I get around 2 requests each week to tutor A-Level or GCSE Physics from various sources. I keep giving out the same advice to people so my suggestion is this…
Save your money and work harder, very few people really need a tutor!
Mainly the content is already out there for free that you need to access and the key to success at A-level Physics is using your own brain and developing the cross links and problem solving abilities under pressure yourself.
Increasingly the exams are becoming more of an IQ test than anything else and having a tutor lead you through the maze of issues does not enhance your IQ or skills, it just helps you able to copy other people for a short period of time.
The key to being a great A-level Physics student is actually your own abilty to think for yourself. So the more you get pushed in that direction the better. Why have someone solve it for you, when you can struggle and do it yourself!
The common threads for people who struggle with Physics are either they are simply not clever enough to be doing it OR get the grade they want, that elusive A* OR simply they don’t work hard enough. The value of a good Physics candidate is lateral thinking as well as intelect. You can only develop this by self study.
Hence, my key suggestions to sucess for all candidates A*-E are…
- Read the textbook carefully, answer the questions, then check your answers and methods. Use my printed booklets for practice examples as I have collated the best from the internet. In particular the practical analysis sheets. There is no subsitute for drawing graphs and practicing the skills for CPAC for Paper 3.
- Look at the syllabus and review each bullet point, decide if it needs a maths response, wordy response OR both. Think about the questions that might be asked and research them. You don’t have to answer all of Physics, just the stuff on the spec points. That does not mean just learn the spec as you are not just doing this to pass an exam!
- Use my site and video bank of key ideas where I have already looked at lots of key demonstrations OR explainations and found the “best of youtube”. Sit down and make some notes from the videos, active learning is key
- Practice real exam questions from AQA (not a random site) as these are what you will face. Pick the most modern papers first as they style has changed. Also write down the working for all the multihoice, nobody really does it all in their heads!
- Expect synoptic questions with lots of topics pulled together and be flexible in this process.
- Be realistic on what grade you are expecting. Not everyone will get an A* and Physics is the hardest subject up there with Further Maths for UCAS grades. Maybe pick something easier if your just looking for a high grade.
- Don’t expect to understand Grav fields, Mag Fields, Electric Fields instantly, it is really hard and takes a lof of going round and round. It also helps to use some of the turning points ideas on Mag and Electric fields and examples that you are not tested on. The people who write the questions sometimes forget that you don’t all do that unit.
- Particle Physics is a lot of factual learning and some teachers will skip on the content. I have put together a full set of notes so you can actually understand it. This is a lot of reading but a superb grounding that will allow you to answer any questions so please use my PPT’s for Chapter 1,2,3
- Do the optional unit that you class at school is doing, mostly you will be better when you are taught lessons.
- Work really hard, as mostly people who want a tutor are just not working hard enough.