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Still do rubbish even though i studied for ages.

  1. May 19, 2006 #1
    Could someone please help me, and tell me what i am doing wrong or could do better.

    im doing a physics degree but this time when it came to exams i studied really hard yet i still couldnt remember everything and in the end i recognised everything but couldnt answer the question.

    i found going to lectures not very useful as my lecturers didnt try to make the subject matter interesting so i thought i would do it myself. i dont like the univeristy enviromnent either.

    i instead wrote really clear notes,using colours, diagrams and understood most things at the time of doing things. The problem was that by the time i had these perfect notes, i didnt know how to learn them.

    i find it almost impossible to learn astrophysics,quantum mechanics and electromagnetism for 3 exams in 3 days as the problem is these subjects are vast and in reality could they could ask number of questions from proofs, to explain a evolution of main sequence star,

    especially with subject like astrophysics i found it so hard to visualise things, as half the time i feel like im just becoming a walking dictionary.

    my problem is not that i cant understand concepts but how do u visuslise every step so it easier to remember for an exam.
    in the end i feel like giving up because i want to learn but if i keep getting crap marks its gonna look like im not trying.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2006 #2
    about the value of lectures... one of the things I realized after a few years of college is that, even if you don't pay attention to your prof during lectures, you get to hear some 'key words' such as inner product, Hilbert space...etc. You don't really care about them the first time you hear them, but as you hear them over and over again in subsequent lectures you start getting bothered and think, "just what the hell do these words mean?". Then when you pick up the textbook in your room and start reading the chapter, you find these words and get more involved in the reading, whereas if you started reading the textbook without any prior knowledge, you might ignore those terms and find out during exams that those were important words. I think no matter how bad your professors are, they are bound to mention a few key words repeatedly during lectures, as long as they lecture in English. But I do agree that it's terribly boring to sit in lectures that don't stimulate interest in the subject.
    About visualizing things, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by, "how do you visualize?", because I belived that's something that you learn without formal education. I personally visualize things in relation to what I have seen in real life, which may not work for subjects such as Q.M. or General relativity, but the imageries from science fiction movies might help for those subjects...
    Last edited: May 19, 2006
  4. May 19, 2006 #3
    I couldn't agree more. For the longest time I thought I didn't get anything out of lectures and could just learn it from the book. The problem is, without the lectures, there is just to much material to absorb and be ready for. The lecture helps you zero in on what the prof is likely to ask on an exam.

    The other thing that helped me out a lot last semester was not ignoring the proofs like I had always done in the past. I found that with just a couple hours work and review, I had a much better understanding of the needed formulas and could derive them as needed on the exam. This cut my study time in half for one final and let me spend a lot more time on another final that I was not very confident in.
  5. May 19, 2006 #4
    I think it's different for different people, but I really don't get terribly much from lectures, and I know several others who also just prefer to learn on their own from books or papers.

    I've found that self-motivation is by far the most important thing to have. There's nothing that will hit your scores harder than apathy towards what you are doing. It sounds like to me you are in your junior year, so you probably have a few more semesters/quarters to go. My advice would be to just stick with it, do the best you can, and when you finish college, take a break. I don't know if you are considering graduate school, but I would *strongly* recommend taking a year or two off from academia after you graduate. People are living a lot longer these days, and you don't have to rush to get a higher degree.
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