Studying for physics vs. math?

  • #1
How do you guys handle studying something like a physics course and a calculus course or maybe something more advanced than that? How long should you spend on either course, or even managing time for multiple courses at the same time in a single semester?
 

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  • #2
symbolipoint
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How? You simply put in the time, and always with concentrated effort. Study EVERYDAY! Do homework assignments AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! You should not race through the textbook instructional material expecting to understand quickly. One needs to read and reread most parts of the textbook sections a few or several times. Physics and Mathematics book sections often or nearly always have example problem exercises, and students must, MUST , MUST work on these as part of the textbooks instructive guidance. This is part of the learning.

That is some response, but not all that there is.
 
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  • #3
WWGD
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I think it comes down to keeping up by reviewing the material shortly after class, look at the HW right away and start breaking down the material. Whenever possible, even between classes, squeeze in a 10-15 walk, take a longer walk when possible; this helps your mood and to think more clearly. Dont let the material pile up. By the time exams come in, you have already broken down material and then you take it a step further and do your best to master it. Save one day every week-or-two to just rest or have fun, treat yourself within reason. Fine-tune and tweak as time goes by, to find what works best for you. Good luck!
 
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  • #4
hutchphd
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I make no representation that I actually always did this as a student but having seen both sides of the lectern I quote my previous post.
Based on my own experience that I need to see a given subject thrice before it settles in my head and having seen similar response in my students, I recommend the following for optimal efficiency:
  1. When you walk into a lecture be sufficiently aware of the subject that you could write (or have written) a short outline of the lecture. This means to read and attempt to understand assigned material . The lecture is then your second exposure. An hour spent prior to the lecture is a very good use of time.
  2. Take notes only on materials you think you will need to review again or you know is not in the textbook/notes....otherwise pay attention to the lecture and absorb the big picture!
  3. Do relevant assigned problems as soon as possible. Avail yourself of office hours etc. if you cannot do the exercises or have further questions.
For increasing efficiency, prereading of the material (i.e. understanding which are the difficult bits for you) is by far the most important. Then you can eliminate those bits expeditiously.
And of course you must do the questions to truly flesh out and solidify your understanding.
 
  • #5
symbolipoint
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HoneyMustardAdmirer

The topic title contains the abbreviation "vs.", meaning "versus", meaning looking at expected comparison or contrast between two things. Do you want to explain anything about your topic title, or do we seem to be reckoning the meaning well enough?
 
  • #6
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Do you want to explain anything about your topic title, or do we seem to be reckoning the meaning well enough?
Speaking for myself, I don't think an elaboration of the "vs." is necessary. The OP posted another thread recently stating that he/she was doing well in a calculus course, but not well at all in a physics course.
 
  • #7
WWGD
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I second Hutch's suggestion of reading ahead. Notice if you do that and review after class and start hw, you will be seeing the material 3 times in a short period , which goes pretty far towards mastering. Then there is the more standard stuff, together with exercise, of getting enough water, fruits and vegetables . To save money, pack healthy snacks. Hope to see you back here soon with good news on your grades. But keep trying anyway.
 
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