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NUS Physics Module Review: PC1326 GEK1521 Physics in the Life Sciences

Tutorials: (One 1 hr Session / 2 Weeks)

Tutorials are a once fortnightly event, not required to attend. Most of the questions in the tutorial aren’t particularly tough – just be careful of careless mistakes and you’ll get through the homework just fine. The tutorial itself was an uneventful affair, the TA just went over all the steps in the questions without delving too much into how or why. I gave up attending unless I happened to be in school around that time. Didn’t learn much there.

Laboratory: (One 3+ hr Session / 2 Weeks)

Like every other year 1 physics lab, I found this a waste of time. We would go in, follow exactly as the lab manual says and leave. Of course, it helps to read the lab manual beforehand and prepare the excel sheets beforehand. If you’re prepared, you can easily finish the labs in an hour or so.

The labs require pair work, and before each lab there will be a demonstrator to give a brief overview of the experiment. Before lab, you will have to complete a pre-lab worksheet, and before leaving you will have to submit a post-lab worksheet as well as a print out of the excel sheet used for calculations. This format is good in that we don’t have to write any lab reports – everything to do in lab stays in lab.

I recommend not spending too much time in lab. Some experiments are very tedious or have very troublesome components in the post-lab which may drag your lab hours. Don’t dawdle and lab will be a somewhat pleasant experience, or at least not a bad one.


Midterms was a 10 MCQ test, a terrifying affair when you remember each question is 1+% of your final grade. Overall, not too difficult, a little tricky.

Finals was changed to an open-book format that was 3 hours long. Dzmitry was kind enough to prepare several different questions papers for us to do. I felt that most of the questions were not particularly difficult – everything you need are in his lecture notes. I made the mistake of spending a little too long at the start and didn’t finish the last two questions. There was one tricky question that required some out-of-the-box thinking, as well as knowledge from PC1143 (A bit unfair, I know). Overall, not very difficult.

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