This summer, I am hoping to take physics 1 + 2 at an outside university. I know the course won’t be taught exactly like UofM physics courses but do you have any suggestions about studying for the course? I’m kind of worried since each course will be about 1.5 months long and I don’t want to fall behind and end up failing the courses.
Hi! Physics is the type of subject where it’s just as important to know how to apply the concepts as understanding them. Something that helped me was making condensed study sheets for every lecture with only the most important points and formulas. This was my content review. After making these, I went straight to doing problems, using the sheets as references. I found that this helped me organize information and recognize the main concept behind questions. After every question, I recommend checking your answers, understanding why you go it right or wrong, and seeing if there are other ways to solve the question. Taking physics, I had to learn how to manipulate equations and apply them, even without numbers (there may be questions that ask about the relationship between two variables). For this, I would suggest practicing conceptual problems after walking through one problem step-by-step. They really help with understanding where to start, and after some time, doing these problems become relatively quick. My last advice would be to go into office hours to clarify concepts you’re struggling with because future topics may build off of it. Summer courses will be even more fast paced than fall/winter courses, so this is especially important! I hope this advice helped, and good luck on physics!
-Elizabeth, PMH advisor