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Cognitively incompetent?

  • Thread starter Ogni
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  • #1

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Cognitively incompetent?
Am I good enough?

I am currently aged 18 and my life is in shambles. I rarely leave the house and I have lost the will to live. In a final attempt to fix my life, I have tried to figure out what I consider to be important to myself. Whatever isn't dead inside of me wants to pursue a bachelor's degree in the sciences as a way to redeem myself and quench my thirst for understanding.

A few years ago my school adviser had me take the WAIS-III because she considered me to be an academic underachiever based on an earlier test (age 9). I was already being treated for depression during my later years of high school. After learning my score, I slid into a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior caused by perceived inferiority and despair. I incorrectly used the scores as verification. I withdrew from friends, family--I lost myself in fantasy novels and mentally exhaustive video games. I never took the SAT and I sabotaged university applications.

I have added my IQ subtest scores for those who are interested. They are mediocre at best.
http://pastebin.com/t0AeHTcR [Broken]

Calculus appears to be the first stepping stone.... I will miss my window of opportunity if I delay any longer. If I cannot perform mathematically, I will be lost once again. I have my eyes set on placement exams for the January semester, but I am still mentally volatile. I need change, challenges, and no more charades.

I'd appreciate undressed comments rather than false encouragement.

Thank-you for your time.
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
First off, please seek medical advice for your condition.

Second, it's a bad idea to pick a class (calculus) without some kind of guidance. You will eventually take calculus, but please make sure you're ready for it. If the placement exam says you need to take algebra first, so be it. If you get into calculus with weak algebra and trig, you may find yourself in over your head. It's best to be over-prepared than under-prepared!
  • #3
Homework Helper
Calculus appears to be the first stepping stone....
It is the first stepping stone IF you know everything taught in school AND are entering college where you will learn things beyond what is taught school. Calculus is sometimes taught in the final year of school because it is the most difficult of any math taught in school. Calculus is also notoriously difficult to learn. Colleges/universities teach calculus in their very first semester, probably partly because not all schools teach it but also because many pupils struggle with it, it is a weed-out course for many.

So you may be setting your sites a little high (I mean this in the kindest way possible of course.) Looking at your scores, which by the way you should never take too literally, your arithmetic scores are low but almost everything else is high, 95% percentile, etc. So what I read into that is, you don't know math but the non-math measurements are good. So measuring what you know, you test out fine. I don't see a reason to worry about mental competency or whatever.

Learning math is the place to start, at the beginning of course. Like Benny Bookworm's method of reading a book, which is, start at page 1, read each page in turn till you come to the end, then stop, you must learn math in the same way, start at the start, learn each thing in turn till you come to the end, then stop.

Here are some videos that may be a good starting point, watch them and just ask if you need help with anything. Everything is difficult the first time, so it helps to progress from the beginning.
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  • #4
I think your problems are far more emotional than intellectual. Hell, I remember my grandma telling my sister that "You are going to have to be the provider for the family since your brother isnt smart enough" And here I am a graduate student in aerospace engineering.

IQ scores are also a joke. For example, I got average on the SATs for math and when I went to college I was one of the top grades for all three of my calc classes.

Cognitively incompetent?
This doesn't even make any sense.

I think you need to concern yourself with your emotional well-being before going to work.

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