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Monday, February 20, 2017

10 Most Common Mistakes Students Make In SPM Physics Problems

10 Of The Most Common Mistakes Students Make In Physics Problems

by Justin Goh (Share your insight with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Physics is considered troublesome by many students. To be honest, I have particularly seen this subject cause more headache than even mathematics in some cases. That’s because of the numerical, derivations, principles, concepts, complicated formulae associated with it.

In here, I have listed a few of the most common mistakes made by students while solving physics problems. The main point of highlighting these little devils is to make students aware of these mistakes causing them to double-check everything during their examinations.

Let’s go through them without further ado.

1. Mixing units


This error is the most common of the lots. It’s a silly mistake on one hand but at the same time it’s troublesome on the other.

This error usually occurs when students fail to read the problem in detail. Students must take into account all the unite present in the problem. And at the same time calculations need to be done in a consistent set of units.

Meaning, if they follow the MKS system or the CGS system (according to the requirement or choice), they have to ensure that they do the entire calculation in respective to a specific system.

Take a peek at this example:
Say, a problem contains two values, one in meter and another in hour. The student has to follow a MKS (Meter, Kilogram, Seconds) system to do the come to a result.

How can he do that?
  • Keep “meter” as it is (because it tallies the MKS system).
  • Convert “hours” into seconds.
  • Then s/he should continue solving the sum on basis of the above two values.

2. Expressing result in the wrong unit


This mistake usually happens due to the question itself. The main culprit behind this error is that the student was too careless to pay complete attention the problem in detail.

For example:
The problem asks for an answer in the CGS system. The student over looks it completely and gives the answer in MKS. This results in zero marks even though the problem’s down correctly from the top to the bottom.

3. Confusing degrees and radians


Students have a tendency to think that most physics problems utilize degrees. Yes, most do but not all.

Simple examples can be angular velocity and acceleration that utilize radians in their calculations. Those are the places you have to ensure that you use radians in your calculations. Keep these things in mind even when you use calculators.

4. Mixing sines with cosines


This is a pretty basic error that happens in physics especially when students are newly introduced to trigonometry.

Ensure that you know the following relationships by heart: [refer to the triangle below]
  • sin θ = opposite/hypotenuse= b/a.
  • cos θ = adjacent/hypotenuse= c/a.
  • tan θ = opposite/adjacent =  b/c.

5. Vector recognition errors


I can explain this better with an example.

In vector additions, suitable vector addition technique needs to be implemented. This means determining the result in 2 components.

Many students make the mistake of summing up vector magnitudes without thinking that they should add the components instead.

6. Latent heat ignored in thermodynamics


Latent heat’s the energy absorbed or released by a thermodynamic system resulting in a change in phase such as solid to liquid or vice versa etc.

This heat’s ignored in many calculations resulting in a mistake.

So you must not forget to take latent heat into account when you are involved in any physics problem involving phase changes.

7. Kirchoff loops sign errors


Kirchoff’s laws are usually used to calculate the magnitude of current in a circuit. Most errors occur in these problems because students make simple and silly mistakes with signs.

The trick’s to get these signs right and you’ll come to the correct result in no time.

[A point to remember- To avoid confusion, you must put arrows to mark the direction of all current.]

8. Faulty resistor additions


These errors occur when students have to find out the total resistance of a circuit connected in series and parallel.

When 2 resistors (say R1 and R2) are connected in series, R= R1 + R2.

When 2 resistors (say R1 and R2) are connected in parallel, 1/R= 1/R1 + 1/R2.

9. Using wrong ray directions in light diagrams


Ray diagrams are considered an integral; part of light. The most common mistakes students make in ray directions is the usage of wrong-directional light rays.

10. Mistaking angles of refraction


While doing sums based on refraction, many students fail to get the angles right. Just remember that the angles are measured with respect to the “normal” (AKA perpendicular).

Well, we have talked about all these problems for quite a bit of time; didn’t we? How about turning these problems into a part of the solution? Let’s go through a few thumb rules then.

