What do you think are the hardest parts of physics/chemistry?

<p>I'm about to take physics and chemistry (AP equivalent) at a nearby institution other than my actual high school, and I would like to know what makes these subjects so difficult. Is it the memorization? Is it the math? Is it the conversions? And if you have tips on successful studying, that would be fantastic. Thanks so much, everyone!</p>

<p>Its the everything.</p>

<p>thanks… anything more specific? a particular topic that stumped you more than the others did?</p>



<p>No, there’s not much memorization. If you want memorization, take biology. </p>



<p>The math is the easiest part.</p>



<p>No, wait, that’s the easiest part. </p>

<p>The concepts are difficult…the math itself is easy, but you have to be able to translate problems into things you can do math on. I also found the labs difficult.</p>

<p>Actually, I’ve seen that for a lot of people, the math IS the hardest part. That is to say, if math is easy for you, physics and chem will also be much more fun. Otherwise much of your time goes into figuring out the math before you can even get into the conceptual parts. Anyway, I mostly have study tips for physics: make index cards for formulas (nice to have them memorized), look up videos on youtube or MIT OCW if you’re confused, draw neat diagrams, always make sure your units match up during problems. For chem, close reading the text was really my best strategy.</p>

<p>I’m in AP Physics and it’s not that hard. The concepts are easy to grasp, but at times, it’s hard to piece different concepts together. That’s probably the hardest part–connecting various topics in Physics like energy and forces and stuff like that. It’s tough, but it’s a good challenge. I haven’t taken AP Chemistry and would never want to–too much work.</p>


<p>For physics, you really have to understand what information the problems give and what they ask for. It really likes to make you think you don’t have enough information to solve the problems, but you always have to think about every aspect of what’s going on. If you don’t know what’s going on, then it is really easy to make a mistake.</p>

<p>I had the easy teacher for chemistry, so my class was baby chemistry, not real chemistry, lol. So I don’t have a whole lot of insight with chem. </p>

<p>The hardest part of physics, for me, is drawing a Free-Body Diagram and then translating that to an equation (especially if I need a system of equations). It’s a pretty big part of an intro physics class so a firm grasp of FBD’s is pretty important.</p>

<p>It’s mostly the concepts really, I agree with @baileyj57, that’s the problem I have in AP Physics right now, I’m doing pretty good but the hard part is the conceptual translating into equations. Math is a breeze but the hard part is making your own math from a situation. It’s mostly just adding a bunch of stuff to given equations but sometimes you get a situation where there are different factors at different times and with something like statics or sometimes simple forces with friction and slopes you would need to make up algebraic equations for different parts of the setup, then you need to add the factors you know in, solve for one, plug it in to another, solve that. One variable off and your equation is stumped. The math is easy, if you know how to plug in numbers and use given equations you should be fine. The hard part is using those given equations and numbers to make your own equations using pure concepts. Sometimes your teacher or the AP test will give you something like solve blah blah blah with A mass 2m and velocity v and B mass m and velocity 4v. Piecing concepts together is the main point. At the start of the chapter you would get equations like P=F/A or p=m/V and solve easy little problems but then you get to something like Bernoulli’s equation and have no idea how to solve for the variable you want because one of the variables you need is missing, and you have to get through a giant set of other equations, plug in stuff, switch around variables, just to get one variable in for one simple equations. </p>

<p>TL;DR Math easy, concepts kinda easy, equations easy hard part is using equations and concepts, switching them and plugging things in with given variables, data and situations.</p>

<p>I’m majoring in chemistry (3rd year) and from my experience no one has trouble with the math (in regards to physics I can only speak for lower division physics - the physics majors learn some crazy stuff in their higher level classes). If you do you should stay far away from these subjects - the math is the easiest part. I just took a class where the average on the final exam was around 38%. All the math that was needed (except for one problem) was algebra I knowledge and some right triangle trigonometry.</p>

<p>What’s hard is realizing what physical concepts are at play in a given problem and coming up with the physical insights necessary to solve the problem (for example, you might need to realize that you have to set this thing equal to that thing).</p>

<p>^^^^ 10char</p>

<p>I’m in both honors chemistry and honors physics right now, and for me the hardest part about chemistry is that you have to pay close attention to what you’re doing. Like it’s not that difficult to understand the math, because it’s pretty simple, but if you forget to convert something or check significant digits than you’re screwed. </p>

<p>A lot of people, including myself, have a difficult time visualizing physics concepts, like how you can get from force to energy with only three variables provided in the problem. It’s really confusing.</p>

<p>Chem was decent, but Physics makes me want to contract a fatal disease just so I have an excuse to get out of class :/</p>

<p>My DD finds the math to be the easy part in both Chemistry and Physics - she’s a B/B-/C+ and does well on the math part but not so well on the actual concepts.</p>

<p>She gets pretty good help on Khan Academy and managed to squeeze a D+ out of the 2nd semester of Chemistry last year. We also hired a tutor. She’s holding on for dear life to a B/B- in Physics. :-/</p>