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Attention to detail

  1. Oct 6, 2006 #1
    On many occasions, I have gotten a lower grade on a quiz/test than I really should've, all because of some bonehead error. :grumpy: I fully grasp the material and yet I make these sloppy mistakes that affect my grade. This is very frustrating as my grade on that quiz doesn't really reflect my understanding of the material.

    Does anyone else have this issue? How do you correct it? I try to slow down and take my time, and that does help some, but I still seem to sneak in a mistake or two.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2006 #2
    Recheck your work. It helps :)
     
  4. Oct 6, 2006 #3
    same here dude, my brains like messy, i have no logical thinking sequence that i follow to answer questions, plus i need a lotta time to answer Qs because the only way i get a starting point to answer the Qs is when i day dream. and i make tonnes of errors under pressure.
     
  5. Oct 6, 2006 #4

    JasonRox

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    I'm too lazy to write it all out.

    Once the solution/answer/method becomes apparent in my head, I get bored writing it out so I take shortcuts.

    I also have difficulty expressing ideas too.
     
  6. Oct 6, 2006 #5
    I make a whole lot of basic arithmetic errors when carrying out calculations etc. I rush through my exam the first time, and then hopefully finish early enough to go back through it and fix all of the small errors. I hate being pressed for time-- as I cannot really think that well.
     
  7. Oct 6, 2006 #6
    Ditto. I was doing an analysis question the other day, and it was so obvious (to me) what the solution was. So after writing down the first couple of words, I concluded the proof in two extremely hard to understand sentences.

    The marker wrote down "not a proof" and gave me zero points for the problem. :grumpy: It was totally my fault though. I should've explain more clearly what I'd meant. But life goes on.
     
  8. Oct 6, 2006 #7

    Pythagorean

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    As you get further into your physics education in college, you start buying more paper and wasting less time. If something's getting mucky, just tear the page out, wad it up, and start over, don't bother erasing, nudging, fixing, handwaving or shortcutting past it, paper's cheap, your time is not, and you "never really understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother."
     
  9. Oct 6, 2006 #8

    JasonRox

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    Same thing happens here.

    I find that if I do try to write in detail, I write too much detail and then later run out of time!!! I can't get that perfect balance of what is enough and what isn't.
     
  10. Oct 6, 2006 #9

    quasar987

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    A lot of "stupid mistakes" happens when you perform some calculations in a sloppy handwriting in a little corner of the page or in the margin. When you write slopily and hastily, the brain thinks in the same way and stupid errors ensues. My cure for that is to write big, always double-space, even when performing some basic calulation "on the side".
     
  11. Oct 6, 2006 #10
    I'm surprised so many of you also make sloppy errors. It makes me feel a little better though. I guess I just need to slow down and concentrate. I get too wound up during tests. Sometimes I'll make a stupid mistake without realizing it, and then a few days later I'll remember what I did. I hate that.
     
  12. Oct 6, 2006 #11
    So true. I also think of it the same way. :approve:
     
  13. Oct 6, 2006 #12
    WOW, last week I took a quiz in my second ciruit analysis/system analysis class. It delt mainly with laplace transforms. I flew through the quiz because I knew the material very well and felt great when I handed it in. Over the weekend though, I mentally conviced myself that I had made some kind of huge error, because I usually do. I was sure that I had simply ignoreed instructions to find the the inverse laplace, or to solve for some strange value.
     
  14. Oct 6, 2006 #13

    Office_Shredder

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    The key is to be writing out your solution with the intention of impressing other people with it, not with the idea of solving it. Then you'll find all sorts of ways to make it look more organized ;)
     
  15. Oct 6, 2006 #14

    JasonRox

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    But I'm not on this planet to impress people. :smile:
     
  16. Oct 6, 2006 #15
    You don't always have time to do this. I have had exams where the prof had to rip the test out of my hands as I was frantically trying to finish.
     
  17. Oct 9, 2006 #16
    What I do to avoid mistakes is knowing that the purpose is not to solve the problem, the purpose is to clearly explain the solution to others ( in the case of a test, the instructor) The clearer is the path to the solution, the better I feel about it. After all, whats the use of being good at math if no one can understand your work? keep that in mind, believe it at heart and your problem will be greatly reduced.

    When following this strategy, the biggest problem I find, is the time constraints. When I practice at home I try to do it as fast and clear as possible. That way when I get to the tes I can think and write fast enough.
     
  18. Oct 9, 2006 #17

    JasonRox

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    My goal is just to explore the beauty of mathematics. If I see further beauty, and can not fathom to explain it to fellow mathematics, I do not mind. I can die with the beauty in my mind, and that in itself is fine. I'm not concerned about whether or not others can also see that beauty.

    It's hard to explain, but I personally don't care in the end if people comprehend my ideas or not. Do you think Riemann cares that half of his work was burned away? Probably not because he himself saw that beauty and that in itself is what he loved. Sharing it with others is just something you do, but not necessary.
     
  19. Oct 9, 2006 #18
    I agree with you, there are things in my mind that I can't dream of explaining, they are so deep and beautiful. At least they seem to be, from far away in my mind. I dont have the ability to express them yet because I can't see them clear enough. If I was able to clearly see them I should be able to express them.


    I could be wrong here, maybe someone with much more experience than me can shine in, but, you wouldn't know about Reimann if he wasn't able to express his mind with clarity.( clarity relative to the reader's math knowledge :) ) I would go even further, I would say that being able to express your math with clarity is VITAL to grasps the very advanced math. At least it seems like it to me.

    Just my opinion though

    1
     
  20. Oct 9, 2006 #19

    JasonRox

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    I'm not denying the importance of explaining things clearly, nor am I saying that I can or can not do so.

    What I said earlier was simply that when I know the solution/proof, I do not feel like writing it out. I get instantly bored with the problem because it is already solved. Therefore, I just write out a few steps so I can move on to the next.

    Riemann did seem to have issues expressing his mathematics, from what I read.

    Also, look into Galois. He's famous for having problems expressing his ideas. Are we going to deny the fact that he knew anything? Only a fool would say so.

    I also disagree with the fact that explaining mathematics is vital to learning higher mathematics. That's just an issue of communication and not mathematical ability.
     
  21. Oct 11, 2006 #20
    I envy you:)

    Thats fine and dandy if you know the answer to the problem, as long as the answer is right. If you didn't have the correct answer from a trusted source, then the procedure would be essential, but I think we agree on this.


    I still think that being able to clearly( relative to the level of math) write down a problem shows that you have a complete grasp on the math. After all, thats all math is, a language. Math is a language used to express ideas and thought process. You could be a genious, but if you can't express your approach to a particular problem in a mathematical or scientific manner, then you wont be able to share your genious. Not only that, you can't be sure that the conclutions that you arrived are right.

    To avoid that, its important to start developiong a habbit of good mathematical expression from early on your carreer. A good way of developing that habbit is writing problems as if there are being published (which they are, only that the professor is your only reader). In a way you are writing, to show your mathematics for inspection, and if its clear enough for your clasmates to read it, its clear enough for your professor.
     
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