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Hard work doesn't pay off in Computer Science?

  1. Apr 23, 2007 #1
    Hello, I just got my midterm back and kind of very disappointed. I am a Grade 12 student taking programming in C++. I am using the C++ for you++ book, which is kind of dry and doesn't explain alot.

    I took a course in C last year. I was very good at it. Was the top of my rather small class. This year, I don't know what's going on, I can't seem to excel at computer science no matter how much effort I put into it. I read over all the revelant chapters in the book, i took very careful notes-over 30 pages. Not only that, in case I didn't understand it completely, i wrote little paragraphs summarizing each of the important topics in the book. I have attached them here so you can see.

    I asked in advance what type of midterm it was. I was told it was similar to the Advance Placement style of exam. So I went around on the internet, downloaded past exams, sample multiple choice questions etc.. I studied hard for it. I even had a good sleep the night before the midterm. I spent every moment of my waking hour preparing for the exam. I even devouted all my lunch hours reading the book.

    There was someone else who didn't prepare at all until the night before. She went in and got a 97% on the midterm while I had to beg to get a 90%. I usually do a little bit better than the guy beside me and he got a 95%. I don't get it.

    I lost like 5 marks in multiple choice. I didn't get to see all the mistakes but I had one really stupid. It was a question about what has to be included to enable input/output in C++. The answer of course is <iostream.h>. Well, there was one on top of it called iostream.h. I of course picked that for some reason. Didn't see the one below. Don't know what happened. This usually doesn't happen to me.

    On the programming section, i lost about 2.5 marks. 0.5 was lost because teacher said I didn't use a specific command. He said to use it in part a but nothing was mentioned in part b( both parts are separate questions). I used a short loop instead but it gets the job done. 1 mark was lost because the teacher didn't quite understand my logic at first. i got that mark back. I lost another mark because my solution wasn't elegant. I wrote about a page worth of code when it could be done in a paragraph.

    I just don't get it. I study very hard for it but I can't seem to do well in it. People who review only the night before do way better than me. This is kind of discouraging. What I am doing wrong? Is computer science really for the smart people but not for those who works hard?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 23, 2007 #2
    What kind of class is this? They arn't even teaching you standard C++.

    Headers in the C++ Standard have no .h extension (<iostream>, <cstring>). Use these instead of proprietary/old headers (<iostream.h>) and the C Standard headers (<string.h>) which were brought in for backwards compatibility.

    No computer science isn't for just smart people. But remember some poeple are always going to be better than you, you can work your ass off day in and day out but you'll never be as good as someone else who is naturally going to be smarter than you unless he is lazy.

    I excel in my computer science classes at college and I was offered several TA positions in C++. I never had the oppournity to take programming classes in highschool like some kids. I just picked up a book when I was 14 and just started self teaching. I also never took a course and still have yet to take a course in just C.

    Am I smart, no I don't think so, 930 in my SAT's, but I work hard, and I get good grades from working hard (usually) maybe not this semester though :P

    Programming for some people it just comes natural to them, they can solve the problem without even touching a keyboard and thats what is important. Its not the programming itself, its your problem solving skills. Once you have the problem solved on paper, you have a template if you will set out on how your going to code this, coding should be a cake.

    If you just jump into the program and you start writing the code your going to get massive ugly, unneeded code.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  4. Apr 23, 2007 #3
    AP test is in Java, so your teacher is mixing and matching languages, although I understand they are close.
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