High C in Physics 1. Should I decide against EE?

So… I’m a junior in HS who wants to be an EE. I fix vintage radios in my free time and I’ve taken multiple electronics classes that were geared towards engineers and hobbyists. I’m great at coding and soldering and I’m in multiple robotics and coding clubs.

I’m pretty good at math and reading, specifically great at plug-'n-chug math. My writing skills are poor and I’m taking level English and history whereas I’m in honors precal, AP physics, AP comp sci A and AP stats.

I’ve always been a straight A student since I was very young, but recently, my grade in physics has tanked. We’re still in kinematics and I have a 75% average in the class. Been crying my eyes out every night since.

The physics program at my school specifically is hard and sucks. People love to blame the teacher, but I dont really think she’s to blame for everyone’s poor scores.

My question is, if I’m pulling such horrible scores, should I reconsider electrical engineering and concider being an electrician or a tech? I know EE has a crap ton of physics involved and if I can’t handle basic kinematics I’m probably going to get weeded out in the hazing classes.

I’ve asked my teacher about this, and she says that I’ll be fine and I’m doing better than most other students in the class and I need to calm down but idk.

It’s OK to cry from time to time. But every night might be too much. Chin up.

You can pull your grades up with a little help. Talk to your teacher. See what you’re missing. See if there are supplemental resources for you to help with understanding. A little struggle in Physics is pretty common. It’s still early in the year.

Don’t give up on your goals for EE. You sound like a great candidate for the major.

Good luck!


Definitely don’t give up! If everyone is struggling, is the teacher running the class more like a college course where exams are curved? My D’s AP physics teacher did that and the means in exams were low but semester grades were strong and people did well on the AP exam.

Talk to your teacher. Maybe consider using Kahn academy to shore up concepts but don’t give up on EE


Never make a decision on your vocation based on a less than desirable result in 1 class. Now if you told me “I want to be an electrical engineer and I have a history of struggling to pass high school math classes” I might have a different take. Your native interest in the field is much more important. For the physics class, before you take physics again in college try to understand where you went wrong.

1 Like

It is curved but I’m still afraid that the concepts won’t stick and I’ll do poorly in college. Apparently, a lot of people are doing way worse than me since the average score in that class now is like a 62. Apparently the program I’m in conciders this a ‘weeder’ class for graduating at the stem gifted & talented program. The afterschool study sessions are packed till 5 pm and the teacher has a short temper. I’m definitely going to do Khan academy.

If you go into EE you will need to retake physics anyway. Just think of this class as giving you an introduction so the material won’t be brand new in college. I have a feeling you will do just fine.


Husband is an EE. I agree with @momofboiler1. You have to take several physics classes in college and the cool thing is that some of your professors and GA’s love teaching the courses and CAN teach the classes such that you will understand the material, with people whose job it is to make you feel passionate about the subject.
You will be ahead of a number of other students just by recognizing the subject matter in college.

You will also get help from the GA’s if you ask and go to the tutoring sessions from day one.

FWIW: I had to take a couple of college physics courses for my degree in speech path. I tend to not like those types of classes but I had a phenomenal physics prof who actually loved what he
did and it reflected in how he taught the subject. I loved his class!


It is a concern, but don’t rush to judgment. There is little kinematics needed in Electrical. You may yet do well in the rest of physics dealing with Electricity, Magnetism and Electronics.


As mentioned above, think of this class as a foundation that you are getting. You sound like a born EE. My daughter watched a lot of Michel van Biezen YouTube videos. She found this very helpful. She is a sophomore EE major.


It’s only September. It’s way too early to panic. It hasn’t clicked yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. Meet with your teacher and get some help. They want you to succeed.


I actually took an E&M introductory course outside of school and was pretty good at it.

I’m not the most visual person and graphing stuff/understanding graphs is like pulling teeth for me. It took me a while to understand how the schematics of my radios actually worked in-circuit but I was able to learn how a superheterodyne functions faster than I was able to understand basic kinematics!!!

I’m pretty scared for the future, but my father’s best friend is an EE and he thinks I’ll do fine since he wasn’t particularly great at physics either. Same with my teachers. They all think I can make it, so I think a part of it is just junioritis and impostor syndrome


EE is WAY more math than physics, save the couple of classes in emag. I think you are going to do great.

Doesn’t matter…in the long run.
If you naturally gravitate to EE, won’t matter what you get in physics even if you have to go community college then transfer to MIT just to boost the GPA and grades.

Most of the time, 2 big reasons.

  1. Not enough time to get familiar and wrap your mind around brand new concepts.
  2. Poor teaching.

EE isn’t “tough” like pure math, so you’ll be fine.

Take the C to pass, but consider finding ways to bone up on it again later - tutor, kahn academy videos, another community college class, whatever - not for the grade, but to master each topic.

It’s not absolutely critical to EE depending on your you jobs - there’s other EE things to master - but Regardless of what class you are in, if you aren’t getting a good grade, it’s a sign you need to do something now or in the future to master it.

Kinematics has little to do with actual EE, imo, unless you’re in a field like speaker design.