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The Physics Regents: Top Tips for Acing Your Exam


1. Make a comprehensible study plan.


Start your Physics Regents Exam prep long in advance—around when your physics class itself begins. You should craft a study plan at this stage and take meaningful notes throughout the course to use as study material.


Make sure you have an appropriate, distraction-free study room at home with good lighting and enough room for all your supplies, including your textbook and notebook.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help making your study plan. Consider hiring an NYC physics tutor who can give you specially designed lessons tailored to your individual strengths and weaknesses. Your tutor will teach you the skills and knowledge you need to pass the exam as well as give you the confidence to apply them.


2. Pay attention in physics class.


All the exam-writing tricks in the world won’t help you pass the Physics Regents Exam if you don’t know your physics. Make sure you understand the concepts in class, and study hard at home, especially if you’re struggling on a particular topic.


3. Study well.


  • Study for frequent short intervals rather than infrequent long intervals.

  • Use a study schedule.

  • Solve practice problems from your textbook or online resources.

  • Focus more on solving complex problems. You need more time to learn the difficult things, and solving hard questions will boost your confidence.


4. Know how to solve a word problem.


Here’s how to solve a word problem on the Physics Regents Exam:

  • Draw a diagram.

  • Label the diagram using the provided data.

  • Determine the information you need to figure out.

  • Identify the appropriate formula to make the calculation.

  • Plug the data into the formula.

  • Solve.

  • Double-check your result.


5. Know how to take the exam.


To succeed on the Physics Regents Exam, you need to not only have a solid grasp of physics but also make use of good test-taking strategies. Keep the following in mind when you take this important test:

  • Don’t take any unapproved electronics into the test room.

  • Read all the directions carefully before doing anything.

  • Go through the test and answer all the easy questions first. Then, go back through again and take another stab at the hard ones. This way, you don’t waste too much time on difficult questions, and you might figure out the answer as you go through the rest of the Physics Regents Exam.

  • Keep an eye on the time so that you don’t spend too much time on any one section.

  • Try to answer multiple-choice questions in your head before looking at the answer list. If you’re confident in your answer, choose the one that most resembles it.

  • Use the process of elimination to eliminate clearly wrong answers in multiple-choice questions.

  • When answering word problems that require a written response, demonstrate the steps you took to reach the answer so the marker will understand your thought process. It will help you get full points for the question, and even if you get the answer wrong, you can still get partial points for taking the right steps.

  • You will often be given a blank sheet of paper for the Physics Regents Exam. Use it to work through problems, play with data and formulas, or brainstorm solutions. You don’t submit this paper—it’s just for you—so use it however is most beneficial for you.

  • Write out measurement units in all calculation steps as well as, of course, the answer itself.

  • When drawing graphs, be neat and use a ruler to draw straight axes. Make sure to label them and indicate the measurement scale you’re using.

  • There’s no penalty for wrong answers, so never leave an answer blank. If you’re stuck on multiple-choice questions, use a process of elimination first and then take a wild guess. If a word problem has you stumped, try writing a formula, drawing a graph, or writing anything else you think might be relevant. You certainly won’t get full points, but you might get some.

  • Double-check all your responses before handing in your Physics Regents Exam. As you take the exam, make note of any answers you skip so that you won’t forget to go back and complete them.

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