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Testing How do I handle failure?

  1. Nov 19, 2017 #1
    Hi all. I recently was accepted to Purdue Northwest and I'm planning to take something related to stem once I get everything in order; however recently I failed my real estate exam. This was very discouraging for me, and although I'm over it for the most part, I still can't help but wonder how it's going to correlate into my academic career.. I know that I could have studied harder and done better, so not all is lost, I just really need to bust tail. I have a friend who is really smart, and I was embarrassed to tell him about failing the way I did. I think a lot of the reason I feel bad is I'm just insecure about my intellect and ability. I know the truth is I can do it, I was able to comprehend my CHEM111 and pass with an A, but I still find myself bothered by failing a real estate class. Only 30% of people pass it on the first go round, so I'm sure it just caught me off guard...

    Does anyone have any advice on how I can rebound from this and just let it go? I still find it nagging at me
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2017 #2


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    STEM and real estate are not strong correlated. Whereas the former is heavier on calculations and comprehension, the latter is heavier on facts (I assume). I'm not saying that you won't need both for either at all, but the principles differ. Of course it is easier if you can easily remember everything you've read, but much more important for STEM are the underlying mechanisms and conceptions. I remember an exam in mathematics, where the student got only an average grade, although he could repeat all definitions correctly, however, didn't understand their meaning and reason.
  4. Nov 19, 2017 #3
    This is true. Even though I didn't study enough, I still studied a LOT memorizing facts and trying to understand the book like the back of my hand. Only problem is the book's huge!
  5. Nov 19, 2017 #4


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    I had a similar experience with an exam on economics. The book had far too many pages and the calendar too few days.
  6. Nov 19, 2017 #5
    Just realize that the average human life span is longer today than it was centuries ago. Growth comes from failure. If you want to do stem, then you have to realize that failure is an eventual event. There is going to be times you are lost in class even tho you studied a lot. It is what it is. This may sound harsh. But take it one step at a time, and try not to dwindle on the past to much. About your friend, who cares what this person has to say.
  7. Nov 19, 2017 #6


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    I understand. Even though it's not related, whenever you are being evaluated on something it's disappointing when you fail, and worse, it can shake your confidence in yourself.

    As much as you might want to rationalize it away, it's important to remember that we are not the Homo rationalis species. Something like confidence can really only be built up from a series of positive or successful experiences. So it's important to figure out how to attain these.

    With respect to the real estate exam - it can help to take a serious look at what it was that you struggled with. Did you need more time? Did you struggle with memory or recall of facts? Were there concepts you didn't understand? Or could you have employed a more effective test-taking strategy? Assess, correct as needed, and retake the exam.

    With respect to academia - that's a different ballgame. In a way, maybe this real-estate exam situation could be a good think in that when you re-assess yourself, you'll discover areas that you can improve on and set yourself up for success in the academic arena. Failing at one thing is not a predictor of failure at something else. I'm sure I'd fail even a fundamental piano exam.

    With respect to telling your friend, I can understand how this is hard too. It's never easy to admit you were not successful, particularly when that person's opinion matters to you. First - do you even have to tell this person? There's no point in bringing it up if you don't want to talk about it. And if your friend brings it up, its fair to say you'd rather not talk about it. Most friends will accept boundaries like that. If you feel you have to talk about it, you can limit what you have to say about it. "I was not successful, and I'm reviewing everything to figure out why," is usually sufficient.
  8. Nov 19, 2017 #7
    "How do you handle failure?" By persevering until you succeed. That may sound trite, but that's it in a nutshell.
  9. Nov 19, 2017 #8
    Not to make a joke out of it, but my impulse is to say "congratulations for spending your time on chem instead of real estate!"

    If you are intelligent enough to get an A in chemistry, but you failed a real estate exam, then perhaps deep down you are not really that interested in real estate? I have known several real estate agents, and I wonder if any of them could even pass a chem class, much less get an A. Yet they passed their RE exam. One of them even told me she likes RE because you don't need to be very smart, just to be personable and able to work hard. She is now a broker. She is not stupid, just not academically at the level where she could ace a math or science course.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  10. Nov 19, 2017 #9
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Auf, you make a really good point. In fact the only reason I am still pursuing the RE exam is because I paid for the course already, so I'm not wasting money well spent.. At the very least it will look good on a resume.

    Choppy, I'm going to do some soul seeking and figure out where I went wrong and what to do to correct it.

    Wish me luck!
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