Learning physics concepts in class is essential, but the lab sessions are equally important. Most students overlook physics practical and put their full attention into the classwork. However, it is crucial to work on your physics lab session skills to ace your physics exam.
Physics practicals are the lab sessions where you interact with apparatus like circuits, pendulum, and spring balance, among others. After the lab sessions, you should make a report based on the observations you made in the physics lab. Therefore, you should pay attention to your lab sessions. It helps you to make the correct observations and come up with the right results.
In Singapore, O-Level Physics allows you to sit for a physics practical exam. The practical assessment test assesses your planning, manipulation, measurement, and observation skills. The exam also tests your data presentation and analysis skills. Hence, both students and teachers should not underestimate physics practicals.
The General Marking Points in a Physics Practical Exam
During your physics practical exam, you need to observe the apparatus you are using and take readings. For instance, if you use a thermometer, you should observe its temperature and take the reading in degrees Celsius. Also, it is crucial to note that your observation needs to be precise. For instance, if your thermometer reads 22 degrees Celsius, record it as 22.0 degrees Celsius. Lastly, accompany your readings with the correct unit.
2. Recording Readings
Once you take your readings, record them down. Have a table of the results observed during your physics practical exam. Tabulate your results using the correct units and significant figures. Also, you can provide a ratio of calculated figures as decimal numbers.
3. Drawing Graphs
Graphs interpret your recorded results in physics practicals. Therefore, if you take and record the wrong readings, your drawing will also be incorrect. Use a visible pencil to draw your graph and avoid a lot of erasing to produce smart work.
When drawing a graph, make sure you record your readings in the correct axes. Know the difference between X and Y-axes. Also, ensure you use scales for the axes that allow most of the graph paper to be used in both directions. After plotting the correct graph, you need to calculate the gradient. Record it to two or three significant figures.
The Role of Physics Practicals in Your Learning
1. Helps in Understanding Physics Concepts and Principles
The lab sessions allow you to connect what you learned in class to what you do practically. It broadens your knowledge of the various physics theories and principles you get in class. It helps you gain the basics principles that will help you build complex concepts in classwork.
For instance, when making a pendulum, you understand the meaning of concepts like oscillation and the acceleration due to gravity. You can relate what you got in the class and what you are seeing.
As a student, it is hence vital to attend all your O-Level physics lab sessions. Through the lab lessons and the help of the lab technician, you dive deeper into what you learned in class. Also, it makes you interact with various lab apparatus that you have never met before. As a result, it becomes easier for you when a teacher explains them in class.
Therefore, physics practicals bridge the gap between class sessions and lab sessions. You can have trouble understanding circuits when your physics teacher is teaching, but once you attend a lab session, you get a better understanding of what it entails. As a result, your physics studies become easy and you attain your best grade.
2. Acquiring Personal and Professional Skills
Physics practicals session has a significant influence on your personal and professional sector. In the individual dimension, the sessions enhance your responsibility skills. During the physics lab session, you interact with the delicate apparatus that you should handle with care. When you don’t break them, you express high standards of carefulness.
Also, practical sessions involve working in a team for fruitful experiments. As a result, you strengthen your communication and teamwork skills. This allows you to gain skills in doing successful physics group discussions. Also, it helps you to interact well with your colleagues once you join the marketplace.
Besides, if you want to be a lab technician, physics practicals give you a chance to learn. They give you an idea of how a lab technician operates and handles students. Also, you get knowledge on how to carry out yourself as a lab technician. Besides, you can interact with your lab instructor and ask several questions about your career interest.
No doubt that physics lab sessions have a significant impact on your learning. It develops your planning, observation, evaluation, and analyzing skills. As a result, you become better in other subjects that require these skills. It brings impact to your all-round learning life.
3. Spices up Your Interest in Physics
Staying in class for all your physics lessons can be boring at times. It can bring mind fatigue and loss of interest in your classwork. Especially if you are a kinaesthetic student, you can find it hard to cope with physics classes all time.
Physics practicals allow you to get engaged in science itself, connect and disconnect apparatus, interact with others, and think like a scientist. It helps you to learn physics as you stand as opposed to sitting in-class sessions. As a result, you get interested to know more about physics theories and principles.
Some physics experiments are interesting. They make students experience fascinating moments. As a result, they look forward to more sessions. The students get eager to engaging with more physics practical sessions that will sustain their interest in physics.
Once your interest in physics is spiced up, you gain the morale to learn the subject. This makes you spend enough time and effort in learning physics. You commit yourself to do a thorough physics revision before the exams approach. As a result, you perform your best in both physics theory papers and practical assessment.
4. Boosts Your Performance
Physics practicals boost your performance. If you perform well in a physics practical paper, you have a chance of recording a good overall grade. This is because the physics experiment paper carries 40 marks and contributes 20% to your overall physics performance.
To do your best in physics practical assessment, you need to do several things. First, relax. Take a breath and compose yourself. It will help you to use the provided apparatus correctly. Once you set up your experiment well, take and record the correct readings. Afterward, analyze them and make the right conclusion.
If you want your physics practical exam to boost your performance, be keen to observe, evaluate, and analyze. Take your time to make your experiment results. Also, use the knowledge you gained from class to explain your observation.
Therefore, physics lab sessions have a role to play in your performance. If you excel in them well, you will be proud of your overall physics exam result. It is vital to cooperate with your team and lab technician to get the most of all the lab sessions.
5. Gives Exposure to Nature of Science and Scientific Method
Understanding nature allows you to understand your environment. Physics practicals help you to understand the world you live in and the science revolving around your life. As a result, you learn about life applications you can use to live.
For instance, in physics lab sessions, you can conduct an experiment that explains Newton’s law of motion. Through such an engagement, you get to understand the nature of force and objects in motion. It brings insight into what you interact with in real-life situations.
Physics experiments reveal the nature of science in a better way to students. As a result, some of them use the knowledge to make and repair some apparatus at home. For instance, if a student goes through an experiment involving circuits, they can repair a broken torch, radio, and even television.
Therefore it is crucial to pay equal attention to your physics practicals session at school to get the relationship between nature and science. You can accumulate a lot of knowledge about your surrounding through what you observe and analyze in physics laboratories at school.
The contribution of physics practicals in your learning process both in school and in real-life is immeasurable. Therefore, both the physics teachers and physics tutors should engage students thoroughly in physics experiments. Also, students should pay immense attention during each of their lab sessions. They should ask questions and take notes during such sessions. Therefore, if you want to benefit from the physics practicals session, go for a physics tuition centre in Singapore that pays proper attention to lab sessions. It will build your knowledge of physics that is essential for school work and also for life.