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Studying Learning with a learning disability?

  • Thread starter Mulz
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I'm a 22 year old man with Asperger's about to start my third year of physics programe. Currently I have one exam in "Complex analysis & Transformations" which I have failed 3 times, my latest try I spent about 1 month of my semester studying at the library but only managed to get 1.5 points higher than what I got by studying 1 week (1.5p is very low). Above or around half the class has failed this course, no sure if this means anything.

I don't know what is wrong with me, if I have an intellectual disability or not. I always feel like I'm going to fail eventually, that the demands will surpass my capabilities. I have always been fairly stupid with no particular abilities, even tested with an IQ of 87 when I was 16.

I am able to pass all my exams (apart for the mentioned one) and physics seems a bit easier than mathematics. The problem is that I usually fail the exam once or maybe twice before getting it right. I assume most don't have this problem.

I personally think that I am only able to study and learn if I'm in a stable, quiet and empty environment. There are no such environments where I live, not even my apartment or library. I can't relax and concentrate when people are talking or present. Also, when I attend lectures, most information simply slips through my head even when I'm taking notes. I learn the best my reading only. I can't hold in auditory information and I'm fairly bad at holding in visual too (reading), just not as bad as the former.

What should I do to improve my performance and not fail?

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Sorry for the lack of structure.
 

Orodruin

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What should I do to improve my performance and not fail?
Nobody here can tell you a magic formula. If your university has student guidance or similar you should talk to them as they will be much better equipped to help you than strangers on the internet that do not know anything about the particular situation you are in. Seeing a psychologist may also help you develop coping mechanisms and if the issues are more medical you should see a psychiatrist about your problems.
 
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I am visual also, lectures lose me, even though I did come in fairly high in IQ tests, which only measure what your are supposed to have learned by a certain age, which depends on what you were offered to learn. I read the 1959 Encyclopedia Americana in 1960, A through Z. My tested IQ soared after that even though I was not smarter. My photographic memory does not extend to the spoken word.

An adviser that can grasp the problem is a must. Not all are familiar with autism.
 
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Currently I have one exam in "Complex analysis & Transformations" which I have failed 3 times, my latest try I spent about 1 month of my semester studying at the library but only managed to get 1.5 points higher than what I got by studying 1 week (1.5p is very low). Above or around half the class has failed this course, no sure if this means anything.
Try to find old tutorials on the topic. Really old - published before 1960 is best. These are written in plain English, not in some bizarre slang/jargon as often happens recently.
 

DEvens

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Can you analyze what it is that stops you from doing well on the exam?

Is it a question of distraction? Is there some reason the exam hall stops you doing the exam?

If you sit down in some ideal environment, ideal for you, can you do the problems on the exam? Or are they still as opaque as when you sat for the exam?

What I'm getting at is, can you isolate the limiting factor or factors? If it's something external to you, possibly you can ask for some dispensation. Maybe you need an isolated room to work well or something. Or maybe you need some Bach playing to work well. Personally, I need a lot of coffee to do well on exams.

But if it's just as hard for you in ideal conditions, maybe it's internal to you.

Again, try to isolate the factors. Is it that you are studying wrong? Is it that you studied the wrong items in the text or class notes? Is the exam question outside the scope of what you thought was in the class?

Is it that you have pysched yourself into a corner? Maybe you have gotten into a feedback loop and you need some assistance to jump start yourself. Maybe some guidance on study and exam strategy will clear your head. Maybe all you need is some clever thing to trick your subconscious into leaving you alone long enough to ace the exam. Turning your hat around does not really have any power, but your subconscious could be fooled, for a while anyway. Maybe you just need your lucky exam-taking underpants. Hey, placebos work to some extent, even when people know they are placebos.
 

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