Guidelines for Succeeding in Physics Courses 1) Engage the material Your physics professors did not master their subject by only passively listening to lectures and reading textbooks. An analogy from sports and music is appropriate. Lecture (or textbook reading) is equivalent to watching a coach or music teacher execute a particular move/piece. Typically, the lesson is only partially comprehended, and additional work is needed before the student has a basic idea of what was taught/ demonstrated. However, even if the student thought they understood immediately the entire lesson, until the student practices it himself/herself many times, they will never master it. Another good analogy is learning a new language. No one expects to understand a new language after hearing a teacher speak the language for an hour. In the same way, no one should expect to understand physics after hearing lecture or passively reading a textbook.
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