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Testing Please help i cant write fast in physics exams

  1. Mar 19, 2014 #1
    well a week ago i had my high school finals.it was 3 hours and i was writing slow and i could not finish the entire paper on time.i almost left 60 marks unanswered.:cry: now i am depresssed and cant concentrate on other exams.dont tell me that i have to practice because i am studying for the next exam.when i try to write fast my handwriting goes terrible and everything is atmost unreadable.how do i start writing faster in this short time.i have another exam on this weekend.what should i do and one more thing i cant retake the test again
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2014 #2
    Well, it is true that you should have practiced and you should have worked consistently from the very start of the semester/course.

    In such a short amount of time, I guess the best preparation is to make sure that you know each and every concept in the course very well, and that you know of the different styles of questions that usually come up on the physics exams. Also, it would be great if you could read/do quite a few problems with the solutions by your side.

    Obviously, you've got a lot of reviewing/studying to do. Good luck.
  4. Mar 19, 2014 #3
    Very nice post!

    The "writing slow" thing is obviously a cop-out. Unless you have a severe disability that makes you write very slow, it can't be the actual problem.

    You might need to change your study habits. Do more exercises (and I don't agree that the solutions should be by your side). Don't just "read" the theory, but fight it: what are some basic examples, how does this generalize, is this a special case of something I've seen before, etc. A deep understanding of a theory never comes from just reading or memorizing it. And same thing: good problem solving skills will only come from solving challenging problems on your own.
  5. Mar 19, 2014 #4


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    I'm sure that not writing fast enough is something that is more of a problem for some people than others. But you can make up for it by knowing your physics really well. and know what they want you to write for a certain question. I don't know what stage of education you are in... But most likely the person marking your exam will be giving you marks for specific points that you make. So I guess I'm saying you should definitely not go around in circles with your answer. Make a point, and move on to another point. keep it concise. Also, with revision, make sure you know the basic definitions, and practice some of the problems that you are fairly certain they will ask. If you have practiced it even once, I find it means I can write it much faster if I need to do the same problem again. Also, get enough sleep. sleep is good.
  6. Mar 19, 2014 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Sometimes you need to write smart. We were taught this lesson in a geometry class. The test would take 45 mins to complete. We struggled to get done on time but overall everyone did poorly so the teacher had a special review session. He told us he would take his own test and was able to write down all answers in 5 mins and figured 45 mins would be enough.

    Some of the problems involved graphing lines and this is where he said we wasted so much time making pretty graphs with axes labeled, ticmarked and numbered. He said all that labeling was unnecessary so he showed us his method. He would draw the axes, label x and y and then for the y intercept draw tick marks up the y axis and put a circular mark next he'd draw a horizontal line, tick mark over for the run value, draw a vertical line and tick mark up for the run value, mark the point and finish off with a line through both points. Done!

    He said it showed everything he needed to know that you had the answer. He went on to show us how we wasted time in other ways as well by being overly verbose (like this post). For me, I had an epiphany that day and I started being more economical in my writing as well making my homework and test answers works of art with minimal strokes of the pen or pencil but still immediately understandable weeks later.

    It was a kind of Edward Tufte enlightenment. Tufte would say many charts are overly complicated with art and that you should erase all the non essential stuff until it's almost no longer understandable.


    One other trick I would do is write down at the start of the test key equations that I might need or compact mnemonic diagrams of some concept so I could refer to them when doing a problem. This prevented the brain freeze that sometimes occurs during a test.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  7. Mar 19, 2014 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    A few weeks ago, you asked us "how to cram physics". We told you not to. You tried anyway, and got lousy grades.

    Your conclusion from this experience is that you write too slow?
  8. Mar 19, 2014 #7
    did you mean this one?
    well no not actually.i did understand and learn but the the examiners want me to write the exact textbook words.actually i knew the answers to all the questions.i prepared very well in those 2 weeks.i never slept before the exam.but since i am a slow writer right from 10th grade my writing speed was slower than normal.hence despite good preparation i a getting low marks.one more thing i started preparing right from beginning though i became serious only during the dead week.this happened to me in 10th board exams too.:cry:
  9. Mar 19, 2014 #8
    Then, it is clear that you should be serious right from the beginning.

    In some other post, you said you wanted to become a quantum physicist... If you are not willing to put in the required effort, your chances are really low.
  10. Mar 19, 2014 #9


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    Does the "problem of slow writing" only occur for physics exams or is that a general problem?
  11. Mar 19, 2014 #10
    i agreed but right now i cant change my past.all my exams are over except c++.nothing can be done now and it is really difficult to get into college with my poor marks.even if i do well in college also there would be a slight chance of losing my aim due to low 12th grade marks.i cant retake exam as i said earlier.looks like i must give up
  12. Mar 19, 2014 #11
    nope it happens in almost all exams except c++,c# and other computer science related exams.that's why i want to major in computer science
  13. Mar 19, 2014 #12
    well i do CONSIDER IT AS MY FAULT for not practising but i am asking what should i do now
  14. Mar 19, 2014 #13
    Like I said, think about what went wrong. I think it's quite clear what that is: startin too late, cramming, etc. Then make sure that never happens again when you take physics courses in college.
  15. Mar 19, 2014 #14


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    I guess that answers your question on whether you have a chance at becoming a "quantum physicist", doesn't it?

    Enroll in classes that don't require a lot of writing. That should rule out most math and physics classes.

  16. Mar 19, 2014 #15
    Next time write fast. You may think that your handwriting becomes "unreadable" but most examiners are used to different writing styles and can usually decipher writing of really poor quality.
  17. Mar 19, 2014 #16


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    Another thing--no matter what career you choose, you will be more respected and go farther if you use correct grammar and punctuation. Text-speak is for hackers.
  18. Mar 19, 2014 #17


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    I suggest you read this article on avoiding hand pain from writing. Also, try some of these various pencil grips to see if they help. There's no reason to let a simple mechanical problem (if that's what it is) cause you academic problems.

    Good luck. Let us know if this helps.
  19. Mar 20, 2014 #18
    smart_worker:"That's just Ridiculous;One need not become a Grammarian to be succesful in life.All one needs is Talent.':devil:'."
  20. Mar 20, 2014 #19
    well i dont have any pain or something but when i write a bit faster then my handwriting goes horrible
  21. Mar 20, 2014 #20
    Hey man, we're just giving you advice here. Either you take the advice or you leave it, but there's no reason to start attacking people who spent their free time giving you advice.
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