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Should you take Physics in SPM/IGCSE?

In the study of Physics, students are exposed to many fundamental concepts to the ‘whys’ they will ask in their lifetimes. This includes many elements of nature such as the solar system and gravity to the more technical concepts such as radioactivity and logic gates.

1. If you are great in calculations, you will enjoy Physics.

Almost everything studied in Physics is represented by an equation and with an equation comes its calculations. Physicists take their numbers seriously, as certain calculations require perfect accuracy and consistency. More importantly, many concepts are derived from calculations of different components, thus having the mathematical ability to deconstruct and combine equations is essential to excel in Physics.

2. If you don’t mind computing graphs, you will love Physics experiments.

Many experiments and findings are expressed mathematically, hence representing data in graphs is a must-have. Physics students spend hours constructing graphs, as they provide the best ability to interpret data. Not only is it plotting points on both axes, students would also have to understand the relationship between related graphs. As mentioned in point 1, many equations are derived of different components, hence one graph would relate to other graphs as well.

3. You are a conceptual person.

Concepts in Physics require you to imagine as they aren’t easily conceivable ideas such as in Biology and Chemistry. Students are required to imagine in order to fully understand the very much abstract ideas. If you can easily picture the phenomenon studied in the textbooks, you’ll find it a breeze in responding to situational out-of-the-box questions in Physics (which the recent KBAT trend is pointing towards).

4. You plan to work in the technological world.

Physics provides the building blocks to technological work in the future as it covers electromagnetism, electronics, electricity and radioactive chapters. They provide a sufficient foundation on concepts such as semiconductors, electrical circuits, power grids, hydroelectricity, logic gates and so on. These chapters are necessary for students embarking on IT, programming, computer science, software engineering, E&E engineering, artificial intelligence and many more.

5. You plan to work as an engineer.

In the beginning of the SPM Physics syllabus, students are taught to understand the fundamental forces of the world. In studies of mechanics, students are taught to understand how gravity works, how stability is maximised, how pressure is conducted and how levers (essentially everything else in machinery) work. Regardless of the nature of engineering be it mechanical or civil, engineering students-to-be would definitely require the knowledge of Physics.

All in all, Physics is one of the most interesting subjects offered in school as it covers a wide span of the universe. Due to the conceptual nature of the subject, students are better off with the guidance of a tutor who can explain these concepts in many different ways.