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Physics Woes: Common Errors that Students Make While Solving High School Physics Numerical

Ask any Medical or Non-medical student and they would say physics is the toughest subject. The latest study done on career choices of students after class Xth revealed that even though students are interested in pursuing Non-Medical as their field of career, they hesitate to take it up only because of the fear of Physics. Physics is a difficult nut to crack. The subject requires conceptual understanding and a lot of practice when it comes to numerical portion.

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For a lot of students, physics is no easy ground. Calculations can boggle your mind in a big way. With physics, it is usually seen that students are clear with concepts, but when it comes to the application they just flounder to produce the right results. Mentioned below are some of the mistakes that students commit while solving high school physics numericals:

  1. Inadequate Steps While Solving– When you try to omit steps and reach the solutions directly you end up doing calculation mistakes. Also, sometimes you end up missing a vital step that will lead to a correct answer. So, consequently, even if you feel you are on the right track, you commit a big blunder. Therefore, it is recommended that do not miss steps while performing calculations as marks are awarded for steps also.
  2. Getting confused With the Units– Most of the students end up jumbling the SI units of measurement. This is a silly mistake, but this leads to deduction of marks. While doing any kind of calculations either follow MKS units or CGS units. For higher levels of efficiency memorize all units properly and then proceed with the calculations.
  3. Confusion regarding Radians and Degrees– Many numerical problems in physics are related to topics like angular velocity and angular acceleration that are in radians. Students end up mixing the units which leads to problems.
  4. Using Vector Addition Technique When Adding Vectors– It is vital to be careful while adding vectors. Several students commit this error of adding the vector magnitudes sans any knowledge that they need to add the components. Keep this in mind when you are doing the calculations.
  5. Confusion Regarding Refraction Angle– This usually occurs in problems that are related to the refraction of light. Refraction Angle should be measured regarding normal. Some students calculate the angle between the interference point of two mediums and a ray of light. This leads to a wrong answer.
  6. Wrong Addition of Resistors– This problem crops up when you are doing a calculation of resistance in parallel or series circuits.

 So, these are some of the errors that students end up doing when they are solving problems related to physics. Let us not forget that Physics is a practical subject and successful engineers have been able to score 100 out of 100 marks in their Class XII Physics exam. You can do that as well with patience, practice and passion. It is better to be careful than fret about losing your marks later on.




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