A few thumb rules to remember …

  • Don’t panic.
  • Read the problem closely.
  • If possible, draw the diagram.
  • Write down the list of information given in the problem in a tabular format on your sheet for calculation.
  • Keep important formulae under your nose. List them systematically on your answer sheet during exams.
  • Last but not the least; solve one variable at a time.
So that’s it. Just stay calm and you’ll have the situation under control in no time. It’s time to bring this article to a close now. Hope you had a good read.

Justin Goh
Justin Goh is a former teacher and prolific writer, penning blogs to help the parents, students and the educators alike. Regularly contributing articles for MyPrivateTutor Malaysia, he prefers to write on varying aspects of education ranging from learning strategies and preparation tips to the ways to reach out to the students better.


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

5 Online Education Trends to Look Out for in 2017

Five online education trends to look out for in 2017

Guest post by Mike Jason (Share your insight with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

The era of internet technology has given rise to various innovative trends for the users across the globe such as conducting online research studies, seeking online job opportunities, looking for suitable partners online and above all the most beneficial trend of online education. With the rapid increase in the enrollment of students in online degree programs and courses every day, the online education system will become more developed, advanced, sophisticated and modern in the coming years. The experts and scholars believe that the year 2017 will mark the beginning of a new era of online education and learning providing easy access to the students, learners and professionals to learn and study online all across the globe.
Latest Global Online Education Trends
The institutes, instructors and campuses providing online education to the students believe that by the end of 2017 the online education system will be used as an essential mode of study around the world. They are of the view that the world will witness these five online education trends in the coming months of 2017 changing the dimensions and paradigms of our educational modes, methods, ways and techniques:

1. Use of computerized digital data for online education


Since the students enrolled in online education programs use virtual means for studying their coursework and taking their exams, the institutes and instructors have started using digital data on large scale to keep track of students’ attendance, scores and grades in the course. The virtual universities believe that using computerized systems on such a large scale will help them to assess their students’ performance, improvements and drawbacks effectively without involving them physically. This trend has made the lives of students and teachers easier and more comfortable by opening digital avenues of education for them.

2. Popularity of unusual disciplines


Gone are the days when one wants to become a graduate in the field of medicine, engineering or literature. The online education trend has completely revolutionized the field of education by introducing novice and innovative disciplines such as cyber security, digital forensics, nursing and digital statistical analytics. The experts are of the view that in 2017 these unusual disciplines will top the educational ladder by attracting the students to enroll in these disciplines for staying abreast with the current developments taking place in the world. The virtual education in unusual disciplines will create ways for the students to get acquainted with the new areas of education and information.

3. Provision of unconventional credentials


The paper degree and university card will soon become a dream for the students because the online education system is looking forward to issue digitalized cards and award online degrees to the students in 2017. The institutes facilitating the students and learners with online education are planning to provide nontraditional credentials to their students including digital certificates, computerized badges and online showcasing platforms where students can launch their products and gadgets and can also share their skills and achievements with the world. This trend will provide the students with more opportunities and chances to lead more successful lives as learned beings.

4. Induction of automated systems in online classes


Online education system has given rise to the usage of virtual teaching staff along with virtual aids in the classes. The year 2017 will see a significant rise in the induction of automated systems to teach students virtually. This trend will allow the students to study and learn from more learned and highly advanced robots and virtual staff in the absence of their instructors due to any emergency. Thus, in this way students will never miss their online classes or lag behind in their virtual courses even if their teacher is on leave. The use of computer technologies and robotics will play a vital role in providing quality online education to the people.

5. Rapid increase in online degree programs and courses


The students and employees who cannot manage to physically attend the institutes due to their busy and hectic routine can get more benefit from the online education system in 2017. Due to the fast growth in online education systems across the globe, the institutes and universities are planning to launch more virtual programs and degree courses in 2017. The universities and institutes have prepared a proper plan and reserve the revenues for introducing more online degree courses in the coming months. The initiation of new online programs will make the online education trend more accessible and popular in the world.

