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How to proceed for grad school in physics after an awful undergrad performance

  1. Jan 16, 2009 #1
    i have just finished my undergrad in physics with dismal scores. i really wanted to study physics. i found it exciting and still do. but exams are a real hardle for me. i just have a phobia for them. now i am entering my grad school and for the first time after starting physics i am doubting my abilities. should i take my undergrad performance seriously to reassess myself or should i still be positive about pursuing physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2009 #2


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    Forgetting for now the past, how are you doing now in your current classes?
    Most graduate programs have qualifying exams that you need to pass. So, you need to overcome your phobia of them.
  4. Jan 16, 2009 #3
    well your school has accepted you for graduate entry. if they don't know, who does?
    methinks there is a lot more to potential than what can be measured in a 2 - 3 hour exam. you passed, so that means.. you have passed the requirements to be awarded that degree - a great accomplishment!

    i would say that you only live once and it is likely you would spend a long time asking "what-if" should you give up on your dream now.

    and i would think there is a lot more to being a successful researcher than getting good grades. just follow your dream and keep working hard!
  5. Jan 18, 2009 #4
    well, my grad school hasn't started yet. actually the exam system is a bit different here. we have one annual exam on all the courses. before that we just have lecture classes. there are no quizes, tutorials or assignments. so there is no way to assess yourself throughout the year.

    beside exams one another obstacle that i found was in reading textbooks. i try to read each and every line of a text, trying to work out all the mathematical details. but after few weeks i see that i haven't gone far. this puts me off and i jump to another book trying to read it in the same manner. this has gone along all through my undergrad years. now i find myself not covering many important topics. what should be the correct approach in reading a text? what should be the approach in finishing a course even? say for example i am doing senior level Quantum Mechanics. should i target one core text (say sakurai) and try to go through it thoroughly within a year or should i stick to my course content? is it really possible to go through all the details of a text like sakurai? what i have found in this level is that there is too much topic to cover and too little time to grasp them all equally. so either you take a very proffessional approach and cover all the topics according to your course contents ignoring those aspects which you didn't have time to understand well or try to understand everything sacrificing your time.
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