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Concentration problems (I guess )

  1. Feb 10, 2006 #1
    This week Electrodynamics test, and last week QM test have really made my cup full. Instead of 100% on QM test I scored 80% because I missed one of the terms in a verry verry long equation (some variational problem with verry ugly hamiltonian in cylindrical coordinates) when I was rewriting it from one page of my work to another (you know, when you fill up one page and you have to continue on another) and consequently all my equations further down were wrong. Electrodynamics was even worse. I failed it. One of the problems was relativistic particle in electromagnetic field. Both fields were given along x axis. From some reason, unknown to me, when I was setting up equations of motion I put magnetic field along z-axis. Solution was correct but not for the problem given to me. Another problem involved solving Laplace equation, finding Maxwell tensor and integrating it over some surface (verry exausting job) in order to find some forces. When I was solving Laplace equation one minus sign slipped my attention and domino effect did his job on the rest of the solution. So I had solved correctly only one of three problems and, you know... Problem is that this is happening to me from beggining of my undergrad studies and despite all of my work it is getting no better. Result are grades that could jeopardize my chances to go to graduate studies. I still have arround 90% average but all tests that are comming in this and following year (QFT, Statistical physics-both quantum and classical, particle physicis, mollecule physics, plasma physics, condensed state theory...) all involve long solutions with a lot of calculations and plenty of space for "clerical errors" and will thus, probably result in further reduction of my average. Is there anyone here who had same problem and how did he fight it. Will publishing some papers increase my chances for entering graduate studies? Any advice would be appreciated because I am really desperate and have scheduled test from topology, Hilbert spaces and group theory next week of which I think giving it up because I have lost all will for studying.

    P.S. I'm trying as much as I can to keep my english straight so please excuse me for any grammatical and spelling errors.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2006 #2

    JasonRox

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    You can always double check before moving on.

    When I'm working with something big, I quickly scan through from time to time. I look for common errors, like negative signs, missing constant, etc... things that you can spot easily. Re-solving an integral is not really practical though.
     
  4. Feb 10, 2006 #3
    I do that too. But every single time I miss something. Sometimes it is insignificant but sometimes it like electrodynamics from above.
     
  5. Feb 10, 2006 #4

    JasonRox

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    This might sound stupid, but sometimes I do bad too, obviously. :approve:

    The thing that works for me is to comfort myself by acknowledging the fact that I do know the material.

    Try giving yourself some credit for knowing the stuff, and that you know you know it.

    Bad marks come around. As long as good marks come more often, then getting into graduate school won't be a problem.

    You have an A average, so you're good to go.
    Bad marks come around. As long as good marks come more often, then getting into graduate school won't be a problem.

    You have an A average, so your good to go.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2006 #5
    work backwards
     
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