Tips to Becoming a Prodigious Physics Pedant!

  1. Go over your notes and textbook with a highlighter and a pencil so that you can jot down key ideas.
  2. Keep a separate page in your notes for an equation list that you can add to throughout the semester.  It will come in handy for future homework and exams!
  3. Make sure you know what the variables and constants in each equation represent.
  4. Before starting a long problem, write down everything you know about it.
  5. Be arty!  When working on your homework, draw a picture.  It helps to visualize what’s going on in the problem.
  6. Read through your textbook.  Not only is it a good idea to read or skim over the chapter you learned about in class, often the book contains examples that are very close to the homework problems.
  7. Ask your professor if you will be given an equation sheet for the exam.  This way you won’t waste time memorizing extra equations, and you can spend more time on the topics you are unsure of.
  8. Study your homework and redo some of the questions you had difficulty on! Often, exam questions are similar to your homework problems.
  9. Go to office hours!  Your professors write the exams, so they are the best people to ask about the material covered on the exam.  If you cannot, stop in at the QSR Center, go request a tutor through the Peer Tutoring Program.
  10. After you get an exam back (or a homework), go over incorrect problems.  If you are unsure as to why a question or equation is wrong, ask your professor.  It is best to find out the correct answer while the material is still fresh in your mind.  Then, in a different colored pen/pencil, write down the correct method.  When you study for the final you will be able to understand the problem a lot easier and you won’t have to stand in the epically long line in front of your professor’s door the day before the exam.


Jessica Kelly

Director of the Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning Center

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