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Failed first mathematical methods test

  1. Mar 9, 2015 #1
    I got a 61% on my first mathematical methods for physics and engineering test. I thought I would at least get a solid C on that test :( If I were to receive a 100% on everything thing else ( 1 test , 1 final, 5 homeworks) I could end up with a 92.5% in the class. After that test I currently have a 73.33%. Should I stay in the class? I have until April 4th to drop.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2015 #2
    You should really give more information. What was difficult for you? Why did you score low? How do you think you could improve? etc. etc.
  4. Mar 9, 2015 #3
    The test was over Fourier Series, Conservative fields and potentials, line and surface integrals, complex number manipulation, Spherical and cylindrical coordinates, Stoke's theorm, and Gradients, curls, divergence. I didn't evaluate the Fourier Series correctly and I have been going back over it trying to improve (messed up my integration by parts). Also I had forgotten how to do some complex number math. Everything else I did pretty well on (those 2 were worth a particularly lot of points). The class will be going over partial differential equations, Fourier transforms, series solutions to differential equations, and matrix algebra next.
  5. Mar 9, 2015 #4


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    How did you do in relation to the rest of the class? I remember my first exam in Mathematical Methods didn't go so well either, but the same was true for the rest of the class. In context, I didn't actually do all that bad.

    Mathematical Methods isn't really one of those courses you want to drop - assumuing you're indending on completing a physics degree you'll have to get through it eventually.
  6. Mar 9, 2015 #5


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    I can definitely say that you shouldn't count on getting 100% on everything else. An A might be out of a reach, but a solid B certainly isn't.
  7. Mar 11, 2015 #6
    That sounds like some pretty hardcore stuff. Are you sure there isn't a grade curve?

    But it's also only your first exam. I wouldn't count on acing everything, but maybe you could ask for some extra credit work if you start demonstrating that you're really making an effort.
  8. Mar 11, 2015 #7
    1) Look at the syllabus or ask the professor/TA if the course is on a curve. A 61% may be a C or a B depending on the curve.
    2) Do you understand the material and just made mathematical errors? Then practice more. If you don't understand the material very well (and, really, even if you do) go to office hours. Office hours are there to help you learn the material; they have the added benefit of showing the professor that you are actually trying to understand the material and improve your work.
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