5 Tips for Revising for Physics

Here are your weekly revision tips: this week is Carmen Marin-Ruano, our Physics Tutor and Science Practicals Examiner, on how to revise for any  Physics exam.

1. Never Forget the Unit

Do you know the units and appropriate annotations for all your measurements? Memorising things like a Joule= J and a Coulomb= C means you won’t lose time on your exam trying to remember these abbreviations. Marking down the units for all your answers is the easiest way to guarantee earning points on your exam.

2. Keep your annotations straight.

What is the difference in meaning between ‘m’ and ‘M’? In Physics, a lower-case ‘m’ denotes ‘milli’—or, 10 to the power of -3. An upper-case ‘M’ means ‘mega’: 10 to the power of 6. The difference in size makes a huge difference in meaning for these annotations. Spend some time listing annotations and their meanings out in a table and have someone quiz you on them while you revise.

3. Go international!

All answers on any Physics exam must be put down in the international measurement system—this means meters and seconds, never miles or minutes. Spend part of your revision time practicing these conversions to make sure you can quickly change your workings out answer from kilometers to meters without losing too much time.

4. Fill in every blank

Even when you are stuck on a particular question, try working out some aspects of the question using the formulae and broader concepts you have learned. It can only gain you points and seeing a blank space with no attempt at an answer on the page can make an examiner think you gave up prematurely.

5. Think before your write

At our full-time exams centre, Greene’s Physics examiners note that the biggest loss of points on student papers comes from not writing out their answers clearly and cohesively. One of our examiners says ‘It is often clear that students just rush to write out all their thoughts without taking time to plan out what they are trying to say. If they just spent a minute outlining their thoughts before writing, their marks would be much higher’. Straight from the examiner’s mouth, you should be sure to outline your answer to each written question before putting pencil to paper and writing the real thing. It will save you time and marks in the long run.


Posted on: May 1st, 2012 | Categories: Education, Mathematics, News, Revision, Science, Study & Exam Tips, Tutor Articles