Chennai

Physics is easy if problems can be visualised, say experts

Those who took the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test and Joint Engineering Entrance Exam this year had something similar: most of them found Physics tough.

A few students who qualified in NEET said they had skipped the Physics paper. The negative marking for these competitive exams has required students to be proficient in the subjects to avoid negative marking for wrong answers.

Pavan Kumar, a Physics teacher for JEE, said the student feedback was that the subject was tougher, perhaps even the hardest compared to both Biology and Chemistry. Physics tests students’ understanding of concepts. Though schools teach theory and concepts they do not provide the context, said Balaji Sampath, founder of Aha Guru.

“In schools some training is given to learn procedural mathematics and then apply them. The physical world requires visualisation of the problem,” he explained.

If students can visualise the situations in three-dimension and apply the concepts, they would be able to solve the problem.

Physics problems are tough because there are certain expectations from the student, including being good at mathematics. Simply put, Mr. Sampath said children were forever experimenting. The rigours of school scuttled their natural instinct, he added.

Rita John, head of Theoretical Physics, University of Madras, agreed that the lack of training of teachers in teaching the new text books did the students in. She was also the domain expert and member for the State Board Class 11 and 12 physics text books.

“The book is excellent, it has proved itself. Ironically, the students who did well were those who depended on the textbook. Around 28 of 45 questions were almost directly from the book. Coaching centres in Kerala and Hyderabad were using our textbooks,” she said.

“Physics is not an easy subject if you do not understand. If you do then you will do very well. Though our students had the material in hand they did not use it,” she said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 4:05:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/physics-is-easy-if-problems-can-be-visualised-say-experts/article32922933.ece

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