Online education system benefits the students, learners, instructors and institutes to a great extent by providing them useful opportunities to improve their educational life while sitting at their homes. The year 2017 will bring new, innovative and novice trends in online education supporting the people to reach the top rungs of the academic ladder in a simpler, easier and more accessible way. Do not wait for the year to end; get enrolled in your favorite online degree program or course and embark upon the journey of enlightenment, awareness and education via virtual means.

Mike Jason is an MBA from a Canadian university and is busy working for BestAssignmentService.com. In leisure time, he feels good to share his experiences to others by writing valuable blog posts.


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Monday, February 06, 2017

Unravel The 8 Invaluable Benefits of Studying at Universities or Colleges in Malaysia

Guest post by Eileen Burton (Share your insight with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Studying abroad can come with a vast number of benefits. It not only helps students pursue the program that they have longed for but also get to experience a whole new world with their own eyes. They learn about the various nuances of language, culture, heritage, cuisine and so much more.

Malaysia is hands down one of the more diversified geographic locations in the entire world and best places to study. Here in this write-up, we will highlight all of the pros of studying in Malaysia.
Studying in Malaysia University College International Students

1. Affordable Tuition Fee And Living Cost


Most of the people in the world have just enough household income for their everyday needs. It has been a major concern for those who wish to pursue education abroad. Apart from that, there is also the concern of the monumental tuition costs and the living costs.

According to details from spm.student-malaysia.com, a Malaysian student who wishes to major in Art and Businesshas to spend an average of USD 22,000(tuition) and USD 13,000 (living cost)a year to study in USA private institutions.

However, Malaysian private institutions offer students only USD 4,600 (tuition) and USD 4,000 (living cost) per year. Native students will be shocked at hearing this, but that does not translate to the quality of education in their homeland as inferior.

2. High-Quality Education System


It should be known all over the world by now that Malaysia’s higher education system is of international standards. The Ministry of Higher Education is monitoring it, which has the vision to Malaysia into a center of excellence for higher education.

3. Diversified Education


From kindergartens to universities, Malaysia offers atop-notch education. But beyond that, those colleges and universities are affiliated with renowned universities abroad. Malaysia is the one that started to branch campuses of foreign universities.

4. High Quality Of Life


Being a relatively newly industrialized country, Malaysia appears to have out grown its developing neighboring states. The infrastructure is among the finest in Asia, if not the whole world. It boasts a number of medical and state-of-the-art health care facilities, advanced telecommunications, world-class university campus and the best expressway in South Asia.

5. Familiar Surrounding


It would be so nice to be located in a place that you can easily get by in the nick of time and Malaysia gives you that window of opportunity to adapt faster than any place in the world. Unlike other states, you won’t be experiencing culture shock or having a hard time getting to know your surroundings.

6. Hassle-FreeImmigration Process


International students can easily benefit from immigration processes that come without troubles as compared to other countries. As a matter of fact, it is easy for an international student to apply for a foreign visa in Malaysia and it requires only relevant documentation without any financial guarantee.

7. Availability Of Delicious Foods


Seeing as how the community within Malaysia is so diverse, it would only make sense for the food choices to be that way as well. Due to being inspired by so many cultures, Malaysia could easily be considered a cuisine paradise.

8. Amazing Places For Travel Destinations


Not only is Malaysia a beautiful and multicultural location, but it is home to a plethora of travel spots that attract tourists from all over the planet. In fact, one of Malaysia’s strongest economies is in its department of tourism.

Malaysia has a wide collection of microcosms that range from high-rise buildings of Kuala Lumpur to the world’s largest single cave chamber in Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu National Park. If that’s not enough for you to pack your bags, then how about Sabah's Sipadan Island which is one of the world’s top diving destinations?

Eileen Burton works as a travel agent and runs a travel blog. In addition, she is also the owner of an assignment writing online firm that helps students. In her blogs, she mostly writes about the people, cultures, foods, and cinema of the different regions.


