I've always been the type to get the concept perfectly yet make some stupid algebra or general time based error on the tests. All through my schooling career, stupid mistakes have dogged me time and time again. I never took a proper algebra course(long story involving Christian fundamentalism and moving halfway across the country), which probably didn't help. I've tried to correct them periodically, yet have never succeeded. However, I've always been content with just knowing the material-I didn't care about getting a 100 versus a 90. It cost me more and more throughout high school, yet I never fixed it.... and I would turn out to regret that. Unfortunately, I go to a university that sadistically loves to take off major points for dumb errors, at least in the lower division classes. My penchant for little errors has RAPED my GPA for this first year due to the massive loss of points on exams. I'm not delusional enough to think that that was the sole cause of my failure(study skills/laziness, unprepared for college), but it definitely was non-negligible. I have gone through a lot of growth this summer, I'm getting some help with a certain issue of mine, and really think I can turn it around(that and I've changed my major), but I really want to make sure that a repeat of next year never happens again. If it does, graduate school won't be an option, and since I've tried research and really enjoy it(I think. I'm not sure my opinion is qualified to say so yet), I don't wish for this to be so. Though in the end, if they don't accept me or I choose not to go, at least I get to study physics for a few years. But that's unrelated. I've managed to arrange with the special service office to take tests alone(don't ask), and I know that will help-I like talking to myself during the exam. I also know I should go over every question-time permitting-and focus intensely on the parts that tend to trip me up. Other than that, any other advice? As I've mentioned before, I need to make sure this is different-I've tried to fix it before and fell into old habits. The problem is, I did both things above and STILL bombed the test I recently took, which I thought I did very well on.... I studied and everything, I checked for little errors, but I somehow missed them... Maybe I should go slower? I guess my biggest worry is that I realy don't trust myself anymore after this recent test. Why should I believe that this next year is different? I've been through it before... I secretly want to blame the instructor for taking off what I think are unnecessary amounts of points for little errors(I know, immature), but I know deep down that I shouldn't make such errors in the first place, and that blaming him gets me nowhere. I can only control me. So how do I stop from making those little errors? The only thing more irritating than failing exams are failing exams that you've studied for and you know the material going in on. I have one more exam this summer, and I NEED to do well, otherwise my plans for my major are screwed..... so if anyone has any general study tips or notetaking tips(another thing that I've only started doing in earnest recently. I'm getting the hang of it, but still am open to suggenstion for improvement), please say so. I've heard that strangely enough, upper level courses are a lot more lenient on little mistakes at my U, so it might be that I'm through the worst of the gauntlet anyway, but assuming that for granted is a risk I can't take, so I'm also thinking about the future. It doesn't get any easier in physics..... Thank you all in advance. Here is to the 2012-2013 school year!