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I failed my physics final miserably - how does that affect me in the long run?

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I'm a junior so all the grades in the 3rd marking period get put on my transcript (it's the 3rd marking period right now). I asked my teacher what I got for my final and she said "Very bad. You got a 39. That's not good! I thought you were a good student." I told her that I thought did well. I had no idea what happened and that I always participate and stuff in class and I actually do fairly decent on all the other tests. It's just that this time it wasn't her test, and it was actually made by the other physics teacher who's infamous for making extremely difficult tests. She said I'd pass but with a low grade. :/ College-wise how does this affect me? I mean I do really really well in all my other classes (I have 3 APs and I have 90+ in all of them) but I'm not sure...Also, I hate having to justify myself like this but she also told several other of her good students that they did really badly and that she was surprised. They got like 30s-50s while people who usually get those grades got 70s-80s. I have no idea what happened. AND I can't drop it cause I'm in the Honors Academy and it's REQUIRED to take honors physics.
 

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  • #2
Pengwuino
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If you're honest about wondering how it affects you in the long run, then it's simple. In a year you'll have forgotten all about it and it'll have almost no bearing on your life.
 
  • #3
davenn
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well maybe it might spur you on to do a bit of extra study, maybe some tutoring to catch up on areas that need strengthened :)

face it ... you aren't going to get easy exams all your life, many different lecturers in college(university) are going to have their own styles of setting exams. A difficult exam is a better determination of your real knowledge of the subject. :) Its good to have your boundaries stretched and for those that enjoy a challenge they will eventually excell in their endevours :)

When I did a BSc in geology, for me, I needed the maths side boosted up... my maths sux ... solid earth geophysics and its calculus was my nemesis, a steep learning curve.

cheers
Dave
 
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  • #4
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Sounds like it was a tough exam... don't sweat it.
 
  • #5
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how does that affect me in the long run?
It should motivate you and you should learn not to trust your teacher in being competent enough to tell you everything there is to learn.

She's surprised that several of her good students failed? That's a teacher that is not paying close enough attention to her students IMO.
 
  • #6
PhanthomJay
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If students who usually got 70 to 80 grades got 30 to 50 grades, I assume that students who usually got 30 to 50 grades probably got 0 to 20 grades. In other words, the entire class failed except for a few outliers. The grades should have been scaled based on the median/mean class grade for that exam (maybe she will). Also, if the teacher thought you were all good students, something is amiss, did she think she was wrong? Or fooled? I taught college Physics a couple of times, and by the third week of class, I could fairly accurately predict who would get an A, B, C, D, or fail, before giving tests. But anyway, chock it up to the profit and loss column, and move on.
 
  • #7
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She's surprised that several of her good students failed? That's a teacher that is not paying close enough attention to her students IMO.
Not to mention you don't say something like
"I thought you were a good student."
to a student of yours.

If students who usually got 70 to 80 grades got 30 to 50 grades, I assume that students who usually got 30 to 50 grades probably got 0 to 20 grades.
They got like 30s-50s while people who usually get those grades got 70s-80s.
 
  • #8
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See, that's the strange part.
People who usually do decently (70s-80s) got horrible failing grades while the people who consistently get 90s...well they got 90s. :P AND to top it all off, the people who are usually lost and get 50s on the normal tests went to saturday tutoring and got 70s-80s! Some of the people that got 90s went to tutoring as well, the other half just studied until 2 in the morning. They said that without tutoring they would've failed and that they literally learned everything that was going to be on the test in those 4 hours. I myself studied for 2 hours and thought that if I did, I wouldn't have to go to tutoring since I figured tutoring was for people who needed help. But to find out it was actually mandatory if you wanted a good grade is kind of a shocker. Needless to say, I'm going every week now.
 
  • #9
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If students who usually got 70 to 80 grades got 30 to 50 grades, I assume that students who usually got 30 to 50 grades probably got 0 to 20 grades. In other words, the entire class failed except for a few outliers. The grades should have been scaled based on the median/mean class grade for that exam (maybe she will). Also, if the teacher thought you were all good students, something is amiss, did she think she was wrong? Or fooled? I taught college Physics a couple of times, and by the third week of class, I could fairly accurately predict who would get an A, B, C, D, or fail, before giving tests. But anyway, chock it up to the profit and loss column, and move on.
Oh my god, now I understand how the way my professor looks at us LOL!

