the teacher for only teaching the mere basics of the lesson, but also the blame goes on me for not reading extensively enough. I guess you can say that I'm more of a visual and audible learner, but I have not had as much trouble learning to read now than in the past.

    I'm already stumped with a chance of getting a D or C in my class...I do poorly on my test and quizzes and suffice with homework with a lot of help. I fear that if I keep this up, I may jeopardize my physics grade. At this moment, I don't want that to happen.

    So I ask you all for advice and tips on how I could get a better grade. Are there any sources that I can look at that can benefit me (I feel that my physics textbook does not provide enough information for me to understand it in truth)? Thanks for your help and for reading this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2012 #2
    www.khanacademy.org if you're taking Physics B
    www.udacity.com is also good
    MIT OCW if you're taking any of the Physics C

  4. Sep 20, 2012 #3
    I've never met anyone who doesn't struggle with physics. You have to read the book, work on the problems, whatever it is. What you are experiencing is completely normal, and all you can do is work harder.
  5. Sep 20, 2012 #4
    What are you having trouble with? Doing the problems, understanding the concepts?

    KhanAcademy is great for gaining an intuitive understanding of something and asking lots of questions (like here on PF) about how something really works until you actually know what's happening rather than just memorise textbook definitions and formulas. I know what you mean when you say your textbook doesn't provide enough information - my high school text is rubbish also.
  6. Sep 20, 2012 #5

    Thanks a bunch for the links. I'll check them out, especially khanacademy since I'm taking Physics B right now.


    Yeah, I hope I can do that. My textbook is such a pain to work through though, given only two examples and many problems that don't deal with such examples...


    I'm having the issue with doing the problems mainly, along with possibly understanding concepts. I find it hard to know when equations apply to the question, and applying variations of the question is difficult for me as well. For example, motion problems did not seem hard at first given the main three equations to work it out, but the applications of it threw me off especially when I have to deal with angles... I will check out KhanAcademy and see if it helps. Thanks.
  7. Sep 20, 2012 #6
    I think for that you just have to do a lot of questions and eventually you'll learn to recognise what each question is actually asking for. Also, I find it helpful try to derive things yourself from first principles. Good one to do are all the formulas for projectile motion - this way you understand why the formula is the way it is and when to apply it
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