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Failing Intro to Circuits class

  1. Sep 16, 2015 #1
    hey guys im at the point in my college career where i am about to fail my first class (intro to circuits) and im an ee major (prob a bad start to my major classes). im probably gonna take it again next semester but can people chime in on how to come back after failing a class; the mentality, what to do differently? it seems as if i understand the theory but when we take tests i seem to panic and freeze up. also the way the class is taught is that you will learn on your own through powerpoints and come to class with questions and then there is a mini test about it the same day. basically an intentional self teaching class, and i have never dealt with this type of class structure if anyone has any tips thans.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2015 #2
    Figure out what's tripping you up when you work with circuits. There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to circuit analysis, and they can really only be solved by working a ton of problems.
  4. Sep 16, 2015 #3
    A - Can you late drop and then continue to Audit the class and learn it - then when you re-take it you will be ahead of the game?

    Other than that do you have a tutor - have you been going to office hours, have you practiced, and practiced.....it is very much like math, you can think you understand a concept and blow off the practice, but then in the exams there is no easy way out.
  5. Sep 16, 2015 #4
    i have been practicing problems throughout the book and reading different books for different references. i can withdraw but i dont know if i should or if i should stick it out knowing im gonna fail. i dont know if i can withdraw and still audit the class. if push comes to shove should i withdraw and try again next semester or should i stick it through, learning the material but having a d/f?
  6. Sep 16, 2015 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    My advice is to drop the class and retake it next semester. If you're failing the class now, I'm not sure that remaining in the class as an auditor will do you that much good. A lot of the material presented later in the class builds on material from earlier in the class -- if you don't have a good grasp of that earlier material, the later stuff might as well be in Greek.
  7. Sep 16, 2015 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What textbook did you use in the class? If you look in your university library, do they have copies of "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill? That's a great helper textbook IMO.
  8. Sep 17, 2015 #7
    As are the Schaum's outline series for electrical engineering; chock of examples and solutions and bare bones explanation of the theory.

    To the OP, understanding something and then applying it are two different skills IMO so a larger volume of practice problems is probably what you're looking for. I would also practice under test taking conditions, ie the timed environment and with/without formula sheets as the instructor dictates. I'm not a fan of that style of class but I would try going into more deph than the power points do by using extra texts like berkeman and I suggested as well as online resources such as Khan Academy and filling in gaps of understanding that way, good luck.
  9. Sep 17, 2015 #8
    Have you talked to your advisor? We would not know what your schools policies are or options, I only posted the typical things the schools offer.
  10. Sep 17, 2015 #9
    we are using irwin basic engineering circuit analysis. i can withdraw and still attend class. i will look into the recommended textbooks and references as soon as possible thanks everyone.
  11. Sep 17, 2015 #10
    My class used that book. It's not very good, and there are no answers to any of the end-of-chapter problems (which is vital when practicing circuit analysis)!
  12. Sep 18, 2015 #11


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Like other's have said, go ahead and withdraw, no sense remaining in the class when you already know you're going to fail.

    As far as determining how to not suffer the same fate during your next attempt, are you able to rationalize why you're having a hard time? Identifying the problem is the first step. Is it a lack of basics, class pace, burn out?
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