It's like "Yeah I am gonna fail this group on the left...and maybe I'll fail that girl too because I don't want to see her next year..."
 
  • #10
Pengwuino
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See, that's the strange part.
People who usually do decently (70s-80s) got horrible failing grades while the people who consistently get 90s...well they got 90s. :P AND to top it all off, the people who are usually lost and get 50s on the normal tests went to saturday tutoring and got 70s-80s! Some of the people that got 90s went to tutoring as well, the other half just studied until 2 in the morning. They said that without tutoring they would've failed and that they literally learned everything that was going to be on the test in those 4 hours. I myself studied for 2 hours and thought that if I did, I wouldn't have to go to tutoring since I figured tutoring was for people who needed help. But to find out it was actually mandatory if you wanted a good grade is kind of a shocker. Needless to say, I'm going every week now.
Sounds like the tutor may have just coincidentally hit on the topics that were on the test. Its good that you learned what many never learn - tutoring is for people who want to do better than they would do otherwise. It's that simple. You could be an 'F student' and tutoring will hopefully get you to a C or maybe you're a 'C student' and tutoring could bring you to an A or a B. Even 'A students' use tutoring simply because they know that study habits mature as you progress in life.

Oh my god, now I understand how the way my professor looks at us LOL!

It's like "Yeah I am gonna fail this group on the left...and maybe I'll fail that girl too because I don't want to see her next year..."
Quite the opposite! "I'm going to PASS that girl because I don't want to see her next year!"
 
  • #11
PhanthomJay
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Sounds like the tutor may have just coincidentally hit on the topics that were on the test.
Smells like it wasn't a coincidence....you don't go from a 50 to an 80 with 4 hours worth of tutoring on a presumably more dificult than normal test......take that for what its worth, and see your tutor next time....either he/she is very good, or luckily picked the topics that were on the test, or knew something about the forthcoming exam..........hmmmmm.......
 
  • #12
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wow...
 
  • #13
That all sucks quite a bit. I always despised classes wherein you have to go to some kind of special after-class "help" session to learn what will be on the test, or to earn bonus points. That seems like the opposite of rewarding students who pay attention in class and do their homework.

Not that tutoring shouldn't be available.

----------------------

To answer your question,

In the long run, this will mean no chance at going to college, and working at McDonald's for the rest of your life...

If you're a slacker.

Otherwise it means nothing in the long run.
 
  • #14
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I think you should look at it this way (or the way it's at my school), the final was probably ~20% of your grade so there was no way you failed the class! Just study more for the final this semester and you should do fine.
 
  • #15
Hi there, didn't read much of the posts but wanted to help you with the worry.

I failed physics at the highschool level (it being my worst subject) but then I went on to university and got a first class honours degree and am now doing a PhD. As long as you have an interest in it you will succeed because EVERYTHING can be learned.

Sometimes you will have exams which do that 'extra work' bit and screw you over, sometimes you will have an exam that completely changes it's structure and asks the most obscure topics of your module. When you weigh it up against the exams which are easy it balances out eventually :)

Follow your passion!

------------------------------------------------------------------
http://jupiter-researchlife.blogspot.com/
 
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  • #16
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Haha thanks for all the answers. :P And here's the thing: the tutor's also my physics teacher. Yeah. Make of that what you will. xD But everything you guys are saying makes perfect sense and I don't feel like a failure anymore (and I'm by no means a slacker x]). Oh well, I guess I just have to suck it up and try to do my best. Definitely going to tutoring every Saturday though.
 
  • #17
G01
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Haha thanks for all the answers. :P And here's the thing: the tutor's also my physics teacher. Yeah. Make of that what you will. xD But everything you guys are saying makes perfect sense and I don't feel like a failure anymore (and I'm by no means a slacker x]). Oh well, I guess I just have to suck it up and try to do my best. Definitely going to tutoring every Saturday though.
Sounds like you tutor/teacher is trying to "encourage" people to go to tutoring! :biggrin:

I think its a safe bet to say that going to tutoring is a good idea!!
 
  • #18
mathwonk
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As a freshman in college i got a D- in 2nd semester calculus, then flunked out of school for a year, and eventually got a phd and became a college math professor. so it means diddly. but at some point you have to figure out how to cut the mustard.
 
  • #19
As a freshman in college i got a D- in 2nd semester calculus, then flunked out of school for a year, and eventually got a phd and became a college math professor. so it means diddly. but at some point you have to figure out how to cut the mustard.
Inspirational!
 

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