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Gcse physics(33 Posts)
How can physics be so hard? This is Trilogy, not even the harder one, but my daughter is struggling so much, and I cant work anything out on BBC Bitesize, What to do? Every other subject I can have a fair crack at?
Have you got the revision guide? They don't explain very much but do cover everything needed.
I find for electricity thinking about people moving in and out of a hall helps, whether loads moving slowly, or a few moving quickly etc. With obstacles.
There are loads more equations to be learned this time round compared with when DD1 did GCSEs under the old system.
I do have a revision guide. When it comes to the questions where you have to apply the knowledge, it all just fails. I suspect there are a few basic principles - or a lot - to learn, but I am buggered if I can get what they are. It is just everything else, every other subject, is doable, comprehensible, to me, so can help her. i must just have a block on physics and so must she.
I think the more questions you do the more you get the hang of them, but it is something my DD struggles with too.
Is she in Year 11? My DS found that learning all the equations used was a good starting point - so many of the questions are just about applying an equation (so basically maths) but if you don't know what equations you should be using, you can't even get started ...
I agree with Teen about working through questions - physics is a subject where knowing everything will only get you so far, the key thing is being able to apply what you know.
Which exam board is it? Look online for past paper questions and the mark sheet to know how they phrase things and key words they use.
Also learn that when they say "explain" or "describe" they are looking for 2 different answers or it was for AQA.
The examiner's report which accompanies the past paper tells you where students performed well and where they didn't.
I highly recommend Primrose Kitten maths and science on YouTube, she does AQA, EdExcel and OCR. Also a less fun to watch but informative is free science lessons
Ds1 got 9s for science.
If it helps look back over her paper and identify where she went wrong using this MARCKS system (works for all science papers) so write down next to each incorrect answer the reason why was it...
M - maths Did you make a mistake in your maths?
A - Application of knowledge - You know and understand the content but couldn’t apply it to foreign situation/this question
R - Read the question - Did you miss a key term such as explain rather than describe because of how you interpreted the question but ultimately you have the knowledge and understand the topic
C - Communication - You understood the application but the wording you used to communicate didn’t get the marks. Could be specific terminology especially in biology
K - Knowledge - Is your knowledge weak? Do you understand the concept?
S - Statements - If it’s 4 marks but you wrote 2 points and you can see that even though you filled all the lines you were lacking in points
That system came from UnJaded Jade on YouTube who is an amazing StudyTuber promoting revision.
She is Y10: but in hospital for a while, so we are doing DIY learning. Thanks so much for those hints.
Look at the exam specification on the exam board website. Spells out what is required and can sometimes make things make sense.
Former physics teacher.
Questions questions questions. Past paper questions, google worksheets, cgp, Collins workbooks. Use the questions to guide the revision. Come back to questions you found hard a few days/ weeks later.
Break it down into definitions and statements of fact. Learn the equations. Read the questions carefully looking for the command words. See what information you're given in the questions (data, scenario to apply knowledge to, need to recall facts etc...).
Let me know if I can help! I quit teaching a year and a half ago to get pregnant (long, irrelevant story) and am currently twiddling thumbs on maternity leave...
DD liked ‘free science lessons’ and primrose kitten on YouTube for science
Place marking as annoyingly my watch button is missing and I love the advice!
My daughter pulled up from a low 3 3 to high grade 5 5 in 3 months with freesciencelessons. They really helped
I think physicskate's advice was good.
My dd used CGP revision guides and workbooks.
I especially think the advice of leave it a few weeks or days and come back to it works well.
I'm just placemarking too (to pass on the tips to DS).
He has just gone into Year 10, he's doing the separate sciences and he said that Physics is by far the hardest.
It's odd really, as he said he's struggling to get to terms with the equations - he's really strong in Maths, so he doesn't get why it seems so different.
As far as I am aware Trilogy, Synergy and Single Subject are the same level of difficulty (depending on whether a student is studying foundation or Higher of course.)
I always found physics hard but I'm not mathematical.
My son finds Senecal useful. Dd liked Primrosekitten.
Hi all, we're a new online GCSE learning platform called CoreSciences that may be able to help you. We offer lessons in physics, biology and chemistry and particularly focus on the required practicals.
I think part of the thing with the equations is that many of them use unfamiliar symbols and initially look scary. If they can be broken down into an easier to understand form, this can help some children get to grips with them.
Which area of physics are you looking at at the moment? There are some less mathsy/easier to understand areas e.g. pros/cons of different ways of producing electricity, some of the forces stuff, some of the stuff around waves.
Most schools start with the energy topic, but I actually think it's one of the harder ones.
Yep, it is energy right now. Specific heat capacity, potential difference etc etc.....urgh, thanks fir all these helpful suggestions.
Seneca is a great website and free. Physics and maths tutor (a website) has topic based revision notes and then past paper questions (beyond what’s on the aqa site). CGP books are amazing as well. There are also songs etc on you tube to help with remembering equations.
Energy (the AQA version) has changed quite a bit for the new spec and I'm finding very few textbooks are able to explain it well (because they were rushed out and hadn't been properly updated).
FWIW, I doubt very much either you or she has a "block" on physics. More likely you had a poor teacher (they are, and always have been, very common in physics) and she's struggling because relying on books is hard.
For anyone struggling to understand physics concepts, I recommend PhET - online interactive simulations which are awesome for visualising stuff. The "energy skatepark" one is good for showing the changes in energy stores, and I think there's one with springs that shows it too. (Sorry, I cant link cos I'm on my iPad).
Finally (and sorry this is getting epic), if she's in hospital for a while what provision is being made for teaching her? Her school should be setting appropriate work.
Yep, it is energy right now. Specific heat capacity, potential difference etc
Sorry, just noticed this. Potential difference is part of the electricity topic, and won't make much sense until she's done that one. Is this in the context of the specific heat capacity required practical?
Some great advice here. My app won't let me watch threads for some reason so I'm placemarking and will pass this advice on to DD.
Give Seneca learning a try.
Retired physics teacher here. I don't think physics is hard - but I suppose I would say that! I found the students who struggled tried to learn it, when in fact there isn't really much to learn. (I used to give the students an A4 sheet - printed on both sides but double spaced) with everything they needed to actually learn.
The key is understanding - and you need to understand as you go. No use leaving the understanding until the end, so it helps that she's in Y10, not 11. I used to liken it to a jigsaw puzzle - easy at first, then hard, then easier again towards the end, as everything fits into place.
So yes to the online material suggested here, and if she is really struggling with specific heat capacity PM me and I'll try to hunt out some of the resources I created which might help.
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