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On these last exams

There’s not really that much to say about these exams. Perhaps it’s because I learnt my lessons last year—or at least, thought I did; some mishaps like forgetting to bring a ruler to my physics assessment (not practice) did occur again—or because I decided this year to prepare for all my practice exams. There is, however, a small amount, which I will proceed to dispense now.

Physics 3.1

As I’ve said, I forgot to bring a ruler. And, knowing me, my method was too detailed and will be penalised accordingly as it has been so many times in the past (well, two times). What can I say? Sit tight and hope for the best. Hopefully past experiences won’t repeat.


The two hour exam, I’d like to point out, was twenty minutes short of the sum of the recommended times for each paper. From what I gather, unfamiliar texts is meant to take 60 minutes, and the essays 40 minutes each. Consequently, or at least I blame it on this, my answers were rushed and I didn’t have time to think about what I was writing. Every second spent organising your thoughts is a second wasted! Twenty minutes more and I would’ve written something decent. Lots of people seem to think that two hours was sufficient. Some seemed to think that two hours was too long. Yay for those people. Maybe I should have studied harder.


What I anticipated to be an easy exam threw me off balance in the first question. "Find the centre of mass" of something, a concept I had used, well, practically never except to make notes on it, and therefore had forgotten all about. I tried to figure it out logically, I think I got it…

What stumped me more, though, was the question involving a bike and a bicycle wheel. You see, I had written this well-thought out argument about how the wheels are identical and therefore the same proportion of potential energy of each body is converted to rotational kinetic energy, and therefore because the bike has two wheels that gets more rotational kinetic energy (spot the contradiction), and somehow, at the end, the bike has more translational kinetic energy but then I forgot about how you have to divide by mass to get a relationship with velocity, which practically ruined my entire well-thought out argument.

And the question that left two many unknown variables didn’t help either.


Err… no comment.


Knowing chemistry, you have to rote-learn answers before exams. This year, having gained this useful experience from last year, I decided to practice these rote-learnt answers (using past external papers) before the practice exams. I think I hit every question where I was meant to hit it—but I so often find that I think wrong. Sit tight and hope. It’s only a practice anyway.

So in summary…

Bring a ruler to your physics assessments. And sit tight and hope!

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