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Failing Physics and Calc II in the same summer

  1. Aug 3, 2015 #1
    Just failed my physics and calc 2 class in the same summer, where do I go from here? Or is it just due to the fact that i the classes were just 5 weeks?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2015 #2
    Taking summer classes in science and math is positively horrible... there is no time for the material to soak in, or to ask for help before moving on. Are you a physics major? Can you retake the courses?
  4. Aug 3, 2015 #3
    im a physics major and I have to retake it next semester. It all just seemed so cruel and unfair
  5. Aug 3, 2015 #4
    Take physics and calculus in a regular semester is challenging. Taking one of those in the summer is almost impossible. Taking two of those in the same summer is suicide. You failed the courses from the moment you signed up for them.
  6. Aug 3, 2015 #5

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  7. Aug 3, 2015 #6


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    I'll say that you were being cruel and unfair to yourself for enrolling in such classes over the summer. You only have yourself to blame.

  8. Aug 3, 2015 #7
  9. Aug 3, 2015 #8


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    I'm not sure that concluding the only reason this person failed was because he or she chose to enroll in two summer courses is going to help a whole lot.

    Yes, summer courses are intense. But they are not insurmountable. While it may be true that the time constraint played a role in keeping the student from performing at an optimum level, the fact of the matter is that this person has failed both of them. It wasn't that this person got a B or a C. This person failed both courses. And they are courses that are foundational for the degree he or she wants to pursue.

    To the OP: if you want to continue as a physics major you're going to have to figure out why you weren't successful. I'm afraid that operating under the assumption that you just bit off more than you could chew time-wise might set you up to re-take these courses in the fall and fail again. Or even if you pass, you might not get out of them what you need to, as they really are foundational for a physics degree.

    Some questions to ask yourself:
    1. Were you adequately prepared to take the courses in the first place? How long has it been since you've taken high school physics? What prerequisite courses did you have and how well did you do in those? Did you understand the material at the beginning of the course? The issue here is that you're stuck on basic concepts like what a vector is, logarithms or trigonometry, then it could be that you really needed to enroll in prerequisite courses.
    2. How were you studying the material? How much time were you putting in on assignments? What level of problems were you trying?
    3. Are there issues with text anxiety? Did you feel that you understood the material, but just blacked out during the exam?
    4. What else was going on in your life at the time? Did you break up with a significant other before a set of key exams? Are you trying to hold down a job while studying? Are there health issues that need to be dealt with?
    5. What is your motivation for pursuing a physics degree? Have you done a lot of reading on your own and are really interested in some specific problems? Did you read a Michio Kaku book and think, "Hey I want to do what that guys does?"
    Seriously think about these and then make a decision about how you want to proceed. If you decide to continue pursuing a physics degree, you need to identify specific things that are going to change this time around. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up to repeat the same outcome.
  10. Aug 3, 2015 #9


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    I've taught intro physics in short summer-school terms. A full semester's work crammed into four weeks. We semi-jokingly called it "Firehose Physics."
  11. Aug 3, 2015 #10
    There was a guy taking E&M with me in 6 weeks this past May and we both did well. He took Calc 2 at the same time though and didn't do so hot in that. He came up to me at the end and said, "I dream, and its nothing but integral operators slapping me in the face while shouting at me how divergent my life has gotten from what my parents wanted for me." Somehow he got enough from the class to make that joke, or he was serious. I never asked which.
  12. Aug 4, 2015 #11


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    Choppy brings up good and valid points. However, I disagree that he should have done marginal in both. It's quite possible that he would have done well in one of the courses, but poor marks in one course quickly spiraled out of control- inadvertently affecting the other course, and his mental state.

    Regardless, what you do now is get back on the horse. Enroll in them in the fall, and do well. Don't let this set back continue to affect your mental state or motivation levels. You learned a valuable lesson- which is to save the summer session for general education classes. :wink:
  13. Aug 4, 2015 #12
    Looks like you were not ready for the workload and fell behind early. When that happens its hard to catch up in a regular semester but probably impossible in a summer class.

    You should know what to expect now so you retake the classes and hope to do better.
  14. Aug 4, 2015 #13


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    I know quite a few people who have taken introductory physics and math classes simultaneously over the summer and have done very well in both of them. I only say this because blaming the failing grades on the summer courses is just going to distract the OP from improving his/her grades by studying; it will just encourage blame on the circumstance rather than the lack of proper study that's required to do well in such classes, summer or not.
  15. Aug 4, 2015 #14
    Everyone isn't the same though, some can handle that type of workload others can't. Summer is a much faster pace and I can imagine it would be easy to get overwhelmed and shut off. I don't think he should give up or feel he can't handle it again.
  16. Aug 4, 2015 #15


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    Speaking of one who has taken Assembly Lang and DFQ (and working) in the far distant past, such a schedule is putting yourself in an uncomfortably warm place. While I passed (barely), my real regret was not learning the material better. It is one thing to blow through a class that you will never need or rely upon, but it is another to cheat yourself out of a good foundation of knowledge that you will definitely need for later.
    Soooo, I would suggest to only take electives over the summer or only to avoid an academic overload for a future fall or spring semester. And don't take two. Admittedly, my hindsight is 20-20 as I suspect yours is too.
  17. Aug 4, 2015 #16
    I took calculus 1 over the Summer and got an A; HOWEVER, that's only because I took calculus 1 before. If I hadn't taken it before, I would have failed. And even then, I had to study extensively to get that A. Don't take a science course over the Summer! Retake the courses over the Fall semester.
  18. Aug 4, 2015 #17
    I remember taking Gen Chem II, Art History, and 3 other courses one summer. Had they not been staggered in the dates they were offered, I would've failed each and every one of them.
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