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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

SPM 2017 Tips: How to Score A+ in SPM Additional Mathematics (Add Math)

Zero to 100: How to “Slay” Add Maths

Guest post by Reshgi Vaishali (Share your exam preparation tips with 56,000+ Malaysian students)

Every SPM student who takes Add Maths will understand the amount of stress that comes with the subject. Some students shudder when the subject is spoken about and we all know how scary some Add Maths teachers can be. If you’re sitting for SPM anytime soon and want to gain some tips on how to go from “0 to 100” for this “scary” and mind boggling subject people refer to as Additional Mathematics then I’ve got your back!
tips how to score spm add maths

1. Get Help

The most obvious action to take when you’re stuck and can’t decipher a topic or a concept is to get help, don’t be afraid of your teacher and please feel free to approach them if you need assistance. Most teachers would be glad to lend a hand if they are not busy. If you’re more of the shy type, ask your friends. There are many Add Maths wizards around who you might be more comfortable with to seek help from. Furthermore, we should all take advantage of this thing called TECHNOLOGY. There are an abundance of online tutorials and lessons you can check out by just a simple search on Google. On the topic of friends and technology, creating a Whatsapp Group Chat specifically for Add Maths with your friends is a great way to share questions, methods and explanations. You could also help your friends at the same time with your knowledge and work together to get through the exam.

2. Self-Revision

When talking about what you can do to help yourself master this subject, revision books are not something foreign but there is a reason why they are in demand because it actually works! When dealing with SPM your best friends are the Past Year Questions. They provide you with the level of difficulty and feel of the actual paper. If you’re up for a challenge, purchasing the SBP and MRSM papers are also a good choice that explores the more “KBAT” questions. If you’re on a budget, there are tons of papers online by other schools and states that you can find from the internet that is easily accessible.

3. Analyse

The best way to ace any paper is to understand the structure and format well before sitting for it. This can be done by looking at Past Year Questions or asking your teachers. Identifying patterns is also a good way to understand what you’re going to be tested on since most exams deal with repetition. Analysing how many marks allocated per topic also may give you a general idea on what you need to focus on because acing isn’t answering all the questions, its collecting as many marks as possible.

4. Answering the paper

When I sat for SPM Additional Mathematics 2016, I had a system on how I was going to answer the paper. Many students start from Q1 until the end but for Add Maths that does not make the cut all the time. Here are a few tips.
  • SPM Add Maths Paper 1
    • Start from Q1-Q11/Q12
    • Then Q22/23-Q25
    • Then the rest
  • SPM Add Maths Paper 2
    • Start from Section C (answer the 2 easiest questions)
    • Move to Section B (answer the easiest 4 questions)
    • Continue with Section A
    • If you have time go back to Section B & C to answer additional questions as back up

5. Determination

Many students view Add Maths as some sort of monster that’s going to swallow them whole and this causes fear and anxiety build up that interferes with their desire to learn and push forward. If you think you’re hopeless at Add Maths and passing seems like a distant dream then fear not because I went from failing to getting As in Add Maths. All you need is a positive mindset and a source of motivation especially from within, a voice in your head chanting I CAN DO IT! In addition, I would like to touch on something called The 3Cs which are Control, Challenge and Commit.
  • CONTROL
    • understand what you can and cannot control
    • acknowledge what you can control and act on it
    • accept what you can’t and learn to let go
  • CHALLENGE
    • challenging yourself is all based on attitude and perspective
    • action follows feelings and feelings follow actions
  • COMMIT
    • know what you need, is available and needs to be updated
    • set a goal and persevere to achieve it
    • planning is important because if you don’t plan, you plan to fail
I hope these tips were helpful to you, feel free to leave a comment on any more tips and tricks you have for  SPM Add Maths. Thank you for your time!

Reshgi Vaishali is an SPM leaver from Johor Bahru, currently waiting for SPM 2016 results to be released in early March 2017.


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