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Why do some people find highschool physics hard?

A photo of KingKhan KingKhan
I know not everyone finds it difficult, but for those that do, I'm just curious as to what exactly makes you say it's hard, is it the math or do you have a hard time understanding the concepts?

I ask this because I'm taking physics next year and was hoping to learn some of it over the summer so I'm prepared for it in school.
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A photo of Phase Phase
I'd say it's mostly due to a combination of a bad/inefficient teacher and lack of interest, and not a lack of understanding the concepts. Most people have the capacity to do well, but just aren't interested in the subject matter and only taking it to fulfill prerequisites (engineering, science, etc.).

But, I really do not advise you learn physics for the first time without a teacher. It is more than likely to be a detriment than helpful.
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A photo of chatmike chatmike
I agree with what Phase said. In my situation, i absolutely LOVE physics... just not the units we do in high school aha. Tbh, most of the stuff you learn in grade 11/12 is rather trivial and non-interesting (in my opinion that is) and without genuine interest in a subject, it's harder to succeed.
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A photo of PiggyFlavoredPocky PiggyFlavoredPocky
Because it is.
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A photo of cherrypie725 cherrypie725

@PiggyFlavoredPocky wrote
Because it is.


Well said.

Actually though, for me it wasn't the math that I found hard, more the concepts. On like the second day of class I remember having to draw these graphs of velocity and acceleration or something like that. For some reason I couldn't wrap my mind around any of it. Haha I know, that's probably one of the easiest/most basic concepts in physics but it just made no sense to me.

It definitely helps to have a teacher who is patient and willing to explain things in different ways. Also, it helps if they are at least moderately competent with spoken English. In case you are wondering, my teacher was none of the above.

Thankfully, I (along with about half of my class) was able to drop the course.
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A photo of KingKhan KingKhan
Also how closely related would you guys say vectors and physics are?
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
Personally, I saw physics as a way to use the stuff you learned in vectors course ( i.e row echelon form ). And... highschool physics, it's not too hard to understand, most of the stuff you learn is intuitive. And yeah.. your teacher/ txtbook would be a huge factor in whether aor not you understand the concept. People say that if you're good at math you should be good for physics.. uhm there's some truth to that, when you do txtbook problem you'd be able to discern the numbers you get. But physics isn't just about txtbook problem, it's best to understand physics from a physical standpoint than purely just a mathematical one.
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A photo of SiVisPacemParaBellum SiVisPacemParaBellum

@KingKhan wrote
I know not everyone finds it difficult, but for those that do, I'm just curious as to what exactly makes you say it's hard, is it the math or do you have a hard time understanding the concepts?

I ask this because I'm taking physics next year and was hoping to learn some of it over the summer so I'm prepared for it in school.



Same reason why anyone would find any high school course to be difficult: they are unintelligent.
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A photo of SiVisPacemParaBellum SiVisPacemParaBellum

@cherrypie725 wrote

@PiggyFlavoredPocky wrote
Because it is.


Well said.



lol
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A photo of KingKhan KingKhan

@PiggyFlavoredPocky wrote
Because it is.


I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm simply asking what makes you say this.
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A photo of unigirl123101 unigirl123101
For me it was mostly based on the teacher! Mine just could NOT explain stuff so I had to spend a lot of time on my own trying to learn the material. I suck at learning from a book so that was hard....

Basically I feel like many students don't understand the actual physics concepts, but they are able to solve problems by replicating examples in the book, from the teacher etc and that's how they get by.

That's what I did anyway! I had a moderate understanding of the concepts (some stuff I totally got, but some stuff was just toally over my head). But doing enough examples helped me answer most questions...but any time we got some totally new application style question I was screwed!

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A photo of superstar2011 superstar2011
Physics isn't pure math, so many students need clear explanation and visualization to understand the theory behind physics concepts. In physics, students suffer mostly from poor quality teachers who cannot teach the concepts properly. It's hard to find good teachers as the concepts themselves are rather complex, and if explained, will confuse most students.

See, students can have trouble getting around things they're not used to. If you look at physics formulas, most variables come with units, and those units exist for a reason and have equivalent expressions, too. For example, a force is measured in Newtons (N), but it is also mass in kilograms times acceleration in metres per square of a second (kg*m/s^2). For this reason, it may be possible for students to have trouble converting when they were given different units. While conversion is easy if you can memorize, you sometimes need to tell the difference between different types, too (this includes types of energy, power, and anything involving vectors). A concept I've had a bit of trouble with was the difference between Work and Torque (both measured in Joules), until I was able to visualize it clearly and tell the actual difference.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
The same reason why people believe in theism, vote Republican, listen to Bieber, etc. Not everyone is born smart. No matter where you go, 50% of all people will have below average intelligence, and these are the same people who will find physics difficult. 50% of all people is a large number. Unfortunately I'm part of the 50% that's stupid.
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A photo of KingKhan KingKhan
^ that's not necessarily true, it's not always because people are "stupid", i know tons of people who ace every course but when it comes to physics, they start to struggle.
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A photo of feu feu
it depends on your mathematical ability and interest in physics. that can help you get a high mark but it doesn't guarantee that you will. you also have to work at it which is what people find hard. you have to understand it well. even if you have no interest you can still do well provided that you put in effort.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@KingKhan wrote
^ that's not necessarily true, it's not always because people are "stupid", i know tons of people who ace every course but when it comes to physics, they start to struggle.



Acing high school courses is not contingent on being intelligent, the exceptions being physics and calculus.
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A photo of Goodman Goodman
I think some people are really held back because they don't ask questions. I'm very good at physics, but If you don't understand something, your hand should shoot up right away. I think one thing that people find hard is deriving formulas. IF you can't see the math in your head, then it is going to be tough. Also, you have to be able to conceptualize the concepts you are learning, a teacher who can make real life connections is awesome.
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A photo of Viking21 Viking21
Same thing at my school. Everyone finds physics hard for some reason. I really don't think it's to hard...it's just that everyone tends to think of it as a hard course...then they don't try hard enough because they don't think they can get a good mark...or maybe they just want to make it seem like if you get a good mark in physics ur considered god.

Most people in my school start the course off really bad...at midterms the average is about 64 then the marks jump like crazy almost 15 percent too like a 79. Maybe it's that the teacher realizes he has to ease up or the course gets easier.

My worst class in high school was french...not because it was hard...it was because I slacked off in the beginning because I assumed the teacher was and when realized it wasn't it was too late.
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