How hard is college physics if you never taken physics in high school?

Saturday, September 5th, 2009 | Physics

Practical Trig Help 101 asked:


My college requires me to take Physics 1 with Calculus (prereqs include a grade of C or better in Calculus 1 and a high school physics course) for the computer science major. I’m not entirely sure if physics is more qualitiative than quantitative but that’s the impression I’m getting

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Tags: College Physics, High School Physics, Physics Course

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4 Comments to How hard is college physics if you never taken physics in high school?

hobart_elf
September 7, 2009

Physics is an extremely interesting subject useful throughout your life.

You will need to enjoy maths.

firstnamesodiumchloride
September 9, 2009

Since you haven’t met the requirement, I am not sure u can get that course or not. Personally, I think physics for computer science course is not as difficult as pure physics in college.

(?)Mistress Bekki
September 10, 2009

That high school physics prerequisite is unusual. I’m guessing you can do okay in it if:

1) You did well in calculus (A or B+) and have a good intuitive understanding about the relationships between quantities like displacement, velocity, and acceleration–what is a derivative or integral of what.

AND

2) You have taken (and did well in) another quantitative science course like chemistry that forced you to learn things like how to convert units and plug physical quantities into big equations.

If you have those things, you’ll probably be ok. The course may move a little quicker through the basics than it ordinarily would, but I’d guess you can keep up. High school physics courses vary so much in rigor (some schools teach it to Freshman that are currently in algebra 1) that they really can’t expect much.

person h
September 12, 2009

physics isn’t really that bad granted your decent in math. This requires a lot of algebra skills and calculus. I’ve taken my physics series in my University and they require a lot of studying and practice. I’m not sure how the physics at your highschool taught, but my highschool physics was more conceptual whereas my college physics required a whole lot more math. Seeing how you’re a CS major then I’m going to assume that’s what your college physics will be like…a whole lot of math.

Don’t let the math discourage you though. Physics is pretty fun. (if you enjoy calculus) ^^

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