Tip for Getting an 'A' in Physics - Subject Matter Immersion

Tip for Getting an 'A' in Physics - Subject Matter Immersion

Over the years, I have tutored numerous students and, from those experiences, have developed a good handle on what makes the subject so difficult for so many of them.

Being a student is your JOB. To do any job well, you need to adopt a professional attitude toward learning. Therefore, take a scholarly interest in the subject matter. Typically, those that get interested in a subject are the ones that get the A’s. And if you’re not interested in a particular topic, get interested!

Every course you will ever take is filled with cool things to learn. In physics, you’ll learn to understand what is happening in the physical world around you. That is why you’re taking the course! Maybe you believe you’re only taking the course to fulfill requirements and “you’re never going to use what you learn.” That’s a bad attitude and will only make your university experience an unpleasant one.

Therefore “immerse yourself in the content.” This is the essence of professionalism… engaging your intellectual curiosity in a subject even when you don’t feel like doing so. 

Controversies offer an excellent starting point for subject immersion. And if you bring these controversies up to your professor, it tells him or her that you’re serious about the subject matter and not simply trying to boost your GPA.

Just don’t overdo it… you don’t want to come off too eager or disingenuous, or you’ll risk becoming what I call a coffee shop philosopher – the know-it-all that won’t stop showing off what he or she knows about a subject.

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