The day arrives for every Singaporean student. You walk into school, and the Sec 3 Physics teacher hands out the course material for the year. The room collectively gasps – it’s like looking at a horror movie.
Sec 3 Physics is notoriously difficult, and many students end up getting Ds and even Us for the subject. But it doesn’t have to be that way! So how can you survive Sec 3 Physics? From attending Sec 3 physics tuition to knowing the syllabus, here are six steps that will help you get through the year:
Step 1. Get a good grasp of the basics.
If you want to survive Sec 3 Physics, you need to make sure that you understand the basic concepts. This means going over your notes from Sec 2, and doing extra revision if necessary.
Sec 1 and 2 Physics is all about laying the foundations, so you need to make sure that those foundations are solid. Once you have a good understanding of the basics, everything else will be much easier.
Make sure that you can explain the concepts clearly to yourself – if you can’t, then you need to do more revision.
Which topics in Sec 1 and 2 Physics are the most relevant to Sec 3?
Some of the key Sec 1 and 2 Physics topics that will be relevant in Sec 3 include:
- Dynamics (Forces and motion)
Remember that Sec 3 Physics builds on these concepts, so you need to make sure that you understand them well. To learn more, check out why some students find Physics difficult.
Step 2. Attend Physics tuition.
This is probably the most important step if you want to survive Sec 3 Physics. The reason Sec 3 Physics is so difficult is that it builds on the Sec 1 and 2 material, and covers a lot of new ground as well.
In fact, Sec 3 Physics covers material that is usually taught in JC, so it’s a big jump from Sec 2. This is why attending Physics Tuition is so important – you need to have someone who can guide you through the new material, and help you understand it.
What are some of the benefits of attending Physics tuition?
Some of the benefits of attending Physics tuition include:
- You will be able to understand the concepts better.
- You will be able to apply the concepts more easily.
- An expert teacher will be able to identify your weaknesses and help you improve.
- You will have someone to answer your questions.
- You will be able to get feedback on your work.
It has to be noted that finding a good Physics tutor can be pretty difficult, and it’s not cheap either.
We recommend checking out Learning for Keeps, which is a leading provider of Physics tuition in Singapore. Still in doubt? Check out Should you invest in Physics tuition Singapore: Advantages and Disadvantages.
Step 3. Get a good textbook.
One of the most important resources that you will need for Sec 3 Physics is a good textbook. This will be your main source of information and revision, so it’s important to get one that is comprehensive and easy to understand.
The best Sec 3 Physics textbook that we have come across is “Physics Matters” by Tan Wee Kiat. This book covers all the Sec 3 Physics topics in great detail and includes a lot of worked examples to help you understand the concepts.
Guidelines when choosing a good Sec 3 Physics textbook:
When choosing a Sec 3 Physics textbook, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure that the book covers all the topics that will be tested in the exams.
- Look for a book that has clear and concise explanations.
- Working examples are essential – they will help you understand the concepts better.
Step 4. Understand physics concepts and apply them to practice questions.
Speaking of understanding the concepts better, another great way to do that is to do practice questions. This will not only help you understand the concepts better, but it will also help you apply them. And when it comes to Sec 3 Physics, application is key.
That said, merely practicing and prioritizing quantity over quality will not get you very far. You need to be practicing the right questions so that you can learn from your mistakes and better understand the principles behind each concept.
How do you practice physics properly?
In physics, a student should identify the related physics concept behind each problem. It’s not merely a matter of solving the problem and getting the right answer. Instead, you should take some time to think about why the answer is what it is.
This will help you better understand and internalize the concepts so that you can apply them more easily to other problems.
Step 5. Get to know the exam format.
A huge part of Sec 3 Physics is understanding the exam format. This is because a lot of the questions in the Sec 3 Physics exam are application-based, which means that you need to be able to apply the concepts that you have learned.
And the best way to do this is to understand the exam format and what kind of questions will be asked.
Here is a breakdown of the Sec 3 Physics exam format for a majority of schools:
- Section A (Multiple Choice Questions) – 40 marks
- Section B (Structured Questions) – 30 marks
- Section C (Free Response Questions) – 50 marks
- Total – 120 marks
As you can see, the Sec 3 Physics exam is worth 120 marks in total. Section A is worth 40 marks and consists of multiple choice questions. This section tests your understanding of the concepts. This section tests your ability to apply the concepts.
Section B is worth 30 marks and consists of structured questions. This section tests your ability to apply the concepts. Focus on questions that require you to solve problems or interpret data.
And finally, Section C is worth 50 marks and consists of free response questions. This section tests your ability to think critically and solve problems. To ace this section, you need to be able to apply the concepts that you have learned to new and unfamiliar situations.
Step 6. Study the Sec 3 Physics syllabus inside out.
The Sec 3 Physics syllabus is divided into 4 topics:
Topic 1: Dynamics
This topic covers the basic concepts of motion, such as velocity, acceleration, and force. You will also learn about Newton’s laws of motion and how they can be used to solve problems.
Topic 2: Waves
This topic covers the basic concepts of waves, such as wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. You will also learn about the different types of waves and how they can be used to solve problems.
Topic 3: Energy
In Sec 3 Physics, students learn about energy in different forms and how it can be transferred or transformed. They also learn about the various factors that affect the efficiency of energy transfer or transformation.
Topic 4: Heat
This topic covers the basic concepts of heat, such as temperature, thermal expansion, and thermal conductivity. You will also learn about the different types of heat transfer and how they can be used to solve problems.
As you can see, the Sec 3 Physics syllabus is divided into 4 topics. Each topic covers a different area of physics.
To survive Sec 3 Physics, you need to know the Sec 3 Physics syllabus inside out. You need to be able to apply the concepts that you have learned to new and unfamiliar situations.
Surviving Sec 3 Physics is not an easy feat. But if you follow the tips that we have listed above, we are sure that you will be able to do it. Just remember to stay focused and never give up. We believe in you!