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Hi, new to the forum (self introduction)

  1. Nov 29, 2011 #1
    Hi to all in Physics Forums. I have been a long-time "lurker" in these forums and finally decided to register as my finals draw near and I am needing help in studying for my classes, namely Linear Algebra and Electromagnetism. I have a few days before my finals for my classes and will be posting questions and hopefully find help here.

    My name is Calvin and I'm a sophomore studying Electrical Engineering in a university, and this semester is crucial to me, as I have gotten bad grades in the past and I need to not just pass by get above a C/B on my finals just to stay in the university.

    In the past this forum has been extremely helpful and always quietly helped me on the side. When I did google searches and this website always came up and I only stayed briefly because the answers I found here were so great and concise. So thanks all the help to individual people and this forum in general, and it's nice to meet you all.

    Do you guys have last day study tips? Better yet, can you throw me one really challenging, complex problem that you remember doing and found helpful, just to make sure I know what I need?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2011 #2
    Hey Calvin! Welcome to PF! I am sure you will get plenty of help with your Linear Algebra and Electromagnetism.

    Last day study tips? Biggest one is get rest! You can't take an exam when you are mentally exhausted (Trust me, experience). Other than that just be confident in what you know. However, you should start studying way before an exam as cramming won't help any. I don't have a tough problem on me, maybe someone else will.

    You might want to watch this good and funny video on a crash course in Linear Algebra. Its proved helpful in the past for some members! :D

    Oh and for future reference, what is your favorite fish?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Nov 30, 2011 #3
    Welcome to PF!! I'm sure you will find a lot of help in this forum. I'll be looking forward to see you in the homework forums!!!!

    By the way: what is your favorite fish????
  5. Nov 30, 2011 #4
    Yes the proper amount of sleep is critical for you to process what you know. In fact I recall many years ago solving a complex mathematics problem when I was asleep and of course remembered that I had solved it but couldn't remember how until I dreamed the same thing for three days and finally remembered the solution. It was correct. Good luck. (You can do English or History reasonably well when you are sleep deprived but not mathematics or physics. - wonder why???)
  6. Nov 30, 2011 #5
    Ooh, I can be sure to get enough sleep. Thanks for the video, that is really helpful, it summarizes a lot of LinAlg basics, and I need to be confident on that.

    No idea why it's easier to do well in History or English sleep deprived, I've never done well in any of these classes. That is mostly why I am doing Engineering... Maybe it's cause you're so sleep deprived you stopped caring and just wrote what was on your mind?

    Favorite fish?? Hmm...Great white shark.
  7. Nov 30, 2011 #6

    Well ok:

    *slaps chronokinetic with a great white*

    Now watch this:


    Now you're initiated :tongue2:
  8. Nov 30, 2011 #7


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    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF.
    For your finals I can only suggest you to do as many exercises as you can. Be sure to have enough breaks.
    I have a modern physics final exam (worth 100% of the grade) on next Friday. I will be the only student to take it, so they can murder me with hard questions and I'll get no witness. :/
    My heart beats strong and fast, I'm very nervous and write this post in a little break. :smile:
    P.S.:I also have bad grades to overcome, so this is utterly important for me to perfom well.
  9. Nov 30, 2011 #8
    0.O. Oh, damn, I should have picked anchovy.
  10. Nov 30, 2011 #9
    Hey fluidistic, what's your schedule like, when do you sleep/wake? How many hours are you doing exercises in a day?
  11. Nov 30, 2011 #10
    it takes at least 45 minutes of strenuous exercise to reduce stress, anxiety and depression BUT if you're a couch potato start slowly because too much exercise can actually impair your immune system and cause you to get sick. ( I know you wanted to know this great information)

    On one more gem of wisdom - caffeine will actually improve the scores of a fairly confident person and lower them if you're not because it can increase anxiety. But be careful here because if you have a two hour exam and partook of a lot of caffeine you'd better wear your "stadium pal" (check out in Big Bang Theory Tv show) if you're a guy that is, because otherwise one doesn't think well when needing a potty break badly.
  12. Nov 30, 2011 #11


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    Gold Member

    I don't have a definite schedule. I just finished the semester, I do exercises everyday. The number of hours I do exercises isn't fixed at all so I can't really answer. I basically try to do exercises in the themes I understand the least, where I know I'm weak in. The final exam will last supposedly 4 hours (I've had a "test" that count for 0% of the final grade that lasted a bit less than 6 hours. That was like 8 long exercises with a), b), c), etc.). Today for example I had a few breaks of maybe 20 minutes, since I finished eating breakfast. It's 7:40 p.m. now.
    I do have a weakness with the blackbody radiation but I can't remember what it was... grr. I hope it will come back soon to my memory so I eradicate it.
    I don't really believe drinking a coffee before the exam will increase my score. My exam will be graded with a scale of 1/10. I usually go to gym about 4 times a week, 2 hours each times and train hard. I do not feel it helps me with studies though, unlike what I've read on the Internet. I might be wrong of course, but that's what I feel. Though this week I went there only once and I won't go there anymore at least until Saturday (no time... I prioritize studies instead).
    For your exams, try to do all of the assigned exercises and if you're lucky and have time, try to solve exercises from books related on the subjets. That's what I'm currently doing but I just "finished" the exercises given by my professor(s). I'm solving exercises from Demströder's book if you're interested (it has all the detailed solutions in the end of the book).
  13. Nov 30, 2011 #12
    I have experimented with caffeine and it does make a difference in my performance - I just think faster and can concentrate better but it doesn't take much for me. Too much and I'll talk non stop for about 12 hours. Cardiovascular exercise cleans the "sludge" out of your brain so it does help. You just don't get the kind of boost you might with caffeine. We used to have a "physics study room" in the physics building where the undergrads and grad students hung out and that was a HUGE help because there was always someone in there who knew the answer to what was causing a problem. I really miss those days. It was so much fun.
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