Skip to content
Home » is physics hard in high school?

is physics hard in high school?

If you are asking if phsyics is hard in high school, this is the right post for you.

Is physics hard in high school?

physics isn’t hard in high school if you are good at math especially if you’ve done well in algebra courses like algebra 1 and algebra 2. In addtion as a preference for having good basics about calculus, especially derivatives and integrals. 

but it could be so much more difficult for students who don’t have good foundations in these topics, because physics is a course that you can’t take without math in high school or college. 

You need at least have the basics of algebra like equations and inequalities in addtion to dealing with multiple types of function and trigonometry that represent a pilar topic to succeed in high school physics courses.

in physics high school course you will be studying different topics of physics the principal ones are:

1 kinematics

kinematics is the most challenging course that a lot of students struggle with, it is similar to calculus-based physics.

Kinematics requires many math subjects, all the math topics that you have taken in the algebra courses, especially algebra 2 are included in kinematics.

In kinematics you will be studying the movement of objects for instance determining:

So you will be studying anything that moves and discover the forces that apply to these objects. So the math you will be required to focus on is:

For this reason, kinematics is one of the most difficult topics you will find in high school physics because it requires having solid foundations in the algebra 1 and 2 courses in addtion to a little bit of calculus.

2 – electricity and magnetism

the second topic you will study in high school physics is electricity and magnetism. In the physics course, you will discover the fundamental rules of electricity like what is current and voltage. Also, learn and discover the world of magnetism like how magnets work and how they react in their environments.

this subject is funny because you will make a lot of experiences in labs, like the experience in magnetism you will see in the video below:

electricity and magnetism require to have a little bit of calculus to study electronics circuits and how they react, you will also discover new electronics devices and learn about like:

Electricity and magnetism are not tough as kinematics and have a lot of fun especially if you like lab experiments. but it always requires having almost the same math topics as kinematics.

3 – optics

In optics, topics will not be considered as the previous subejcts like kinematics and magnetism but it will teach some basics topics about light and it behaves in different environments, in the optics, you will be studying:

theses are the basic phenomena that happen in the optic world you will discover your first time in a high school physics course.

4 – work and energy 

The last course you will be studying relates to kinematics, and electricity is work and energy. In this course, you will be studying and discovering:

and finally, discover the principal and famous theorems of energy conservation.

for instance, you will be calculating the energy of objects when they fall, or determining the power of electronic devices like your computer or phone.


you don’t have to worry about physics in high school if you are doing well in math courses like algebra, and trigonometry.

The principal reason that makes students fail in high school physics classes is having terrible foundations in math, so math is the key to succeeding in high school physics.

so you have to make sure that you did well in previous math topics, if you don’t, it is not too late you could go back and teach yourself topics like algebra 1 and then take algebra 2. It will not be a big issue.

if you are doing excellent in algebra 1 and algebra 2 courses, you could take AP physics, which is more challenging but you will earn credit for college which is great.

Physics in high school vs college

physics in high school is a lot easier than in college, the topics that you take in high school are just an introduction or the first layer of what real physics involves. In high school students study the basics of kinematics, electricity, and magnetism, to be ready for college physics which teaches the same themes but way more deeply and more complex than high school.

In  high school, you will be using a lot of math to study these topics, especially calculus, for these reasons physics or engineering majors are required to complete all the calculus courses including:

In addtion, you will be studying some difficult subejcts like thermodynamics which is a science of energy and matter. You will also discover some difficult phsyics topics such as quantum mechanics.

quantum mechanics is one of the most difficult courses in physics, is very hard. It requires having an excellent professor. if you have a terrible physics professor you will suffer in quantum mechanics then the odds of failing are higher.

So in general high school physics is just a preparation for the real physics awaiting you in college. For this reason, it is so interesting to study and focus a lot on high school physics to prevent problems in the future at college.

Can you learn quantum physics in high school?

you can’t learn quantum physics in high school is a pure mathematics topic that requires having advanced levels in calculus like multivariable calculus and linear algebra which are advanced math topics students take only in college.

but if you want to read a book or just have a superficial idea, you could do that at the time you want.

you just have to remember that is very hard to learn college quantum physics topics in high school, simply because you don’t have yet mathematics background to do that.

Can I not take physics in high school

Is possible to not take physics in high school but it is a bad idea, especially if you think to major in physics or engineering. You will just delay the physics course to college which will be stressful and lose time and energy.

Physics is a subject that requires time to absorb and have good mathematics basics, you have to train yourself early because you can’t run from physics. The earlier you do the better will be.

If you are good at algebra 2 you can take a physics course, without any issues or worry.

 For instance, you can take a regular physics course or have a specific course in physics course like physics-based algebra or calculus-based algebra.