Need Help in Physics and Astronomy?
Revised 8 August 2012

Your Instructors:

  • These are the people making the notes, teaching the course, setting the exam and marking your answers.  Outside of notes, lectures and textbooks these people are your most valuable source of information regarding what they teach.  Don’t hesitate to ask your prof!  Make use of their office hours.

Online resources


First-year courses PHYS 1020, PHYS 1030, PHYS 1050 and PHYS 1070 all have a series of 4 tutorial sessions built in. 

  • These take place in the laboratory slots with about 40 to 50 students in attendance. 
  • Each session involves one hour of sample problem-solving by a TA and culminates in a one-hour, multiple choice tutorial test worth a small percentage (8%) of the final mark.
  • Students are encouraged to bring up concept or problem-solving difficulties they are having during these sessions.
  • TAs are encouraged to actively engage the participation of the students. 

For Astronomy courses PHYS 1810 and PHYS 1830, in addition to one-on-one office hour tutorials, there is the weekly Astronomy Discussion Group.  

  • Attend this group to discuss material of interest with a number of students and develop skills that will enhance your ability to achieve good grades.
  • Close to test and examination periods this group focuses on practicing math problems, answering concept questions, recognizing the phenomena in astronomy images and other directly relevant techniques.
  • Indirectly the exercises within the every-other-week astronomy laboratories for  PHYS 1810, PHYS 1820 & PHYS 1830 provide practice for the math component on the tests.

Organization of Physics University Students (OPUS)

  • OPUS is located in Room 114, Allen Building, this group provides a tutoring service for first-year students in both physics and astronomy and a lounge/study area. 
  • Students in the 2nd to final year of the Physics programs often use the OPUS room for study. 
    OPUS maintains a website with tutoring schedules and activity information

University of Manitoba Astronomy Club

  • Join the recently formed astronomy club with is a forum for students in any program and any year who have an interest in astronomy. 
  • They also mentor each other in preparation for tests and exams. 
  • Contact or join the group on Facebook at

You will benefit from:

  • Doing the assigned, online homework!  Although usually worth only a small percentage of the final course mark, the practice in problem-solving and the immediate feedback provided by the online system are invaluable learning tools!
  • Working through practice problems provided by the instructor.
  • Being actively engaged in the Tutorials!  This is your opportunity to ask questions and received more personalized attention in a smaller group setting.
  • Being actively engaged in the Lectures!  Instructors are generally open to questions and many use the iClicker classroom response system.  Questions posed with iClicker are designed to promote discussion amongst students and can often help clear up conceptual difficulties. 
    • To encourage iClicker use in class, a (very) small percentage of the final mark is usually given for participation.
  • Practising the online quizzes from Astronomy Today. 
  • Participating in the workshops provided by the Academic Learning Centre
  • Using a study method to improve your study skills, such as the PQRST Studying Method (This is a method of reading a textbook so that the information you read really does enter your long term memory.) or SQR3 (Use the SQR3 method of reading to be an active and effective reader. SQR3: survey, question, read, recite, review).  Information about these methods can be found online.



The bright, twisted object at middle, left, is  actually two colliding dwarf galaxies in this composite image, which uses data from 3 space-based telescopes, created by Jayanne English, Physics and Astronomy