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FAILING Math Analysis Honors

  1. Mar 15, 2008 #1
    i'm a sophomore in high school and I am one or two years ahead in math with honors. (my school is two different towns combined, where I am from I am two years ahead)

    The first quarter I didn't try and got a 79.45 (80 is a B- she wouldn't round)
    The second quarter I got an 84.68..simplifying sin/cos/tan equations KILLED ME (an 85 is a B+, she still didn't round)

    My average is a 79.75 (STILL WOULDN'T ROUND UP..its unfair)

    Then she left on maternity leave and we got a new teacher. I didn't do the homework really because it was systems of equations and impartial fractions. I totally understand what to do, but little mistakes that I make just mess me up, then on tests I freak out and hit dead ends, even on the easiest problems. This whole 'analysis' is really hard for me on tests because I must figure out how to break the equation apart, and if the teacher gives us a slightly different type of problem, I don't know what to do. It is hard to explain. I get the concept, but just mess up all the time.

    So we had our first quiz, I got a 2/6...a 33. wow. I didn't factor right or didn't set up the right equation..it was bad.
    Then I had to miss our first test for a field trip. I didn't know I had to make it up on monday, I thought it was tuesday, so I was terrified taking the test first thing in the morning on monday without studying. I didn't even get the easiest systems right, it was horrible. He stopped grading mine, a lot of people failed so we are getting a retake, but I'm not sure what he is doing with mine because he didn't finish grading it, so he can't average the two scores together...

    I got an F on my mid quarter report. I'm so scared and disapointed. an F..What can I do to make sure my studying pays off? And what can I do to go faster, so I don't run out of time? How can I calm myself down? WHAT DO I DO?? PLEASE ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED. I'm really mad at myself..

    and by the way...when my old teacher was still here my friend handed in a quiz BLANK and went to the bathroom crying and then five days later got to take a retake, got an 86, and the zero was completely erased...unfair huh? She ended up getting a higher average than me and THEN she still received a 78 average, and got recommended to AP calc AB (I didn't)..What can I do to talk to the teacher about this? It isn't fair at all.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2008 #2
    So did you ever do the homework? You say "I didn't do the homework really because it was systems of equations and impartial fractions. I totally understand what to do, but little mistakes that I make just mess me up", but then "I didn't even get the easiest systems right, it was horrible."

    As with everything, I'd recommend just doing more practice with these types of problems, which means definitely do your homework, even if it seems like you might know how to do it.

    by the way: this shouldn't be in the calculus/analysis forum.
  4. Mar 16, 2008 #3
    First some advice to help you improve your math studying skills. The very nice thing about math is that preparation and performance are very highly correlated which means studying more will almost certainly improve your grade. In a high school English class, I could imagine someone consistently doing poorly even though they study a lot; but in a high school math class, that is less likely since what is tested in math is usually just how well you learned the techniques that were required to do the homework. So, the point is make sure you learn those techniques.

    Now, you say that you are prone to careless mistakes. If you are doing the assigned work and still having trouble with the tests, practice with extra problems from your book and check you answers with the back of the book/a calculator/a computer. I am not entirely sure what the subject of your class is, but you can be sure to find loads of helpful resources on the internet. Just keep working on problems until you're "messing up" rate gets lower. It eventually will.

    Make sure you do the homework EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPTS. The only true test of understanding concepts in math is being able to apply the concepts to solve problems. Don't even try to evaluate whether you understand concepts until you have used them in problem-solving.

    As for your teacher, if you truly think she is treating you unfairly, you should talk to someone such as your adviser or the head of the math department or have your parents do that. But first reread the syllabus (if there is one) to make sure you understand the guidelines of the course. Maybe the teacher explicitly stated that she never rounds up, in which case it is not unfair.

    Since you apparently had an F for your midterm, the most important thing to do right now is figure out how to raise that as high as possible. Ask your teacher if you can do extra credit. Ask your teacher if you can redo any work. Calculate exactly how many points you need to get a C and make sure you get them. Study intensely.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2008
  5. Mar 16, 2008 #4
    Yes, I doubt the OP meant "analysis" in the sense of the forum name. Of course, this is not even a question about a specific math problem--it would go best in the Academic & Career Guidance forum.
  6. Mar 16, 2008 #5

    Thank you so much for your help, and sorry about posting this in the wrong forum, I've never been here before :)

    I am going to try and do my homework, and my parents have placed restrictions on me, so I will be studying more. I hope to raise my final grade to a C+, and hopefully achieve A's in Calculus and AP Stat, which naturally come easier to me.

    The problem with the analysis for me is that because each different problem requires different steps, I cannot always figure out what to do on tests. Thanks for all of your help so far
  7. Mar 16, 2008 #6


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    From keilz:

    That deserves some significant commentary, but right now I'm a little lost on just what to say.
  8. Mar 16, 2008 #7
    Is that a bad thing? :/
  9. Mar 16, 2008 #8
    i agree with the stuff that's been said here. i'm not too familiar about the american high school system but if this is a course that has some significant weight on your university admissions then i would suggest that you do indeed go and see your teacher about some possible make up marks. also, i've found that when i've gone in to see them about questions (however small or trivial the question might be), they've been more lenient and even asked me if i needed any certain "bumps" in my marks. to be honest, i did it more to "show face" and display my effort than finding out the answer to whatever question/problem i had. when they see that you care, they might help you out a bit more.

    in any case, it's good that you learned this lesson now, rather than later when a lot more has been invested.
  10. Mar 16, 2008 #9


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    From keilz:

    from keilz:
    from symbolipoint:
    from keilz:
    Your being a sophomore in high school, you are a bit young to take Mathematical Analysis, which as I remember, was only slightly beyond Intermediate Algebra and included some rigorous Trigonometry. Many of the concepts and skills are likely too new for you and you have not matured enough yet. Keeping the concepts and skills clear is probably difficult the first time through, so keep up the effort and the course will become easier - maybe not this year - but certainly if you restudy it.

    Did you complete Intermediate Algebra yet? Have you previously studied any full course of Trigonometry? The summer is upcoming. You will have time to restudy something. If you need to retake Math Analysis in high school, you will probably have the chance. Really, while you are still in high school, getting good at Intermediate Algebra, and at least the basics of Trigonometry are really well worth accomplishing. Don't feel too bad is you do not take Calculus during high school.

    Your apparantly failure in Math Analysis during this current school year is disappointing, but not really a terrible problem by itself.
  11. Mar 16, 2008 #10
    one of the things i noticed is that awhile back (in junior high / high school) whenever i understood a topic, i wouldn't do much of the homework. on tests, i'd make stupid mistakes.

    in college, i always do every homework problem assigned, even though on some of the sections i was extremely confident with the material. i did so in diff eq, a course a lot of people have problems with here, and i ended up getting a 93 on the first test, a 100 on the second exam, and i'm not sure of the final exam but i ended up 4.0ing the course.

    it's smart to do as many homework problems as possible even if you understand the material because if you end up making a stupid mistake on a homework problem you can figure out how to avoid making those mistakes.
  12. Mar 16, 2008 #11
    I'm a tad confused on what kind of class this is you are having trouble with.
    But as others have said, doing practice problems and examples is the only way to get better. If you are drawing a blank on the test in figuring out what to do or each problem hen it sounds like you haven't seen similar problems before. This means either you are not doin the practice problems or your teacher gave a problem you haven't covered in class.

    the former is more likely ( no offense ) but for the later it may just be a case of the problem being similar to ones done in class just requiring a different way of looking at the problem.
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