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I think I just flunked the in-class portion of my complex variables

  1. Oct 18, 2007 #1
    I think I just flunked out on the in-class portion of my complex variables midterm. I have a take home exam to work on over the weekend, and it's not going to be easy. I studied for days for this midterm, the prof said it would be on "proofs" so I learned every proof in the book. But, I wish I'd just focused on the examples since most of the questions were drawn from them.

    There were 5 questions. I know I did two correctly maybe partial credit on a 3rd. I feel really overwhelmed and like giving up right now. I've never done this poorly on a math exam before. Especially if I bothered to study.

    It was just about remembering things, one of the questions involved a gradient and I've always been sketchy on those, it was the first time I'd seen one in this course, but it was in an example in the book. I tried to remember what I could, but I simply had nor focused on the examples for at least a week.

    The thing is, I <i>felt</i> like I really knew the material I studied, backwards and forwards.

    I went to see the prof. and told him I thought I only did two correctly and he was like "stop looking so panicked" and "did you get your grad school application in on time?" --I don't even know if I can do grad school If I'm bombing out on test like this. I just want to die die die die. (not really, but almost...)

    Now I need to work on this take-home exam. I wish the pressure would let up for just a day. At least the problem in it seems interesting.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2007 #2
    its just one test... :confused:
  4. Oct 18, 2007 #3


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    Like ice said, it's just one test.

    I've been owned on a few tests in subjects I'd like to think I'm fairly decent at. Sure it's disheartening, but failing a test is one way to never, ever forget what was on the test.
  5. Oct 18, 2007 #4

    You need to keep things in perspective.

    Also, there is a big difference between comprehension and memorization. A good exam tests whether you know how to make connections between new situations and the concepts you've been learning in the course. If you bombed this exam then maybe you should take a hard look at how you go about learning. Or, maybe you just had a bad day. Either way, give yourself a break. Go running. Have a beer. Take a semester off if it's getting to you. What's the rush?
  6. Oct 19, 2007 #5


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    It is just one test. Work on making sure you do better on the next one.

    Also, when professors say that a test is going to be on proofs, they may not necessarily mean that it will be on regurgitating proofs you did in class. They may want you to do new proofs on the test, in which case, memorizing old proofs isn't going to help. A better method for next time would maybe be to work on learning how to start proofs, practice the reasoning involved in developing a proof etc.
  7. Oct 22, 2007 #6
    Probably one of the best experiences I've had as an undergraduate so far has been failing my first exam since third grade in a sophomore-level modern physics course (the material was along the lines of X-ray scattering, if I recall). I choked, and got a whopping 59, even though I felt like I knew the material. Spent about an hour talking with my professor in her office, and I felt a lot better. Better yet, I felt determined to never let that happen again, and got a 94 on the next test.

    Turn the feelings of failure into motivation -- it works.
  8. Nov 1, 2007 #7
    I got a B. So it's not the end of the world. I need to study a lot though because I only got a B with the curve!
  9. Nov 2, 2007 #8

    Exactly. Reflect on what you want, aim high, and give it everything you got.


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