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Recovering from a failed first exam

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  • Thread starter Tempest Desh
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  • #1

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Hey All,

I hope this is in the right sub-forum. As the title states, I've failed my first exam in Linear Algebra, and I'm thus in a bind. I just need some advice on how to make a come-back, as I'd honestly like to earn an A or B in the class, as it's a retake. My professor does drop an exam, as we have three and then the final, making up our grades in the class. However, dropping the first doesn't feel all that great, as the material is only going to get harder. I'm taking 16 units, working on and off, and fencing on and off. Part of the problem has to be with my hectic schedule...but, I need to find a way to work around that. Thanks in advance for any advice.

See ya on the flipside,

Kian
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
lisab
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Do you know why you failed the exam? I mean, did you do *all* of your homework, and understand it?
 
  • #3
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I'd suggest going through this lecture series. Helped me achieve a final grade of 100 in linear algebra (with a bad instructor).

Do all of the hw in your book (even what isn't assigned, assuming you need it)... and watch Strang.
 
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  • #4

I'd suggest going through this lecture series. Helped me achieve a final grade of 100 in linear algebra (with a bad instructor).

Do all of the hw in your book (even what isn't assigned, assuming you need it)... and watch Strang.
When I was taking linear algebra, I tried, but I couldn't watch Strang. His manner/inflection is really distracting.
 
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  • #5
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When I first went back to school, I got a 55 on my first exam in Linear Algebra. At the time I was working nights in a wood production factory (5 PM to 3:30 AM, mon - fri). I was shocked, but buckled down, focused all that much harder, and scheduled time off work so that I could properly prepare for the exam.

I wound up with an A in the course.

So trials like this can be overcome. That said, given you've already taken it once, you really should be looking at why you're failing to understand the material, and attempt to address that.
 
  • #6
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Oh, and the key to passing a math class is to do all your homework and more.

Keep answering questions in the textbook until you understand the material completely. If you run out of questions (doubtful), find another source and do those.
 
  • #7
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When I was taking linear algebra, I tried, but I couldn't watch Strang. His manner/inflection is really distracting.
Strang alternates between being brilliant and being impossible to watch. I guess his style works for some people, but I found 60% of it infuriating.

There are other Linear Algebra videos on the net, but quality varies:
http://www.uccs.edu/~math/vidarchive.html

My only advice for the OP - maybe you are taking too much at once? Take fewer courses and do better at them. You should never be failing the second time around.
 
  • #8
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Yeah I agree, I don't know why Strang spent 40 mins on one matrix...

He seems to be in his own world half the time lol

Try Khanacademy
 
  • #9
Strang is pretty cool, its just a little irritating in the beginning. What level Linear algebra course is this? It just takes practice. Make time to do the problem sets. Go to the library and pick up another textbook on the material, sometimes getting a different perspective helps. I'm assuming your professor has office hours you can attend?
 
  • #10
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I believe the hardest part about Linear Algebra is learning all the new terminology which comes in the first part of the class. So it may actually not get harder as the semester goes on. I think LA tends to get easier as you progress through the course because you'll be more comfortable with the terminology and the concepts really aren't all that difficult.
 
  • #11
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Elementary Linear Algebra is basically a computational course, i.e its mostly just calculations. If you're having trouble with such courses, the key is to do more problems and see that you get the process of solving problems. In other words, practice and do more problems.
 
  • #12
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When learning linear algebra, just doing the examples and the homework isn't enough.

You actually need to *read* the relevant section in the text (usually more than once), and learn the definitions. Understand why you're doing something instead of just how to do it.
 
  • #13
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When learning linear algebra, just doing the examples and the homework isn't enough.

You actually need to *read* the relevant section in the text (usually more than once), and learn the definitions. Understand why you're doing something instead of just how to do it.
Exactly.
 
  • #14
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Is that lecturer in the video blinking just one eye? Man, that must distract people.
 
  • #15
Got an 88.5 % on the second exam! Spent the week/week-and-a-half beforehand studying for the exam. Hopefully I can keep up this trend, eh?
 
  • #16
lisab
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Got an 88.5 % on the second exam! Spent the week/week-and-a-half beforehand studying for the exam. Hopefully I can keep up this trend, eh?
Nice job :smile:!
 
  • #17
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Got an 88.5 % on the second exam! Spent the week/week-and-a-half beforehand studying for the exam. Hopefully I can keep up this trend, eh?
Thats great, considering the second exam usually has harder material than the first one. I got lower on the second exam myself, went from 95 on the first one to about 84 on the second one, so keep it up!
 

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