What's So Challenging About the A Level Physics Subject?

May 04, 2020

The stereotypical conception about physics is that it is quite an intriguing subject as it can ever be. And many Singaporean students aren’t much of an exception to that notion. But is it really such an enormous task to study physics in A level studies? So much so that many of our bright and promising pupils would choose other disciplines instead of physics? To paraphrase the above gestures, let’s try to find out what is so challenging about the A-Level physics.

What is Physics Exactly?

At its core, it is a canvas where the inner mechanism constituting the whole universe is painted. And in this picture, the study of matter and energy including the lives of tiny winy particles residing inside atoms alongside even the theory of alternate worlds are delineated vividly.

I know, the definition sounds a lethargic explanation given by a literature major to an otherwise dynamic concept, but in essence, physics is precisely that.

But rest assured, physics is anything but sluggish. As an A-Level Physics student, you would need an incredibly inquisitive mind, an inherent attraction for mathematics and a supernatural third eye for every single detail about every relevant thread.

Since now you know what you are dealing with and what you need to be, let’s take a look at the syllabus of A-Level Physics:

H2 Physics Syllabus (9749)


  • Measurement
  • Newtonian Mechanics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Oscillation and Waves
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Modern Physics

H1 Physics Syllabus (8866)


  • Measurement
  • Newtonian Mechanics
  • Waves
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Modern Physics

The above topics are considered difficult by most, and to be honest rightfully so. And the reason comes down to the fact that dealing with them requires a unique ability to solve diversified problems using a lot of number crunching, which basically translates into having a firm grasp in principles of mathematics. And when those two scenarios work in tandem, it becomes cumbersome for most students to overcome with. And to make matters worse, there exists the absolute necessity of covering an immense amount of study materials.

So, to get the better of the mammoth task that is A-Level Physics, all a student is left with honest, hard work. But to be honest, that might not always be enough. And that situation entails the requisite use of private tuition providers and in Singapore among the pioneers are JC Physics, Math’s, Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Physics, Math’s, Chemistry Tuition.

Now first let’s take a closer look at the intricacies of a few of the subject-matter of A-Level Physics which make it so challenging for many bright young minds.


  • Electricity & Magnetism:

The general consensus is that they are the hardest concepts you are going to get. There might not be that many concepts to apprehend, but the problem with them is that you would find it very difficult to envisage. My very own personal observation would be something like this – circuits can be handled with relative ease; electric fields expand their difficulty levels from very easy to tough and magnetism is straightforward a tough nut to crack. And the icing on the cake would be the pretty heavy math involved. Also, there are things like Biot-Savart Law that will pose a great challenge to get through on your own.

  • Newtonian Mechanics:

Without using too many unfamiliar vernaculars, let me just say that it is the study of the equations for describing motion under the influence of action of forces, and here you can blame it all on Sir Isacc Newton. But the actual problem is it is intuitive to use Newtonian methods of free body diagrams and very easy to make blunders along the way without ever knowing. To do well here, not only you have to be a good logistician but a robust mathematician as well.

  • Maths:

I have to admit that the sheer amount is sometimes mind-boggling and you can never get back down from problem-solving if you ever wish to complete your A-Level Physics.  

A Few More Thoughts on Physics being So Challenging:

Physics is not just a subject that you get yourself prepared only by studying from the textbook. Instead, it is much more than that. Very often you will find that the manuals can’t answer your questions to get in the thick of the things. On the contrary, you need to get to your conclusion by taking in the concepts and then apply them on your own; in essence, you have to come up with your formula to solve problems. In reality, in studying physics, it is necessarily so much more important to understand than just to learn.   

Physics is unlike any other subjects that are so very intricately intertwined. In more times than most, you will realize that you need understanding to solve a problem from a chapter which you might have last studied at O level. That transpires that a student has to have the acquired knowledge at his fingertip all the time.

And one other efficient problem that is very often seen around the world is the scarcity of physics teachers who can make the life of the students a bit easier. Because the best of the best minds often spend their time in a lab, rather than in a classroom. That is also a case for students to seek help from professionals like JC Physics, Math’s, Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Physics, Math’s, Chemistry Tuition.

To conclude, let me say that having your visions captivated and enthusiasm for the subject to get a better meaning of the inner mechanisms over the world around, you can work wonders, not only in scoring a good grade but being a better human being.

Article Posted in: Academics

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes educational content periodically for MyPrivateTutor Singapore and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got more than 5 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO and graphic designing.

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