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Exam Preparation Week 3

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is going well and keeping healthy in what continues to be crazy times! Last week, we discussed how we can get prepared for our revision and also discussed the most effective ways to tackle the topic of light, specifically looking at Young’s Double Slit experiment. If you missed out on the post, definitely go back and have a look! If you have been keeping up with the posts, I would still recommend going back and having a quick skim through the first few posts to pick up any information that you missed on your first reading! Hopefully you can find a golden piece of advice somewhere in the post that you can apply to your study this week! Speaking of which, let’s have a look at what is in store this week!

What are we up to this week?

This week is a great week to start working through some questions with a specific focus on the exam as well as looking at how you can use your holidays most effectively! I know the exam may seem quite a while away but getting started with questions right now will hopefully relieve some of the pressure when revision gets a bit more hectic later on. Last week, we discussed how we should get organised with our resources and revision material and as such the process for this week becomes a lot easier.

PART 1- Understanding the Photoelectric effect

How can I best understand the wave and particle models for light?

Last week, we discussed how to break down light, specifically in looking at the properties of light as well as Young’s double slit experiment. This week we will take a look at how we can understand the Photoelectric effect and analyse its comparison with Young’s double slit experiment.

On just about every exam that has been made for Physics (involving this topic), a question asking you to compare the wave and particle models of light has been present. This is one of the areas where you almost know going into the exam that a question is going to appear, so it is one that I think is worth preparing for properly.

As you have probably discussed in class, Young’s double slit experiment supports the wave model of light, whereas, the Photoelectric effect supports the particle model. With there being a direct discrepancy, I found the best way to compare the two experiments was through a few tables. The first table I created was simply comparing light against particles. Listing down the properties of waves in comparison to the properties of particles is a great way to understand the fundamental differences between the two theories. The second table I prepared was one comparing the results of the two experiments side by side. This was more so to ensure that I was aware of all of the significant results. After preparing these tables what I did (and what I recommend you do) is draw out two diagrams like this:

I haven’t spoiled the fun by filling in the descriptions for the diagrams, but I think this structure allows you to really break down the two experiments. It is also a great structure to follow when writing out written responses to questions and I found that it made understanding the models of light a lot easier. Of course, I would highly recommend using variations of your own and coming up with your own unique diagrams! Visually breaking down the topic is a fantastic way to tackle this topic and one that I think will hold you in good stead! Once you have your diagrams done, this topic will be a piece of cake!

PART 2- Putting together your cheat sheet

At this stage of proceedings I was worried I had forgotten a lot of things. In saying this, I found out that it didn’t take me too long at all to rejog my memory and that I actually remembered a lot more than I thought. How did I figure this out? It was through my process of developing a cheat sheet.

I believe that my physics cheat sheet was the single most important piece of revision I did for Physics. Your teachers may have discussed the importance of creating a cheat sheet for yourself and from personal experience I can say that they are 100% right. I created my cheat sheet right at the start of my exam preparation, and it forced me to go through the entire course from head to toe. This was fantastic as once I started my cheat sheet, I wanted to finish it and thus found that I got through all of the content in a relatively short amount of time. I fit a lot of information onto my cheat sheet, as I was using it to revise. My end goal was to not be reliant on my cheat sheet come the exam, thus writing small and including important formulas (which are actually on the data sheet provided) worked for me. I much preferred knowing where all of the formulas and information was rather than having to sift through the data booklet on the exam day, so this ended up being beneficial!

How do I create my cheat sheet?

In my opinion, your cheat sheet has to be unique. Whilst it is easy to nab a cheat sheet from online or from a friend, there is no better cheat sheet than one you create yourself. Why? You will know exactly what the cheat sheet contains and where everything is, which in itself will be a time saver come the exam. So how do you go about creating a cheat sheet?

In general, I think you should figure out how you are going to spilt up your cheat sheet. I had one side of my cheat sheet for unit 3 and the other side for unit 4 but you can split it up any way you like. After you do this, try creating a pattern of what you include, whether that’s formulas at the top of the page, content through the middle and diagrams at the bottom or anything of the like. Again, find what is best for you! Once you have figured this out you will be well on your way to creating the ultimate cheat sheet!

What mindset should I have for Physics this week?

A growth mindset is one that is very applicable to this week’s Physics work. Creating a cheat sheet to go over everything and muscle your way through areas of difficulty will be supported by adopting a growth mindset. For this week I’ll add in a quote which I think goes along perfectly with the mindset I propose: “Failure is an opportunity to grow”.

Weekly Tips and Tricks

That is all from me for another week! I hope that you are able to create a fantastic cheat sheet and find it helpful for your first exam-focused revision! Here are three parting tips and tricks to help you get through the week:

1. Make a note of topics you are finding really difficult

  • Working through your cheat sheet will allow you to identify these areas easily!

2. Ask a friend how they plan to do their cheat sheet

  • Sharing is caring! Hopefully you can get some good ideas from your friends that you can use in your own cheat sheet!

3. Have plenty of breaks (same as last week)!

  • With everything that is going on, it is very important to ensure that your health and wellbeing is flourishing! Make sure to take plenty of breaks and have some fun in between attending classes and studying.

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