Excelling in Physics academically, especially in the A Level Syllabus, is often perceived to be based purely on talent- either you possess the ability to, or you don't. The latter party usually finds topics, such as force and dynamics, mind boggling, as they are not able to wrap their head around the invisible forces in action when they encounter hypothetical situations.
Oftentimes in junior colleges, properly visualising these forces are not thoroughly taught with the right teaching style by MOE teachers. As such, students struggling in that area often attempt to power through the subject without bridging that crucial learning gap having not gone through the right learning experience. This can prove to be a very detrimental move as this skill is widely used throughout the subject in the A Level MOE Syllabus.
So how might one excel in H2 Physics, H1 Physics, or even Secondary school physics? In this article, I will be discussing some responses to that very question.
Getting extra help
More often than not, students would try to pull up their grades by enrolling into JC Physics tuitions or looking for private physics tutors, though its effectiveness may vary. Tuitions, in general, can vary in standard to a great extent. Taking into account the intense rigour of the JC curriculum, with a dash of extra co-curricular activities thrown in, and spare time for tuition may be limited if students were to pursue a healthy work-life balance.
However, we all know just how rigorous and cutthroat the A Level examinations are- especially for such a widely used subject like Physics. The lead up to the A Levels is a short runway, and students could significantly benefit from the extra help of H2 physics tuition.
With our tuition classes at Sophia Education, students are able to receive ample time for consultations to work through their doubts and misconceptions. The small class sizes for our group tuition also ensure that our tutors with many years of experience can devote more attention to each student, a feat that might not be possible for regular school teachers who are focusing on up to 40 students at a time.
While tuition classes might need you to sacrifice more time and energy, it may be necessary for the long haul. And, stellar physics results seem to be a pretty satisfying pay-off.
Tackling the Practical Exams
The practical section of the examination determines the examinee’s ability to put theory into practice- and many more. Hands-on skills such as accurately measuring data, setting up experiments whilst minimising room for error, and technical know-how on certain topics, are of paramount importance for getting a satisfactory grade in the practical assessment.
While JCs have pre-appointed lab sessions for students in order to cover the various experiments that may be tested for the A Level examinations, weaker students who struggle in the practical section may find themselves helpless.
Our tuition centres can assist our students in minute details such as giving them study notes for the practical sections, instructional videos and teaching students how to tackle the 15 mark “Planning” question. However, these alone will not be as significantly helpful as the real deal (i.e. physical lab sessions). For this particular assessment, you should devote all your attention to absorbing and mastering the skills taught during the practical lesson. Lab sessions are not the greatest time to zone out or doze off.
The key to getting better at anything, is to keep going at it. Practising past year and prelim Physics papers will make you a lot more confident in answering the different question types, especially for the open-ended portion of your Physics paper.
You may start to see that questions asked in the examination papers often follow a certain pattern of reasoning or inquiry. Identifying these question patterns and their specific question demands will make the answering process so much breezier- just like it’s muscle memory.
Remember to include time practices during your study sessions as well. H2 papers often stretch out to over a few hours, so you want to be able to build up stamina whilst practising your content.