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Testing Very disappointed and frustrated with Exam One

  1. Mar 4, 2008 #1
    I'm in University Physics I - Mechanics and Heat. The exam had six problems, and I made stupid, careless mistakes on 3 and ended up with an 85. I should have had an A. It was over probably the easiest subject matter of the course: Math Review, Velocity and Acceleration, and Vectors. I'm frickin' ticked off with myself. I don't want to be a B-making physics major. I'll quit or switch to an "easier" degree.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2008 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    I wouldn't decide a major based on three careless mistakes.
  4. Mar 4, 2008 #3
    You're going to switch majors over a few points on one exam in one course? So you made a couple mistakes. Everyone does. Learn from it for next time.
  5. Mar 4, 2008 #4
    Ok, you didn't fail ... so quit crying. When your class is averaging 30's and requires a fat curve so that there will be passing students, then you can rant :-]
  6. Mar 4, 2008 #5
    Perhaps I was exaggerating a little bit. If I make a B in this course and the next, I might consider it. These two are the easiest physics courses I'll have to take. I also made a few careless mistakes on my first Cal III exam.
  7. Mar 4, 2008 #6
    What course was that? lol.
  8. Mar 4, 2008 #7


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    Intead of just giving up, why not try and get down to the problem of why you made mistakes? Was it lack of understanding, was it down to running out of time in the exam, did you not read the question properly, or did you rush through and not check your work at the end, or was it some other reason? I will guarantee that "careless mistakes" will just disappear overnight if you switch your subject!
  9. Mar 4, 2008 #8
    It was primarily rushing through the problems and not checking the work, although at the time I thought I had completed everything. I definitely understood the material; that's what makes me upset. My grade didn't accurately reflect that.
  10. Mar 4, 2008 #9


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    Well, now you've identified the problem you can start to correct for it in future. Take more time on the questions and check through your answers more thoroughly. Also try and identify specific mistakes that you commonly make (like, for example, you may notice that quite often you multiply brackets out incorrectly) and be on a special lookout for these when checking your work.
    Well, such is life, I'm afraid. Since the exam is the way to say "I've understood this material completely," you'll just have to improve your exam technique in order to be able to say this in future.

    The most important thing to learn is not to get upset if you do "badly" in a test. Try to take positives out of the experience and learn for the next time. You've got a lot more exams to go in your university career, and it will benefit you greatly if you try and change things now rather than later.
  11. Mar 4, 2008 #10
    First year mechanics. Boo - hoo. I was like that in first year as well. I was boo - hooing that my final mark of 89 was not a 90.

    Then in second year I had a rude awakening. Second year physics, and especially third year, your class will be averaging 40-50s. You will be happy to pass. Honestly everyone thinks of getting 80s going in. But very few do. My dream is not yet shattered, but I might only come out with 70s. Atleast I hope... so far I'm in the high 50s.

    Screwing up vectors? Sad, seeing as this was likely not your first exposure to vectors. If its any consolation, you'll get much worse in upper years.
  12. Mar 4, 2008 #11
    As I said, I understood the material. I didn't "screw up" anything. There was a three-part vector component problem. I did the last two correctly. In the first part, I just plugged in the wrong theta value. If I had took a second to verify my work - which I usually do - I would've found the mistake. The same applies for the other two problems.
  13. Mar 4, 2008 #12
    Understood, I'm not saying your stupid or anything. Once I forgot the rank theorem in linear algebra! lol

    I'm just saying, this won't be the first time you complain about a test in physics should you continue. Unfortunately, it won't be a silly mistake. It will usually be a problem you don't know how to start.

    Good luck man, and don't worry too much about it. If your getting it, great.
  14. Mar 4, 2008 #13
    Thanks, man. I'm just a bit of a perfectionist. I'm the kind of person that gets ticked off if I don't "get something" immediately. lol. This is my first physics course in six years since high school, too. lol.
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