Loved Physics in Secondary school and considering taking it in JC? You’re not alone! Many students who enjoyed their time studying Pure Physics for their ‘O’ Levels often go on to do H1 or H2 Physics for their ‘A’ Levels. However, just like how many students who have made the transition from Secondary school to Junior College might have realised that despite the similar subjects, the fundamentals are extremely different. This is especially the case for Secondary Physics and JC H1 and H2 Physics, where even students who took Pure Physics for ‘O’ Levels notice that there is a huge jump in content and difficulty. Requiring students to be more proactive in practising and solving questions, and necessitating some level of discipline to excel and ace every exam, the change can be daunting for some. This makes it all the more important to understand the difference between Secondary and JC Physics before taking the plunge and committing oneself to the subject that’ll stick with you for two years for your JC academic journey.
Differences Between ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level Physics
All students start out learning basic Physics when in lower Secondary. When they progress to upper Secondary, they then have the option to learn two types of Physics — Combined Physics or Pure Physics. With Combined Physics, students are exposed to a similar syllabus as those taking Pure Physics, but the assessment criteria for Combined Sciences are mainly based on factual questions and recall. Pure Physics, on the other hand, is more intense due to its increased presence of more analytical questions and additional examinable topics. However, regardless of whether you took Combined or Pure Physics in Secondary school, JC Physics is a whole other ball game in terms of breadth and depth of content.
It is probably a given that JC Physics covers more topics than that taught in Secondary school. This is because Physics in Secondary school is only meant to serve as a foundation for future learning. It aims merely to expose students to a wide variety of topics and concepts that will allow them to get a good gauge of their aptness and decide if this is a subject matter they would like to dive deeper into. Due to this, students are bound to be exposed to a steep learning curve when in JC. And be it H1 or H2 Physics, there will be entirely new topics that students were never exposed to in Secondary school such as Quantum Physics. And if we were to compare H1 and H2 Physics, the latter will have double the number of chapters compared to the H1 alternative.
Aside from the new subjects, JC students will also have to re-learn topics that were covered in Secondary school. However, these chapters will be covered in greater detail, and JC students will learn a newer set of information, theories, and formulas. For example, the topic of Kinematics, and straight lines may have been covered in Secondary school but in JC, motion in two dimensions will be taught. Moreover, if you opt to take H2 Physics, new chapters like Electromagnetic Induction, Alternating Currents, and Electric Fields, amongst others, will be additional topics that build upon existing concepts.
Tips to Strengthen Your Mastery of Physics
The curriculum of H1 and H2 Physics in JC can seem overwhelming since it takes the subject matter to a whole new height by incorporating a higher level of academic rigour. However, your hard work in Secondary school can help you when it comes to developing a deeper understanding of all things Physics-related. While a Pure Physics background will set you up to a good start, there are other ways to ensure that you master Physics in JC quickly and efficiently. For one, it is crucial to understand that consistent revision is key, and students should never become complacent — as the saying goes, “complacency is man’s biggest weakness.” So, when Physics gets a little tougher for you in JC, consider doing the following:
1. Consistent Revision
Consistent revision is important as it is only through practice that you will be able to build upon your previous knowledge and gain a more thorough comprehension of what has been taught in school. Whether you prefer to learn on the go with learning apps or do Physics past year papers, any form of repetitive practice will ensure that the basics are ingrained in your memory. In addition, it will also enable you to draw links between topics and new concepts so that mastery of the subject can be attained without any hassle.
2. Get Additional Practice
To ensure that they never fall behind in JC Physics, students should not only have a solid foundation in Secondary Physics but should get external help to improve their understanding of JC Physics. This can mean reaching out to your school teachers or peers for more guidance or even enrolling in JC H2 Physics tuition classes. If you are in Secondary school and waiting to start your first term in JC, getting a head start is also possible with workshops and crash courses like those offered at the Physics Academy. Taking things up a notch from the basic ‘A’ Level Physics tuition classes, our Physics Head Start and Revision Bootcamp is designed to build a solid foundation for JC 1 students looking to transform their results in JC 2. Covering topics like Electric Field, Current and Direct Current, our two-hour head start Physics tuition classes will close all the learning gaps and improve your knowledge of Physics.
Physics Academy is a Physics tuition centre that offers not only top-quality Physics tuition classes by experienced JC Physics tutors but also private tutoring for students in Singapore. We help prepare you for your Physics exam and help you excel in the subject while nurturing your love for it.