Struggling in a Physics Class: Seeking Advice

In summary: You'll get a D for the course and that will be it. You won't have to worry about the rest of your academic career because you dropped the class. In summary, if you're a good student and you're struggling in this class, talk to your professor. He/she may be able to help you out.
  • #1
Lawrencel2
82
0
hey guys,
im a Junior in undergrad going for a bs in professional physics.
I have always loved physics and always wanted to do something in that field.
I am a pretty good student, i get b's and a's and this semester was my first in upper division courses so my grades are suffering as a result. (pretty big step up)
But mainly in my Partial differential eq class. I am scared i am going to fail or get a d.
How much will that affect me in the long run? the teacher only has office hours the days i work and i live 30 minutes from where i go to school so office hours are slightly hard to ever make, not to mention those are the same days as test reviews.

The teacher is horrible and the tests are way different than anything we do. he tests us to understand the theory and its particulars but yet in class i feel like we do nothing. i know i sound like I am putting the blame all on him, but really i know it comes down to me ultimately.
THe average test scores are like a 60% along with the homework scores which are 50%.
so i know I am not the only one.
Any input? I am stressing hardcore over it. thanks a lot guys
 
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  • #2
Hi there,

you're not exactly swimming in options are you :wink:.

I've been there, and I didn't do too well in the course so maybe I'm not the guy that you want to be taking advice from. If the class average is below a 60% then you should expect a curve or an easier final. But if you can't make it to your prof's office hours, maybe ask him if you can set up a meeting at another time. Some prof's aren't nice, but in my experience most are, and are willing to help you.
 
  • #3
I agree. The best thing that you can do is talk to your professor about it. He/she will know what topics are next, and the general difficulty, how well students usually do on those, and in general, how well you are doing in the course.

If the class average is a 60% in a course like PDE (ie: The students should know what to expect by then), well, either there will be a big curve, or something is wrong with the students and/or professor.
 
  • #4
Lawrencel2 said:
hey guys,
im a Junior in undergrad going for a bs in professional physics.
I have always loved physics and always wanted to do something in that field.
I am a pretty good student, i get b's and a's and this semester was my first in upper division courses so my grades are suffering as a result. (pretty big step up)
But mainly in my Partial differential eq class. I am scared i am going to fail or get a d.
How much will that affect me in the long run? the teacher only has office hours the days i work and i live 30 minutes from where i go to school so office hours are slightly hard to ever make, not to mention those are the same days as test reviews.

The teacher is horrible and the tests are way different than anything we do. he tests us to understand the theory and its particulars but yet in class i feel like we do nothing. i know i sound like I am putting the blame all on him, but really i know it comes down to me ultimately.
THe average test scores are like a 60% along with the homework scores which are 50%.
so i know I am not the only one.
Any input? I am stressing hardcore over it. thanks a lot guys

I bet there are students in the class that are getting A's. If they can do it why not you? That's the kind of thinking you need to pass. Anything you read here is just hot air advice. It comes down solely on you.

As far as how failing or getting a D can affect you, it can affect grades wise (obviously) and also in-terms of financial aid. Financial aid has some requirements so look into that and how failing a class can affect your aid.

Lastly, if it's possible, just be a quitter, drop the class, and go for the W.
 
  • #5


Hello,

I understand your concerns about struggling in your physics class and feeling stressed about your grades. It is normal to feel overwhelmed when facing new challenges, especially in upper division courses. However, it is important to remember that one class does not define your abilities or your future in the field of physics.

Firstly, it is great that you have always loved physics and have a strong interest in pursuing it professionally. That passion and determination will be crucial in overcoming any challenges you may face. It is also commendable that you are already getting good grades in your other courses.

Regarding your concerns about your current class, I would suggest seeking help from other resources such as a tutor or study group. Sometimes, a different perspective or approach can help clarify confusing concepts. Additionally, try to make time to attend office hours or schedule a meeting with your teacher to discuss any difficulties you may be having. They may be able to provide additional resources or clarify any confusing material.

It is also important to remember that one bad grade or class will not ruin your future in physics. Focus on understanding the material and doing your best, rather than just worrying about the grade. Your passion and understanding of the subject matter will ultimately be more important in your future career.

Lastly, try not to put all the blame on your teacher. While they may have a challenging teaching style, it is ultimately up to you to take responsibility for your own learning. Keep practicing and seeking help when needed, and I am sure you will see improvement in your understanding and grades.

Best of luck in your studies and future endeavors in physics. Keep your passion alive and don't let one class discourage you.
 

Related to Struggling in a Physics Class: Seeking Advice

1. How can I improve my understanding of physics concepts?

One way to improve your understanding of physics concepts is to actively engage with the material. This can include taking thorough notes, participating in class discussions, and completing practice problems. It can also be helpful to seek out additional resources such as textbooks, online tutorials, or tutoring services.

2. What should I do if I am struggling to keep up with the pace of the class?

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the pace of the class, it may be helpful to speak with your teacher or professor. They can provide you with additional resources or suggest a different learning strategy. It may also be beneficial to form study groups with classmates to review material and help each other understand difficult concepts.

3. How can I stay motivated in a challenging physics class?

Staying motivated in a challenging physics class can be difficult, but setting small goals for yourself and celebrating your progress can help. It can also be helpful to remind yourself of your long-term goals and how mastering physics will benefit you in the future. Don't be afraid to reach out for support from classmates, friends, or family when you need it.

4. What should I do if I am struggling with the math involved in physics?

If you are struggling with the math involved in physics, it may be helpful to review basic math concepts and seek out additional resources specifically focused on applying math to physics problems. It can also be beneficial to practice regularly and seek help from your teacher or a tutor if needed.

5. What are some study strategies that can help me succeed in a physics class?

Some effective study strategies for physics include actively engaging with the material, breaking up study sessions into smaller chunks, and practicing consistently. It can also be helpful to create visual aids, such as diagrams or concept maps, to aid in understanding complex concepts. Additionally, seeking help from your teacher or classmates can also be beneficial.

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