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Study what youi love vs, what you do the best in?

  1. Oct 28, 2007 #1
    Is it better to study what you love?

    Or is it better top study what you will get the highest grades in?

    I ask as I am currently a computer engineering student and really love the material, though I love it and study plenty I still do not manage to get very good grades. I don't usually get better than a C+, except in my cs classes were I always get B's. I may spend upwards of 10-11 hours a day of pure studying then classes. This does vary a lot. So even with all my studying I just dont get good grades, mostly this is due to me doing poorly on tests. I am just a bad test taker, I am unable to portray my knowledge in 50 minutes on a test. Though in all labs I have never gotten below a 100, and I am now a junior. My hardest classes being Physics and Calculus/math.

    Now everybody on different boards such as collegeconfidential and my advisor's as well as parents all tell me never to study what I love but to study what will get me the highest gpa possible. It kinda sucks that what I am good in is not what I love, my true skill is in Memorization, so I guess I should be studying some sort of biology.

    so is it better to stick with what ya love or just do what you are good at and in result have a better gpa.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2007 #2
    Thats the worst advice ever.

    Why do something you don't love? Whats a high GPA going to get you? A job your going to hate?

    Major in something that interests you and what you enjoy to do.
  4. Oct 29, 2007 #3
    LOL everybody who tells you to study things that will get your GPA up is a moron. Sorry, you must be a genetic anomaly in your family if your parents tell you that.

    In high-school and now in college I am taking classes that are interesting and will teach me things I want to know. If I wanted a high GPA, I'd go into computer science instead of physics. I'm just better at it for some reason. And that wouldn't even be a bad thing, since I really enjoy comp sci... but anyway, I'd rather do physics and learn comp sci on the side. My GPA isn't as good as it could be, but I am enjoying it.
  5. Oct 29, 2007 #4
    How interesting!

    My opinion is follow. Being object oriented person, I first ask what I want to be. Then chose field of study that will get me there. So in your case, if you wish to become a doctor, than perhaps you should take biology class and get good grades and go to med school. If you wish to become a computer scientist, you have no choice but to take classes you're taking now and live with your low gpa.
  6. Oct 29, 2007 #5

    do what you want, not what will get you high grades.

    if you really love something, you should get a high gpa anyways.

    if everyone took the college degree that gave the highest gpa, the only occupations in the world would be elementary school teacher, hotel manager, or...."mass communicator"?
  7. Oct 29, 2007 #6


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    unfortunately you remind me of a lot of poor stduents i have seen, who seem to believe that being a bad test taker is A DISEASE OR GENETIC DEFICIENCY. you are a bad test taker because in all likelihood you do not understand the material well, and do not write well. these are problems that requiure your attention, and can be cured.
  8. Oct 29, 2007 #7


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    Hopefully they are the same. I studied what I loved and did well probably because I enjoyed it and found it quite interesting and challenging. If one is struggling with certain concepts find someone to ask about it or ask here on PF.
  9. Oct 29, 2007 #8
    While I agree in principle, I seem to be taking a lot of exams where there are more problems than the professor expects most students to be able to complete. Sometimes this can make even a "good test taker" that understands the material as well as expected for that class feel like they're doing badly on the tests. University-level grading is so confusing. :confused:
  10. Oct 29, 2007 #9
    Got any tips for that? I tend to miss things like tricks that make problems down right easy to solve (i.e. Gauss' Law...) and stuff like that, even though I know the material.

    What should I do to fix that?
  11. Oct 29, 2007 #10
    why is it that I am a perfectionist at labs then?
  12. Oct 29, 2007 #11
    Some people will tell you to study what you love no matter what ( if you get bad grades, if the salary is low, etc) and i think that's bad advice. Take into account the different factors and weigh them to what you feel is important. Then make a choice.

    As far as the bad grades, if you don't think you can do significantly better it's likely you can't. Tutoring and studying cannot guarantee good grades.
    Good luck.
  13. Oct 29, 2007 #12
    I think mathwonk's point is that rather than just saying 'I'm a bad test taker' which is really a completely unhelpful attitude, is that good test taking skills can be developed. Certainly, part of it is knowing the material well enough that you CAN do prove it in 50 minutes. It is not that you are clueless, but maybe did not work enough problems, or can not do them quick enough. Of course, exams should not be the sole indicator of a student's performance..but that is why there are HW problems and labs.

    Overall, I would say to do what you find most interesting, but you have to be reasonable about it as well. I always thought it was a good idea to focus on two main interests at a time -- one just for fun and one that is profitable (however you may define that). If these are one in the same, then all the better. In your case, it is likely that although you are studying a lot, you may not be studying correctly.
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