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Studying What's more important for physics?

  1. Aug 5, 2016 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2016 #2


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    Midterms are comprised of all the problems and lessons learned through out the entire semester/half semester (depending when you take the test). Even if you are comfortable with the easier material, what's the harm of practicing a little bit of everything? Of course, if you know whats harder for you, you should spend more time on those specific topics. But, it doesn't hurt to go through everything, even in brief.
  4. Aug 5, 2016 #3
    I want to get a good mark in this course, I wanted to do all the questions in the book but a lot of people say it's a waste of time and such. Would doing all the problems prepare me well enough for a midterm?
  5. Aug 5, 2016 #4


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    When I'm studying for a big exam, I don't do all the problems, but I do all the different types of problems. It's less work while still covering everything you need to know.
  6. Aug 5, 2016 #5
    Yes. The question is not "will it prepare you well", but "is it an efficient use of your time". The fact is that most lower-level physics textbooks group questions into sets. For example, related to your midterm questions, one such set might be "given two velocities and a distance, find the time elapsed" - for many, doing twelve such problems does not prepare them better than doing three such problems. That, I believe, is why many advise against doing every single problem.

    But the fact is that doing every single problem would help you to get an intuition for how to solve such problems.
  7. Aug 5, 2016 #6


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    I think this is one of those cases where "learning how you learn" comes into play.

    An important skill to develop as you progress in your education is to figure out for yourself when you are benefitting from an exercise, and when you are simply going through the motions. The simple act of going through all the problems in the textbook is, generally speaking, a thorough way to prepare yourself. Whether it's sufficient or not can depend a lot on factors such as: the quality of the textbook, the breadth of the problems the textbook presents, the quantity of problems the textbook presents, whether there are [correct] solutions to those problems to give you feedback on your methods (doing something wrong over and over won't help you much), and even the professor and the style of exam he or she likes to set. Some professors will, for example, put a few questions on the exam that are above the level of the course to challenge the students and stratify those who really have a mastery of the material from those who simply regurgitate it.
  8. Aug 5, 2016 #7
    The text for the course is Young & Freedman University Physics, this book has over 100 questions/ chapter so I was only planing on doing the 2 star or 3 star level of difficulty problems
    Our tests are tough, here's a sample midterm: http://notebro.com/viewer.php?url=http://notebro.com/forum/download/file.php?id=43062
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