I recently heard that I cant read secular books on shabbos. Is this true and does it apply to newspapers and magazines?
Yes, it is true. Reading anything but Torah is not permitted on Shabbat. This prohibition includes reading newspapers, magazines, weekly business and advertising publications, novels, etc.
In the Shulchan Aruch it discusses that even just reading the caption under a painting is prohibited on Shabbat.
Reading Torah books which are written in English is permitted. Examples would include Jewish books on Basic Judaism, Classic Mussar, Emuna-Faith, Jewish Thought…
Shabbat is a special day of rest and it is sacred.
What is the ravs opinion regarding studying for a difficult test in the sciences
Same as newspapers… Not on Shabbat.
Why isn’t science considered ksav shel chachama which SA IN SIMAN 307 allows according to many
Because the Rav holds its assur. See the SA IN SIMAN 307:17 where the Mechaber says its assur like the Rambam and the Ran…
Why doesn’t the Rav go with the yesh mi shemater in sif 14?
He says it’s better to learn.