- #1

funkman

- 11

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I currently attend a California community college where I am preparing to transfer to a University of California campus - hopefully Berkeley - to study physics. I've had no difficulty in my lower division math and physics courses (calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, mechanics, E&M, etc...) and have even won the award for math student of distinction at my college this past year. I even hold a position as a sort of TA (called supplemental instruction at my school) for the mechanics class with calculus.

The problem is I still feel that jumping into upper division courses at a university is beyond my capabilities. I am not so afraid of the math as I am for the physics. I have no problem understanding the concepts and I can solve just about any problem in my book (Young & Freedman: University Physics), it's just I feel I could have been challenged more in exams.

So I ask you: should exams in lower division physics courses merely reflect homework? Am I expected to know every detail about the concepts laid out in these courses and use them at a moments notice? Or at this level should I just have a solid understanding of the fundamentals? I have another year at the CC to finish up (relatively easy) transfer requirements, how should I prepare in the meantime? Am I thinking too much?!

Any comments or advice about the transition to upper division work is welcome.

Thanks!

funkman