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(Many items apply to any course!)

1.      Course Preparation: Your math skills need to be good! The majority of the problems students have with PHYSICS can be traced to MATH weakness, not to a lack of understanding of PHYSICS. Algebra and trigonometry plus some simple calculus are assumed. There will be NO TIME to review math or to teach it to you.
a.      Brush up on your math skills, especially if it’s been a while since you had it.
b.      Use and refer to the Math Review in the Appendices of the book.

2.      Learning to Learn: Many problems in PHYSICS (and others courses) can be traced to students not knowing how to study and learn.
a.      Spend more time on what you know you are weak on.
b.      READ & USE THE BOOK! You’ve spent big $$ for the book. USE IT! Usually, reading the material before lecture is better. Read each chapter more than once. Work the examples in the book and work problems at the end of the chapters, even some that are NOT assigned.
c.       DO THE ASSIGNED HOMEWORK!! You can’t learn physics without doing problems!
d.      COME TO CLASS!! Unless you are a genius, coming to class is necessary to understand the material. Pay attention to the lecture, the DEMONSTRATIONS, and other visual aids.
e.      STUDY!! Rule of thumb: Spend 2-3 hours outside of class for every hour in class. Study in a quiet place and when you are rested.

3.      Working with Others: People in most professions almost always work together in groups or teams because that is an efficient way to work. Studying physics together in groups is also efficient. You are strongly encouraged to form a study group with people in the class. If you don’t have friends in the class, now is the time to make some! Work on homework problems and study for exams together.

4.      Lectures and Note Taking: Taking notes in outline form might be helpful. Some faculty post lecture notes on the web. For best results, download & print out the lecture notes BEFORE lecture & take notes as you proceed.

5.      Other Helpful Hints:
  1. Ask Questions in Class!
  2. See your instructor during office hours.
  3. Make use of the TA Office Hours in Room 004.
  4. Come to Problem Solving Sessions some faculty arrange & also SI Sessions.

6.      Examinations: Prepare for exams by studying the material as it is covered. Avoid cramming before an exam!! Cramming may get you through the present exam, but you will not retain concepts for use on the next exam or the Final.

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