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How do you cope when failing a math test =/?

  1. Sep 12, 2011 #1
    Hey guys how you cope when a failing a test in math? (if you ever failed one in college engineering).

    I just had my 1st exam about Integrals and U substitution. Of the 4 problems 2 were good
    but the other 2 where almost in my hands but failed for some details or made a totally dumb algebraic and atention mistake. When I arrived home made the 2 problems like 10 times to never forget the mistake =/.

    What sucks the most is that i knew the theory how to make them but in the moment of truth they didnt came to my mind!!!

    Also any tip whe dealing with nervs in the exams? Im having some lately.

    So im getting a 40%-50% wich totally sucks. The exam is 10% of the final note. But if I keep making mistakes like that im going to end to be a mediocre engineer.

    So any tips or your personal experience if you ever failed a test?.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2011 #2
    A. You need to mellow dude. I've failed three math CLASSES and I'm getting a phd in engineering. Failing a math test isn't the end of the world.

    B. Being good at math has NOTHING(!!!!) to do with being a good engineer. On the contrary, usually engineers that get straight A's in math and are all about the theoretical stuff end up being terrible engineers that get stuck in pigeon hole assignments because people get tired of explaining things to them.

    C. The best advice I can give is the same that was given to me: "If you get knocked down, pick yourself back up again and keep at it. Don't wuss out and become a business major."
  4. Sep 12, 2011 #3
    Hahaah great answer man. Wow PHd very cool man perseverance is the key hehehe?

    "If you get knocked down, pick yourself back up again and keep at it. Don't wuss out and become a business major." Thats kick *** advice man xD.

    Ill study harder man and many thanks for your advice.
  5. Sep 12, 2011 #4
    It sounds like you're in Cal II, so brace yourself for junior/senior level courses heh....

    (I'm not saying you're going to do bad, I'm just saying that you'll run into QUITE a few more difficult tests and you will experience failure on a small scale again, don't worry about it though! You are not as good or as bad as your grades say no matter what anyone tells you! This is really a minor thing and you shouldn't let it bother you.)
  6. Sep 12, 2011 #5


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    Everybody makes mistakes (yes, even I make mistakes). And anybody who's ever taken a calculus course has made math mistakes.

    There's an old saying, "practice makes perfect." And it applies to math too. Make sure you do your homework (heck, do extra homework if it helps) even if you know how to do the problems.

    It's easy to look at a problem and say to yourself, "yeah, I know how to do that one, it was just like the previous one." And you might be right. But do it anyway. It's good for the practice alone. :wink:
  7. Sep 13, 2011 #6
    I had several coping mechanisms:

    1. Rub eraser shards in my eyes.

    2. Scope out the girls.

    3. Doodle fish eating other fish.

    4. Leave early and celebrate leaving early.

    Well, it was better than moping all afternoon.
  8. Sep 13, 2011 #7


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    Study the problems you failed to solve. It fills in the missing parts of the lectures you slept through. Tests point you in the direction of the knowledge you need to master. Failing in early college classes is a wake up call, failing in your senior year is . . . failure to heed the early warning signals.
  9. Sep 13, 2011 #8


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    Hey EfrainLagos and welcome to the forums.

    You're doing better than other people so keep your chin up buddy.

    I've noticed quite a few people drop courses because they are afraid to fail or even get a pass! At least you are seeing it through!

    Also engineering is a hard course and a hard profession. Don't forget that!

    Chances are if you do something enough and use your resources and show initiative you'll get there in the end. If you want to learn, you will eventually.
  10. Sep 13, 2011 #9
    Your attitude is right. Screw those who tell you to relax. Instead try these tricks:

    1. Convince yourself that when you fail the exam, you will die.
    2. Pin a needle into your hand to proove that this matter is serious.
    3. Arrange yourself some punishment for failing, i.e. eat only spinach for a week, but even if you passed, punish yourself anyway for not trying hard enough.
    4. Tell your gilrfriend that if you fail, you would have to break up.
    5. Most important: think of not-failing all the time and don't let your feelings away. Pretend to everyone that everything is all right and you are not scared at all. Crying is for girlies.

    This way your mind will motivate and you may be sure that your brain will spend the last single joule of mental energy to work on the matter. That's the real student way.
  11. Sep 13, 2011 #10


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    You gotta be garbageting me.

    Do you live by your own advice? Should someone kill you more or less in the way a samurai chops off the head of who they defeated just because you didn't get A on your calculus exam (being the honorable way to die in that circumstance)?

    I don't know if you're joking or not!
  12. Sep 13, 2011 #11
    Dude, I once cut my finger off when I had forgot my pencil.

    As you said: you got only 40%-50% and the exam is 10% of the final note. That means your final note will be almost 6% below the perfect! Do you think this is acceptable, in your own eyes?
  13. Sep 13, 2011 #12


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    Everyone here understands a quest for excellence. The level you've described, involving self-injury and inflexible thinking, is not healthy. I urge you to seek professional help.
  14. Sep 13, 2011 #13


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    Quit trolling this thread.
  15. Sep 13, 2011 #14
    Know that everyone fails in life on occasion -- and those who think they don't do by that very thought.
  16. Sep 13, 2011 #15
    By acing your next one.
  17. Sep 14, 2011 #16
    Who gives four question tests anyway? I say blame the prof. I just got a 50% on a quiz because I got one question wrong and there were only two. Poop. Oh well. At least the test will be 6 questions, and he'll count your best answer on five. That's a small compensation. Don't let this one thing get you down. 10% of your final grade is quite small and savable. You could still get an A.
  18. Sep 14, 2011 #17
    Thanks for the reply man.

    "You are not as good or as bad as your grades say no matter what anyone tells you!"

    Ill have this in mind man thanks
  19. Sep 14, 2011 #18
    Practice practice and practice. Thanks for advice man
  20. Sep 14, 2011 #19
    Hello ill take this call. How much hours a day to study math do you recommend ?
  21. Sep 14, 2011 #20
    Thanks for your reply man.

    "If you want to learn, you will eventually".

    Thanks for reply man
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