Discuss any one particular topic in Physics. How to tackle it and how to prepare for it

 

Physics for any competitive examination at +2 level is broadly divided into the following modules:

  • Mechanics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Optics
  • Modern Physics
  • General Physics

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Of these topics, probably the most difficult topic is the module on Electricity and Magnetism and quite a large number of students face difficulty in dealing with this topic.

What makes Electricity and Magnetism module difficult?

  • It is a huge topic. There are several subtopics involved – Coulomb's law, Capacitance, Electric Current, Biot-Savart's law, Magnetic moment, Electromagnetic Induction
  • It contains a large number of concepts. Every subtopic further contains many topics.
  • A large number of standard results are expected to be known by students. For instance, students must know Gauss Law, Ampere's Circuit Law, Faraday's laws, etc
  • Students are also expected to remember several standard formulae and apply them as and when needed. Students must be thorough with the various formulae of electric and magnetic field.
  • Students should be able to correlate this module with other module, especially the module on Mechanics. Students are expected to have the ability to apply Newton's laws of motion, work energy theorem and the law of momentum conservation to the problems of electromagnetism.
  • It at times needs tedious calculations. The pi factor everywhere makes things complicated at times.
  • It needs more practice and time than any other chapter. Since it is a large chapter, it takes time to master.

 

What can a student do to tackle this topic?

  • The very first step is to get a good book. Halliday, Resnick, Walker Physics For Jee (Main & Advanced) Vol 1 & 2 by Amit Gupta is one of the most famous book among JEE aspirants for its comprehensive coverage of topics and ample of practice problems of varying difficulty levels. Having a good book is important. It helps you to build interest in the subject.
  • Read ample of theory. It is important to first fix the vast multitude of chapters in your mind and them move on to solving problems.
  • Make a study timeline. Don't just blindly start with a topic. The topics are quite interrelated and you will have a hard time understanding a topic which has some prerequisite which you do not know.
  • Make notes. Students should write in their own words what they understood from the textbook or in the lecture. This helps not only in revision, but also makes you confident about the subject.
  • Make an list of formulae as you encounter them. Then you can revise the list frequently in your free time. You can use your smartphone to save the list.
  • Practice ample of problems of varying difficulty level. Do not just read theory, solve the problems as well, because this is what you will be doing in the exam! Do not give up easily on seeing a difficult problem. Spend time thinking about it. Make apprpriate assumptions to simplify the problem. Solving a simpler problem will give you confidence to solve the original harder problem.

 

In the end, it is the amount of practice that you do will matter. We hope that the above mentioned methods will help you to tackle Electricity and Magnetism with ease.

 

 

About the Author

Aman Goel IIT B2 Aman Goel is B.Tech, computer science and engineering undergraduate student at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. Born in a business oriented family of Kanpur he secured an All India Rank 33 in JEE advanced 2013 and also scored 323/360 in JEE main 2013. He has also cleared Indian National Physics and Chemistry Olympiads, and KVPY. In his free time, he likes to write articles related to JEE preparation. He loves speedcubing (the art of speed solving a Rubik's cube) and also loves to play computer/mobile games.


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