If you want to pass your physics exams, you will need to pay attention in class and study the subject regularly so that you can understand the basic concepts that you have been taught. To do this, you can use various study tactics together with your classmates that will be useful to solidify your knowledge. On the day of the exam, it is important that you get plenty of rest, have eaten properly, and remain calm during the exam. If you have studied enough before taking the test, you will feel much more confident on the day you have to take it.
Method 1 of 3: Get the most out of the class
Step 1. Start studying a couple of days or weeks before the exam
If you burn your eyelashes with all the important information the night before, you will not do well on a Physics exam. You should make the effort to learn, understand, and practice physics problems a couple of days or even a few weeks before the exam is scheduled. This way, you will be fully prepared when the day comes.
If you have a good understanding of the information that will appear on the exam, you will have greater confidence in giving it
Step 2. Go over the topics that are likely to be included in the exam
You can use the topics covered in class and the tests or assignments you've had so far to determine what the exam will include. Look at your notes in class and memorize and study the equations and key concepts that are likely to be used on the test.
For example, you might be asked to define Newton's first law of motion, so you could write "An object at rest remains at rest and an object in motion remains in motion unless an unbalanced force acts on it."
Step 3. Read the book before class
It will be easier for you to follow your teacher if you have the text in mind before going to physics class. In many cases, the concepts of physics are developed from the last thing you have learned. You must determine which parts are difficult for you to understand and take note of questions that you want to ask your teacher.
For example, if you have already learned how to find velocity, it is very likely that you will review how to calculate average acceleration. Knowing the text beforehand will help you absorb the material better
Step 4. Solve new problems outside of class
Spend 2-3 hours per class hour studying and solving new equations outside of class. Through this repetition you will be able to better understand the concepts and you will be prepared to solve the exam questions.
If you want, you can set a time limit for your answers as a way to reproduce the test conditions
Step 5. Review and review your homework
Review your homework and try to solve the questions that caused you problems or that were wrong. In many cases, teachers include equations similar to homework questions on the test, so you should review them all.
You should even go over the questions that were correct so that you can reinforce what the test will include
Step 6. Attend all classes and pay attention
New concepts in physics build on previous concepts and therefore it is important that you do not skip class or procrastinate with learning, as it is easy to fall behind. In case you cannot go to class, be careful to get your notes and read the corresponding chapter of the textbook.
In case your absence from class is due to an illness or an emergency, you can ask your teacher what you should study while you are not in class
Method 2 of 3: Employ Helpful Study Strategies
Step 1. Memorize what the important variables represent
In physics variables are used in equations, so it is important that you know what each of them represents or, otherwise, you will not be able to answer the question. Some of the more common variables are "A" for area, "V" for volume, lowercase "v" for velocity, and lowercase "m" for mass. It is best to focus on the variables that you know could be on the test.
- Acceleration is represented by a lowercase "a", while momentum is represented by a lowercase "p".
- Other possible important variables are "F" for force, "T" for motor torque, and "I" for electric current.
Step 2. Study the important formulas
Knowing the basics of physics will help you understand the test questions better. Some of the most important formulas in physics cover the calculation of things like force, mass, and torque.
- Likewise, physics encompasses concepts such as Newton's law of motion, gravity, vibrations, and waves.
- For example, "d / t = s", or the total distance between the time equals the average speed, is the equation by which the average speed at which an object traveled over a certain distance is determined.
- If you want to calculate the average acceleration of an object, you must calculate the speed of the object between the time during which it moved, or "a = v / t".
Step 3. Pay attention to the unit conversion
Commonly, Physics teachers will include variables with different units of measurement to confuse you on a test. You should be careful to always read the questions in their entirety and their units so that you don't forget to convert them before solving the equation. Otherwise, you will get the wrong answer.
For example, if the equation asks you to find the distance a train has traveled, you can solve it by multiplying the speed by the time. However, if the equation asks you for the distance the train has traveled in 5 minutes at 100 km / h, it will be necessary to convert the 5 minutes to its equivalent in hours, or 5 minutes / 60 minutes (1 hour) = 0.083 hours.
Now, the equation will not be 100 km / h x 5 minutes but 100 km / h x 0.083 hours = 8.3 km
Step 4. Draw diagrams to help you understand key concepts
In many cases, physics questions that relate to forces can be plotted on a diagram or graph. In case you are stuck with math or equations, you can try drawing diagrams to better understand the concepts and questions.
For example, you can draw an object as a square and use arrows to plot the forces acting on it, which may help you determine things like speed
Step 5. Study with a friend
Work in a collaborative environment so that you can ask other students questions when you get stuck. In this way, you will be able to use your strengths in physics to benefit others while at the same time acquiring together with your peers more knowledge than you could acquire on your own.
Step 6. Memorize words and equations using flashcards
Write the name of the equation on one side of the card and the equation on the other side. Have someone read the name of the equation aloud and try to give the correct answer.
- For example, you could write "velocity" on one side of the card and the equation for velocity ("v = d / t") on the other side.
- You can also write "Newton's Second Law" on one side of the card and its equation ("∑F = ma") on the other side.
Step 7. Evaluate past exams so you know what you're having trouble with
If you have previous exams or tests that your teacher has corrected, you should review them concentrating on the questions or concepts that have been incorrect. This will help you improve on your weaknesses and you could improve your overall test score.
This will be particularly useful for exams that test your cumulative knowledge (for example, midterms or final exams)
Method 3 of 3: Prepare for the Exam
Step 1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the exam
Getting enough sleep helps with memory development and will help you analyze physics questions more easily. If you burn your lashes all night and don't rest, chances are you won't retain the information you have studied.
- Even if your exam is at noon, it's best to wake up early and prepare mentally beforehand.
- Complex critical thinking is required for physics, so it is best to take the test when you are awake and conscious.
- Sticking to a regular sleep schedule will help you reinforce what you learn as you study.
Step 2. Eat a healthy breakfast on the day of the exam
Eating something high in slow-release carbohydrates for breakfast (for example, rolled oatmeal or whole wheat bread) can improve a student's performance on a test. You should also eat protein (for example, eggs, yogurt, or milk) to help you feel fuller for longer. You can finish your breakfast with fiber-rich fruits (for example, apples, bananas, or pears) to further increase your energy.
Eating a healthy breakfast before your exam will help you better retain information
Step 3. Be calm and confident when taking the test
In case you feel stressed, inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Before the day of the exam, you should know the building and the classroom in which it will take place and also how to get there. Arrive at least 15 minutes early to get rid of nerves that could develop from being late.
The more you have studied and prepared, the more confident you will feel during the exam
Step 4. Read all the questions carefully before answering
Don't start answering the questions without fully understanding them first. In case you get stuck on one question, move on to the next one and come back to it later. Read all the questions carefully and completely so you don't waste time finding answers that are wrong.
Pay particular attention to unit conversions to avoid getting the wrong answer
Step 5. Explain your reasoning for each question
Most physics teachers will give you partial credit even if you can't find the solution to the problem. Write detailed explanations and draw diagrams to illustrate your reasoning.