Why Is Physics So Hard? (11 Reasons Why)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

Are you struggling to understand physics concepts? It’s not easy for most students, but that doesn’t mean you cannot do it.

Still, that doesn’t make it any less challenging. To find out why physics is so hard, we’re looking at 11 possible reasons.

Why Is Physics So Hard?

1. Basic Concepts

Oftentimes, the hardest part of physics is understanding the concepts. Physics is an applied science, which means you are applying what you have learned in math and other sciences to everyday life.

It’s important to understand those concepts before trying to apply them. One of the best ways that you can tackle this challenge is by practicing with problems that come easily to you, like word problems.

This will help build your confidence and allow you to better understand how to solve difficult problems.

2. The Why

One of the most common struggles students have to overcome is understanding why things happen. This can be frustrating because it makes you feel like you’re not making any progress in your physics classes.

A good way to understand this concept is to start with a seemingly simple question. For example, in physics, you might ask yourself: Why does an object fall when I let go of it?

Or, why does something get hotter when it gets closer to the sun? It’s important that you try and answer these questions on your own first before looking for a solution online or in a textbook. You will learn so much more if you come up with your own conclusions.

3. Application

One of the toughest parts of physics is making sense of everything that’s being taught. Not only do you need to learn all the different formulas, but you also have to understand how to apply them.

This can be quite difficult as it requires a lot of mental energy and time for you to process what you’ve just learned. However, there are some ways for you to make sense of what you’re learning so that it becomes easier over time.

One way is by drawing on your own experiences outside of school. For example, if you have ever been to an amusement park, think about the forces at work when a roller coaster cranks up its speed before riding down a steep slope.

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You would know that gravity pulls downward as the car accelerates faster and faster, and thus viewers at the bottom see it move away from them (thanks to perspective).

Apply this same concept in a physics class and think about why objects accelerate upward when they are dropped or thrown upward. Applying your own knowledge allows you to better comprehend what is being taught in school.

4. Calculus

One of the hardest things about physics is calculus. It’s difficult to keep up with how fast it moves and it can be frustrating.

But don’t worry! There are ways to approach calculus in such a way that it becomes much easier and more manageable for you.

This blog post will focus on the key topics in physics for those who struggle, namely calculus. You will learn about why calculus can be so difficult for people and steps on how to understand it better.

5. Classroom

Physics is often one of the toughest subjects for many students. But that certainly does not mean it’s impossible to understand.

However, there are some struggles and obstacles that you may face along the way.

6. Math Is Hard

Math Is Hard

If the math aspect of physics is too difficult, then you should consider taking a math class to brush up on your skills. This will help you prepare for your physics courses and allow you to better understand what’s going on in your physics classes.

Vocabulary and terminology are difficult for you to understand.

Physics is one of the most difficult subjects to learn and understand because it can be very confusing.

For example, you may struggle understanding vocabulary and terminology within the subject. You know the words, but when they are used in context, you don’t know what it means.

This can be frustrating because you could be reading an article and not understand anything that’s being said.

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To overcome this challenge, try taking a break from your studies for a little while and do something else that doesn’t involve physics at all.

It will help clear your mind so you can better focus on what you are trying to learn. When studying physics again, make sure to read each line slowly and look up any words or terms that you don’t understand.

Doing this will help you understand the content much more easily than if you just skimmed through it quickly without taking a break first.

7. Confusing Vocabulary

Physics is full of jargon. Words like “electron,” “mass,” and “velocity” are all common terms in physics, but they can be confusing for students who don’t have a background in the subject.

Jargon can be a barrier to understanding, but it can also be a helpful tool once you learn what it means.

This jargon allows physicists to communicate complex ideas quickly and concisely. So don’t be afraid to ask your teacher or tutor for help when you come across a new term.

Physics tends to use a lot of terminology that can be confusing, especially for those who are just beginning. It’s not uncommon to feel lost when you first start learning the subject.

The good news is that this feeling will go away with time, like any new language. Some of the terms you may come across are momentum, Newton’s Second Law of Motion and centripetal force.

These words may sound intimidating at first, but they also provide a valuable insight into how physics works.

8. Cumulative

Physics builds on itself. That means that if you don’t understand a concept, it will be very difficult to understand the concepts that come after it.

This can make physics seem like a never-ending spiral of confusion. But again, the key is to get help when you’re struggling and not to give up.

There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and seeking out resources early on can save you a lot of frustration down the road.

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9. Experiments

Physics experiments can be messy and dangerous. That’s why it’s important to follow your teacher’s instructions carefully and always use safety equipment when you’re working in the lab.

10. Poorly Taught

Unfortunately, physics is often taught poorly in schools. Teachers may not be properly trained in the subject, or they may not have the time to cover all of the material thoroughly. As a result, students can come away from their physics classes feeling confused and frustrated.

If you’re struggling in your physics class, it may not be your fault. Talk to your teacher or tutor about your concerns and see if there are any resources that can help you better understand the material.

11. Changes

Physics is always evolving. As our understanding of the universe grows, so does the physics that describes it.

What was once considered a “law” of physics may eventually be disproved or modified as new evidence comes to light.

This can be frustrating for students who are trying to learn the material. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on things, the ground shifts beneath your feet!

But it’s also one of the things that makes physics so interesting. If you’re the type of person who likes to stay on the cutting edge, then physics is definitely the field for you.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why physics is so boring, why organic chemistry is so hard, and why Chinese is so hard to learn.


Physics is difficult, but it’s also fascinating and full of potential. If you’re struggling with the material, don’t be afraid to seek out help. With a little bit of effort, you can learn anything you set your mind to.


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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