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Schools Thinking about takeing physics in university but have a few questions

  1. May 26, 2008 #1
    So heres the deal. Right now i am a high school student (age 17) and i am going off to uni in about a year and i really like physics. i want to take physics only in undergrad thou if i do end up taking it because i want to get to med school after 4 years.

    so here are my questions...

    How hard is undergrad physics compared to other undergrad science programs (only sciences! i think all of us on this forum can agree that artsy courses are not as interesting as science courses.. thou i do like art and i do like drawing but.... ok i'm guessing your smart enough to get the point behind this statement by now lol)

    How smart do you need to be to do well in uni level physics? (i know i'm smart... er than the average person. i am first in all my science classes and have an iQ in the 140 range but how smart is the average uni level physics student as far as iQ goes? and i want to retake the iQ test because last time i took it was a couple of years ago so does any one know of a legit online one i can take? i know online iQ tests are usually BS but I'd image that some are less BS than others...)

    Would physics be good to take before medical school?

    My biggest concern is that i wont be able to get high enough marks to get into medical school if i take physics for undergrad. i'm not sure if i'm going to be able to compete with the geniuses taking physics so... i wanna retake an iQ test as i said earlyer so please if you know any semi accurate ones online then let me know even thou last time i took a legit one i scored in the 140's. And what is the average iQ of a uni physics student so i can compare.

    any comments will be greatly appreciated
    Last edited: May 26, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2008 #2
    IQ doesn't matter at all.... Feynman has a 123 IQ, I sure there's a million pple who have a higher IQ...
  4. May 26, 2008 #3
    It's pretty high I think. (there's a thread in General discussion about IQs if you want to see how much people here have; search it)
    It would help you far sure. You wouldn't need to do that too much work;
    but if you rely only on your IQ then you would barely pass ;)
  5. May 26, 2008 #4
    Thats true... i would rather have some rough idea of my intelegence even if its unrelyable in some cases. i was actualy watching a thing not that long ago on someone who was blind and an artists. its unusual and dosent make too much sence but he was actualy realy good.
  6. May 26, 2008 #5
    nah man i'm a prity hard worker. i dont need to work as hard to get strait A's as the average str8 A students that i compete with do thou
  7. May 26, 2008 #6
    that's the only thing you need :smile:

    I know my friend screwed cuz he relied too much on his brain powers lol; but he still had 90% average
  8. May 26, 2008 #7
    the problem is that hard work can only take you so far... you still need to be at liest a bit smart i am sure
  9. May 26, 2008 #8
    oh thats *least* by the way... i'm sure u could figure that one out on your own thou
  10. May 26, 2008 #9
    Well you can't be hmm have a IQ (w/e that means) of 10. But if your average and work hard then you'll be fine. Isn't 140 quite high? since you beat feynman.. that doesn't mean your more of a genius than him of course...
  11. May 26, 2008 #10
    Of all the interesting spelling choices you've made thus far, that's the one you choose to correct?
  12. May 27, 2008 #11
    I think I finally understand why Feynman thought IQ tests were bs.
  13. May 27, 2008 #12
    Because most "geniuses" would barely have been able to have a cup of coffee with him without making fools of themselves?
  14. May 27, 2008 #13
    Actually, no, success is almost all hard work.

    Unless by "a bit smart" you mean "not mentally disabled". Then yes, you need to be a bit smart. Beyond that, it's all work.
  15. May 27, 2008 #14
    I would not say that, I am sure there is also a strong component of talent there, as well. It is just much easier for some people so solve complex problems. Fortunately we tend to like what we are good at, so if someone is interested in physics, it is much likely that he brings the "hardware basics". From what I have heard from many Professors ( in Germany though, where less than 50 % make it through the first few semesters) , most students quit because they are just not willing to put up with the workload. It surprisingly often hits the talented students who were used to never study for science classes at school and thought it was going to be the same in college.

    Talking about Feynman, this is a bit off topic, but it seems that in popular culture, where we are constantly searching for superhuman heroes, the roles of the genius has become much overrated. Sure, people like Feynman, or other "brain beasts" like Einstein, Gödel, Turing had remarkable talent, but they were all also really hard workers. Considering it also a talent to be able to handle hours and hours of studying almost every day for years apparently does not fit in our time.
  16. May 27, 2008 #15
    aptly put.

    I definitely agree with that. More and more, I notice my classmates bragging about how much they didn't have to study to pass a class, rather than how much they did.
  17. May 27, 2008 #16
    you will :)

    I know plenty of people with this attitude out of high school, ie they get A's without trying but they tend to get a rude awakening in college at least at some point in undergrad when the teachers actually force you to work, they don't like it lol, but if you're not afraid of hard work and a huge coffee bill it's worth it I think.
  18. May 27, 2008 #17
    Having a high IQ really helps. How can anyone claim it doesn't? Just like height helps in sports, and appearance helps in entertainment. Feymann's IQ was "only" in the 120 range? Thats ~94th percentile. Hardly low. Obviously you will have to put in hard work to succeed at anything. But don't tell me you can get a mentally disabled retard with an IQ of 70 and tell him he can learn modern optics if he puts in the time.

    A high IQ basically improves short term/working memory. So when reading a text, you can keep track of things better and won't need to re-read sections or refer back to pages. It also means you can absorb more from lectures, and get work done faster. It helps with efficiency most among other things. Alternatively, Ive heard its harder for high IQ individuals to keep interest in anything for too long. They like to wander around a lot of different subjects. But once they get themselves together, they will outperform the class.

    As for OP, I really doubt your IQ is 140... just by judging subtle things like your vocabulary, etc. I read in an article that 80% of people think their IQ is above 120... thanks in part to "feel good online tests". The closest thing to a real IQ test I've found is this, so you can prove me wrong:


    Fortunately college is geared for the average person, otherwise they would not be in business. So aslong as your not disabled, you can succeed. Math is probably the hardest undergrad degree, and I'd place physics in second place. I wouldn't reccommend it as a specialist degree, namely because your grades would be lower and it would not prepare you for medicine or the MCAT. You can for instance major or minor in physics, and take more chemistry/biology, which are more suited for your career goal. Take some arts courses like philosophy to make sure you can write good.

    An A in highschool means close to nothing. And do not think you can coast by with no effort. Even if your IQ were 200.
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  19. May 27, 2008 #18
    Like I know pple who get 96-97% and some of them aren't smart. And then pple just say they aren't smart, but I think knowing to study is smart...
  20. May 27, 2008 #19
    well i mean... if i was realy smart in english i would study that. if i was realy logical then i would take physics. if i was only more logical than i was good at language then i would take science but maybe not physics because its seen as beeing one of the harder sciences. I'm not saying IQ necesairly means anything... but usualy you can get a general idea if someone is smart or not even if its not compleatly accurate. i would be quite surprised to see someone studying physics that had an IQ of 90 even thou 90 is in the average range (although on the lower end of average) where someone with an IQ that feynman has, although it is not technicaly genius, would indicate that they are at least over average therefore possibaly much smarter than his IQ score could indicate. usualy IQ is at least a little significant thou, the deal with feynman seems to be unique becase the name keeps showing up as an example of how the IQ score of a person may not actualy reflect their intelegence. its unique because it isnt average therefore what is average would be that IQ scores are at least a bit of an indicator which is why i am interested. by the way did u know that the average IQ of a medical student is 110? thats not even above average! but i guess that sorta shows that hard work does play a major role
  21. May 27, 2008 #20


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    IQ is complete BS, in my opinion.
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