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## Main Question or Discussion Point

After getting back a result in an Abstract Algebra exam (In which I only got 70%), a result just below the class average I am having extreme doubts about my ability to become a mathematician.

The real shock was that I believed I understood the material well enough to get at least 90%. I am aware of where I went wrong in the exam, and understand my mistakes, but there is a lingering doubt now (Due to how well my classmates did) that I have subpar mathematical ability, and should consider leaving the subject. This causes me a great deal of distress as there is nothing else I can consider doing, and It was and I think, still is my dream to become a mathematician. Furthermore this exam result will probably leave me with a B in the subject when I had hoped for an A+, which in turn has ruined my chances at a top grad school.

In hindsight I realise I did not put in enough time revising certain areas before the exam, but I do not believe any of my classmates put in a great deal more effort than I did, and yet they have recieved vastly better results with minimal effort. The ease at which some of them seem to pick up the concepts which I have to bang my head against a wall for is truly frustrating and I cannot believe this is anything other than an indication of a lack of ability in pure mathematics.

Is it possible to come back from this and contribute something to pure mathematics or should I start considering a different career?

The real shock was that I believed I understood the material well enough to get at least 90%. I am aware of where I went wrong in the exam, and understand my mistakes, but there is a lingering doubt now (Due to how well my classmates did) that I have subpar mathematical ability, and should consider leaving the subject. This causes me a great deal of distress as there is nothing else I can consider doing, and It was and I think, still is my dream to become a mathematician. Furthermore this exam result will probably leave me with a B in the subject when I had hoped for an A+, which in turn has ruined my chances at a top grad school.

In hindsight I realise I did not put in enough time revising certain areas before the exam, but I do not believe any of my classmates put in a great deal more effort than I did, and yet they have recieved vastly better results with minimal effort. The ease at which some of them seem to pick up the concepts which I have to bang my head against a wall for is truly frustrating and I cannot believe this is anything other than an indication of a lack of ability in pure mathematics.

Is it possible to come back from this and contribute something to pure mathematics or should I start considering a different career?