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My complaints

  1. Mar 5, 2006 #1
    (if you dont want to read my hopeless sub par tests just skip down to the second to least paragraph.
    this is basically a rant but i think some of you can give me some advice to correct what i am doing wrong.

    After writing a seemingly flawless test, with little to no mistakes and knowing basically everthing that was given on the test, and i had studied well in advnace (about 2 weeks), i have found out that my test is mark is .... 64!
    I do not know what i did wrong here. Everything i wrote on the test (it was bascially a 'write the fact out' test, like give a brief explanation of te history of the sun) was perfect and staraight out the text. I do not know what went wrong... but i will get the test back tomorrow and i will know what i did wrong.
    This is not the first time it has happened either. Earlier this semester another test taht seemed very easy yield a 50% mark for me! The problem wit hthe latter test is that i had made one silly mistake (off by a factor of 2) and it comtributed to losing about 20 marks in a 60 mark test.

    I am not like most people, when i sit to write my tests i am very calm and collected and i remember everything i need to remember. Am i over confident? I always study in advnace (my friends call me a geek for that) and yet my marks are sub par. I remember that in high school (about 3 years back) my marks were always in the mid to high 80s. After coming to university my marks have dwindled and despite hard study and coming out of the courses knowing everything that i need to know (though i do not want to repeat my 1st and 2nd year courses) i couldeasily ace them now.

    I am unhappy of the way i always fall short of time in tests, despite my practising good test strategies (looking over the paper to find the easiest ones first). Otherwise i finish my tests with no time remaining and it turns out that i have screwed them up like the situations described above.

    Can anyone help me out here! I want to get into grad school but at the rate its going the situation is bleak and i am getting very discouraged. My grades are 60s Cs... if you care to know..
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2006 #2
    Most of the time, when it comes to a test like you describe, the professor is looking for one key piece of information that shows you either truely understand it or were paying attention in class. Without that bit, no matter how correct everything else you wrote is, or how detailed, or how much extra, your going to get little to no credit for the question. I ran into this problem a lot in thermodynamics on the first test.
  4. Mar 7, 2006 #3
    u said u know everything...do u understand evrything u know?
  5. Mar 7, 2006 #4
    yes, this is very true. Understanding something is more than just memorizing facts and procedures.
  6. Mar 7, 2006 #5
    as a matter of fact i did

    if i have doubts i just ask my question here! I have a test on march 21 for which i currently studying. Lets hope this one wil be better
  7. Mar 7, 2006 #6
    well, don't complain until you get your test back. Maybe you truly made some honest mistakes.
  8. Mar 8, 2006 #7
    I had this problem and it really really sucks man. It's like you know your stuff, you know it back to front, you DO understand it, and yet somehow you always run out of time!!

    In my third year I went to the student support unit at my uni. They did this test, basically an IQ test with some phsycology thrown in and it turns out I have possible mild attention deficit disorder (ADD).

    Certainly explained alot of my behaviour all my life heheh. Always looking out of windows in class, never paying attention, always forgetting stuff, disorganised, sometimes really clever, sometimes really dumbass, difficulty in expression, with communitcation, especially under pressure, alot of frustration at not being able to preform to the level I knew I was capable of. I ended up hardly ever going to lectures and instead did all my studying in my own time cos I just couldnt hold my attention in lectures, it was jsut impossible. Lectures were no use to me. Once I was in a timed exam and caught myself having stared out of the window or around the room thinking about nothing at all for about a quarte of an hour! God knows how long... Also sometimes when i mean to write or say a specific word the complete opposite comes out and what I say and write is just wrong even tho I know what I'm supposed to be talking about, and I'm I'm not even aware I've said/written the opposite to what I mean until I re-read whta t I wrote or remeber the conversation later on. I ended up spending half the time in exams checking for mistakes instead of actually doing the exam. Also I'll be saying a complictaed sentence and I'll forget what I had said in the first part of my sentence especially if it was an answer to a question. And you can bettem your bottom dollar that I'll forget what the actual question is! hehe, (sucks in job interviews :S :S ) The thing is pressure magnifies the problem enourmously.

    Anyway they gave me extra time in exams, (15% extra). Certainly helps although I still ended up short of time in most of them :P. Shame I didnt go in the first year instead of the third year... dont worry I still got a decent degree =) Like you I have always been a high achiever in school (in fact i'd go as far as to say extremely high achiever with 90% scores, even with very little work input or concentration on the problem. At uni however very little work or little concentration just doesn't cut the mustard)

    Ok so another guy did the same test and it turns out he has dyslexia, problems spelling, always getting things back to front, difficulty in ordering his thoughts, took him absolutely AGES to get a problem done that others would take much less time to do, not conceptualy or mathematically but in terms of writing it all down... He was clearly very talented and knew his stuff, he like you also worked very hard. Again dont worry he ended up with a great degree and is now doing a great phd. he aslo had many the problems I have.

    The large number of spelling mistakes you made in your posts suggest dyslexia, anyway these things are very complicated and its dificult to diagnose without a proper test. One good indicator is that if you get the feeling of OH MY GOD!! THATS ME!!! while reading this email then you probably have some kind of learning disorder, which I emphasise DOES NOT mean you cant make a good scientist or that you are not very intelligent. It just means your brain doesnt work in the way the average brain works, no better, no worse, just different.

    The annoying thing is you get people who just dont believe you, they dont understand, they say that "every one has difficulty concentrating, everyone is short on time, you're are overestimating your understanding, blah blah blah", dont listen to them, you know you know your stuff. If you have a student support unit or something similar I recommend you go talk to them about your problems, they might be able to you help alot.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2006
  9. Mar 9, 2006 #8
    hmm interesting theory you have there

    perhaps i will go to one of those student support units... if they have one at my university, and see.

    But what if i come out normal, then what, wouldn't that imply that i just dont enough effort into it?
  10. Mar 9, 2006 #9
    Are you scared to find out the answer to that question?
  11. Mar 9, 2006 #10
    if you're "normal" hehe, (interesting choice of words xD ) then you should be happy cos it means you've no problems in those areas and all you have to do is work better (and I mean better not necessarily harder) plus I really wouldn't worry about that anyways. From what you say you're a clever person and since you seem to have a vocation for what you want to study (I assume you do since you want to go into graduate studies) then with the right approach and attitude things should improve to a satisfactory level =) good luck whatever happens. honestly.
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