When preparing for any competitive exam, students go through a jittery phase where they are unsure about preparation and how to go about it. The confusion that engulfs them relates to the topics or the mode of preparation or the books that they should refer to. Among all the subjects, physics leaves them spellbound through many of the highly specialized topics that need to be mastered – thermodynamics, SHM Waves, Optics, Conductors, etc.
No matter which competitive examination you appear for barring some non-science stream competitions, Physics is an inseparable part of the paper. The study or the in-depth study will depend on the examination you intend to take, for instance, in NEET physics is more about MCQs and in JEE it is both MCQs and descriptive problem-solving. In NDA examination also, Physics plays an important role.
The first part of preparation irrespective of the examination is the task of finishing the NCERT book. Generally, being frowned upon by many, NCERT book helps in understanding the concepts and simplifies the process of completing the syllabus quickly. You should set a target month by when you have to finish the subject and follow the deadline religiously. Then there are numerous descriptive books available by foreign and Indian authors that can give you in-depth knowledge as they come complete with examples to help you understand better. Without the understanding of the subject from NCERT books, it becomes difficult to grasp the vast knowledge that these books share with you.
After finishing the chapters in the NCERT book, one must attempt the questions given at the end of each chapter. Not an easy task but these questions will determine your understanding of the subject; if you find any problem, then do not hesitate to go back and study more. Do not start the next chapter until and unless you understand the current one completely. Take the help of experts, if you find any difficulty as wasting too much time is also not advisable.
Get help from the teachers, mentors or the students who have cracked competitive exams about the right reference books. The amount of practice that these books provide is phenomenal. The focus of most of these books is to prepare the student for MCQs as well as descriptive answers. These books divide every topic of Physics into sub-topics, and this helps in clearing all the doubts and helps you master the subject.
There are online classes available on popular search engines which are provided by the experts in Physics. Do go through them to have a better understanding. The good part is that you are not bound to a specific time and can access them the moment you encounter difficulty.
Finally, why Physics?
It is the subject that is the basis of many other sciences. It helps you understand the universe and the World around you. Physics is required even if you decide to become a physicist, an astronomer, an oceanographer, or a teacher. Even if you do not choose sciences at later stages, the study of Physics will help you broaden your perspective. So, focus on the subject as much as you can.
(Author is Managing Director of MOTION Education Pvt Ltd and alumnus of IIT, BHU. Views are personal.)