Tuesday, July 26, 2011


A General Briefing on Studying Physics (for Indian Students)

Quite often we hear “There is no substitute for hard work”

Everyone you come across advise you to work hard.


Mere hard work  will not pay.


I know several students who work hard and spent many hours a day in front of books but score pathetic marks / grades.
Why is it so?

What is the problem?

What went wrong?

When we come to Physics, (and in General, Science) reading alone will not help you score big. Whether you read again and again or write the concepts several times, you will not be able to score commendable marks unless you understand the concepts thoroughly and apply the concepts to different situations independently.

Just take the case of “Principle of Conservation of Momentum”

There is no end to the number of questions which can be framed from this single concept.

So, The basic point is understanding concepts  thoroughly.

But How?

Thinking on what you read, hear or see is very important in understanding Physics. When you think, many questions will arise in your mind. Finding the answers to these questions form the basic of understanding the concept.

When you have a question, ask it to your teacher or discuss with your friends.

Remember, A question asked or an idea shared by you may be the beginning of the next scientific revolution

Which Text book?

The NCERT Text book is the one which Indian students should take as the basic one. Not only the +2 level exams and entrance exams but even the Civil Services exams mainly base the core syllabus on the NCERT texts.

The main complaint from the students and some ‘others’' is that the NCERT  text book is incomplete and donot convey the full idea at several places.

This is intentional. The incompleteness is penned in wisely to enable the students to ask questions and explore beyond the text book.

Telling everything is not the scientific way of learning. There is sufficient scope left in the text book for the students to explore the world they live in and learn themselves.

As the Chinese proverb says,

“Don’t give fish to a hungry man, instead teach him how to fish” (Then he will not be hungry anymore)

Learning to learn is more important than learning itself.

No single text book can tell you everything. No single teacher can tell you everything. A lot is learnt by self through thinking, contemplation, experiment and interrogation.

The NCERT Text Book concentrates on the prescribed syllabus as the core content and give hints, probes and thrusts at places for the readers to go beyond the textbooks and the curriculum.

For scoring good marks in Physics, it is very important master “the  art of problem solving” . Start with solving all the numerical and conceptual problems of the NCERT text book and then go on to solve as much related problems as you can.

Make it a habit to solve 20 – 25 numerical problems related to the topics you learn in Physics daily.

… To be continued.

(Expect soon articles on “managing time”  , preparing for Exams,  “How to Revise” and related items)

If you have questions, please leave a comment.

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