What's So Challenging About The A Level Physics Subject?

Many consider A level physics as one of the more difficult subjects. This is mostly down to the fact that it involves a lot of problem solving and math. These are things that a lot of students tend to struggle in. Not to mention, the sheer amount of materials to study, in addition to their complexity, only adds to the difficulty of A level physics.

For this very reason, a lot of students get help from physics tuition to do better in A level physics.

But have you ever wondered what exactly is it about A level physics that makes it so difficult? Which topics do students struggle in? Below, we discuss the most difficult topics in A level physics.

1. Electricity and magnetism

Understanding electricity and magnetism are crucial if you want to build a solid foundational physics knowledge. The only problem? There aren’t that many professors who can teach electricity and magnetism well to their students. Most might understand the topic well enough, but they struggle to break it down in a way for students to be able to learn it quite easily.

When paired with the fact that electricity and magnetism are naturally difficult to understand, and you have a recipe for one of the hardest topics in physics.

2. Newtonian mechanics

They say that the early parts of A level physics are what makes it difficult, and Newtonian Mechanics is proof of that. These chapters may look easy, but don’t be fooled. They are challenging to understand let alone master. You’ll need to apply strong logical skills and the ability to visualise problems to do well here. This is in addition to being able to understand math quite well.

3. Maths

Not maths specifically, but the sheer amount of maths and problem-solving that you’ll have to do in physics.

There’s a reason why a lot of students who get help from physics tuition also work on their maths at the same time. This is because, once you hit your A levels, physics is no longer just about being able to memorise the formula. In fact, sometimes, you’ll have to come up with your own formula to solve problems. This means that understanding becomes much more important.

What makes A Level physics so difficult?

The difficult thing about A level physics is that is it not just a subject you can study from the textbook. The books won’t tell you exactly how to answer every question. Rather, it takes understanding of the concepts before you learn how to apply them to various problems. If you don’t like memorisation, physics might be a good science for you.

Another aspect that makes physics very tricky is that many topics are intertwined. So, you might have a question with multiple parts in which part A requires knowledge of one topic, and part B requires knowledge of another. Thus, it is crucial to understand how the various topics relate to each other in the big scheme of things.

One way to immediately make physics a little easier to bear is to get passionate about it! Once you appreciate that physics is a fundamental science, you’ll be much happier learning about how the world works through the theories and formulae. Chancing upon great teachers and tutors will also do wonders to help you – so, don’t hesitate to reach out to physics tutors who will help you overcome the hurdles of physics!