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Is it possible to become a physicist if you had bad grades.

  1. Nov 24, 2015 #1
    Im in highschool right now and my physics grades are around Bs. The reason why is that I usually procrastinate and don't do homework plus i sometimes freeze up during tests but i usually understand the concepts and the math is usually easy or straight forward for me.
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  3. Nov 24, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    If you want to be a physicist, you have to do your homework.
  4. Nov 24, 2015 #3
    are not compatible at the university level.
  5. Nov 24, 2015 #4


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    What response were you expecting?
  6. Nov 24, 2015 #5


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    Change yourself NOW; not later.

    A person who likes Physics and wants to study it for a university degree will study his Mathematics course/class work and do the homework almost every day, at least 15 hours per week, and will study his physical science and Physics courses and do MORE THAN THE REQUIRED HOMEWORK almost everyday, at least 15 hours per week.
  7. Nov 25, 2015 #6
    You have not closed any doors yet (assuming your grades get you into a university or college with a physics program). However it may be that academic advising at your intended university or college may suggest you with your B's that you do not take the honors physics course (if there is one at your university). Almost always, you can still major in physics. The first course in physics is usually part of a sequence of courses. If you are not in honors physics, you may be able to get into the honors sequence for subsequent courses with good grades in the physics course(s) you are taking. At my undergrad school we had 4 different sequences: a four semester sequence for physics majors; a three semester sequence for engineers; a two semester sequence for life sciences; and a semester course for acquaintance. When I graduated as a physics major (about 12 of us), I would say 9 -10 were from the honors sequence and 2-3 were from the engineering sequence.

    You may (or may not, I'm not sure (probably depends on the enrollment) ) be able to enroll in the physics sequence even against academic advising. However if you ever get on academic probation, and went against their advice given, this could be trouble (if they remember).

    Any awful possiblility of probation could be at least 1-2 years away. For now, I do not think you have closed any doors in physics, yet. But...

    Follow the good advice of others in this thread. Learn to work hard now in physics and math. Do as much as you can to remedy your problems in test-taking. I grant you this may be challenging. I did terrible on my first tests in college. After the first half dozen tests or so, you get used to taking tests and your grades usually improve.

    By the way, my grades in HS were always best in Chemistry (all A's for two years) , and A-'s in Physics. I always found HS Chemistry more interesting. Yet I majored and got advanced degrees in Physics.
  8. Nov 25, 2015 #7


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    To me, the bigger hindrance to you becoming a physicist is your tendency to procrastinate. Even if you do well in school, I would not hire someone like you.

  9. Nov 27, 2015 #8
    With all due respect, I think that telling a high school student that you would not hire them is inappropriate. I would not want to hire a cynical person who is willing to put down a high school student.

    To potato: start working hard now. Do not waste any time. Zz is right in that you must improve your work ethic. Good luck!
  10. Nov 27, 2015 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    How can one give advice if one is not allowed to be critical of wrong directions? Isn't it worse to say "Gosh, you're the bestest bestest student ever!" and only let him find out he's not years later? When nobody will hire him because of his work ethic? And worse still to say "Yeah, we knew you were headed toward failure - but we decided not to tell you early enough to do you some good. Wouldn't want to mess with your self-esteem, now would we?"

    Besides, I don't think high school students are quite the delicate flowers.
  11. Nov 27, 2015 #10


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    I tend to agree with Zz and V50 here, because I was a lot like the OP in high school, and then got my butt kicked my first semester at university. I talk about it in my Mentor Bio thread:


    I went to a small HS and was able to get mostly A's with very little studying. It wasn't so much procrastination, it just was easy to read the material and do the work. Then off to university, and *everybody* was the smartest kid from their HS, and very motivated to do well and get a good job. Yikes! What a wake-up call.

    Luckily I was able to recover, but it would have been much better if I'd had an academic mentor wake me up while I was still in HS so I could start adopting better study habits and get them nailed down and comfortable for me before starting to log grades where it counts (in college).

    @potato123 -- After reading the various responses in the thread and my Mentor Bio, what are your thoughts? Do you feel like you can improve? :smile:
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
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