Think I failed my calc 2 exam

  • #1
Took the calculus 2 exam yesterday. 30 question exam. Was on a roll from questions 1-18 I think k only had one unanswered at that point, the test got harder and harder and once I hit question 20 I felt pretty defeated. Once I got to the questions asking about finding volume and surface area of solids I screwed up big time. The thing is I feel like I know how to do everything but I had slept a total of around 4 hours in the past 2 days and was not thinking clearly. This professor said no retakes which is frustrating because I feel like I could pass if there was one and i has a solid amount of sleep. Any exam horror stories to make not feel like a total loser???? >=[
 

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  • #2
symbolipoint
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My whole Calculus II when taken my first time was a "horror story". Number of study hours meant nothing. Number of sleep hours before a test meant nothing. The only remedy was to completely restudy all of Calculus 1, and as much of Calculus 2 before the next (autumn) term as I could, and then retaking Calculus 2 course.
 
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  • #3
Choppy
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Took the calculus 2 exam yesterday. 30 question exam. Was on a roll from questions 1-18 I think k only had one unanswered at that point, the test got harder and harder and once I hit question 20 I felt pretty defeated. Once I got to the questions asking about finding volume and surface area of solids I screwed up big time. The thing is I feel like I know how to do everything but I had slept a total of around 4 hours in the past 2 days and was not thinking clearly. This professor said no retakes which is frustrating because I feel like I could pass if there was one and i has a solid amount of sleep. Any exam horror stories to make not feel like a total loser???? >=[

It sounds like this was a learning experience for you. Sleep is important. Unfortunately sometimes you can get into holes where it feels like you need to sacrifice sleep in order to accomplish other goals - get assignments in on time, get projects done, and even have some kind of a social life. Sleep can often feel like an easy sacrifice, because when you give it up, you often pay by the minute or the hour. And sometimes you're giving it up without ever realizing it for things that when you take a step back and look at them, are pretty trivial in the long run. But as you've discovered, sleep deprivation has consequences.

Another big learning point - you were doing well from question 1 through 18. By question 20, you felt "defeated." That's in a span of only 2 questions that presumably made up less than 7% of the exam. Sometimes psychology can play a big role in examination performance. You probably have yet to experience an exam where you read through the entire thing and don't have the first clue on where to start. Often there is a mental hurdle to get over in the beginning, or at least when you come to one of those stonewall questions that seem insurmountable. Part of the trick is learning that you don't have to know all of the answers instantly. You can study the problems, work through them methodically and build up your answered from the material you are confident with.

Sometimes too, professors intentionally place challenging problems on exams, questions that even students with a solid understanding of the material won't all be able to answer. This can be a shock to students who are used to teachers who only ever test scenarios that are familiar. When you encounter these it can be best to move on. Get the points for the stuff you know well and then spend your remaining time working on the big puzzles.
 
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