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From Struggling Student to Gold Medalist at the European Physics Olympiad

Vietnamese Student’s Journey from Struggling to Excelling in Physics

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Bảo Quân, the proud gold medalist at the European Physics Olympiad 2023

From Challenges to Triumph in Physics

Đặng Bảo Quân, an 11th-grade physics major at Phan Bội Châu High School in Nghệ An province, Vietnam, won a gold medal at the 2023 European Physics Olympiad (EuPhO) in Germany. This was the only gold medal secured by the Vietnamese team at this prestigious event.

Despite excelling at the Olympiad, Quân’s journey in physics was not always smooth. He initially struggled with the subject. “As a child, I was passionate about mathematics and neglected other subjects, including physics. As a result, my physics grades were often low,” Quân recalls.

His interest in physics was sparked in seventh grade when his mother enrolled him in additional physics classes. “My teacher that year inspired me to love physics. The more I studied, the more fascinating I found the subject. By eighth grade, I was dedicated to physics, and in tenth grade, I was fortunate to have an incredibly supportive homeroom teacher who further fueled my passion,” Quân shares.

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Bảo Quân, a humble but outstanding student

Participating in Competitions for Experience

Quân approached the Olympiad as a learning and experiential opportunity, viewing it as a new playground. His gold medal victory came as a pleasant surprise. “I never expected to achieve such a high result; I just tried my best. The exam environment felt stress-free since I was there for the experience, not solely for winning awards. The joy of winning the gold medal was indescribable,” he expresses.

Regarding his study methods, Quân emphasizes the importance of paying attention in class, mastering basic concepts, and then progressing to more advanced exercises. He also finds self-study effective, often practicing with online Olympiad and advanced problem sets.

Quân believes that anyone can excel in physics with diligence, patience, and attention to detail.

Applying Physics in Daily Life

Quân’s dedication to physics has brought him notable achievements. He modestly recounts, “My academic achievements aren’t many. My first significant achievement in physics was winning the district-level competition in ninth grade and then securing second place at the provincial level. Later, I got into Phan Bội Châu High School with the second-highest physics score in the province and recently won a national second prize and the European Physics Olympiad gold medal.”

His proficiency in physics allows him to apply his knowledge to everyday life, including fixing simple devices and indulging in his hobby of creating electronic gadgets.

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Bảo Quân finds learning enjoyable and comfortable

“For me, studying physics is always enjoyable. I never feel pressured by it. I study when I feel most comfortable, as it helps me focus and learn effectively. In my free time, I read novels, work on electronics, exercise, and occasionally browse my phone,” Quân says.

When asked about his future aspirations, Quân humbly responds, “I’m just in 11th grade and have more significant competitions ahead, so I haven’t fully determined my future dreams. Right now, my focus is on excelling in my final high school year to get into my desired university and eventually secure a stable job.”

Lê Thị Thơ An, Quân’s homeroom teacher, praises his qualities, “Quân is a determined student. Despite his academic excellence, he remains modest and always eager to learn. He is respectful, calm, and well-liked by both teachers and peers.”


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