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Well I failed calc 2.

  1. May 10, 2010 #1
    Unbelievable. I am such an idiot I can't even comprehend it... My mind is blown. I made a thread here a LONG time ago about how I failed Precalculus... well I overcame it, did great, then I did an introductory calculus course. Did great. Then I did calc 1. Did great. Just got my calc 2 mark back: 21/100.

    I went into the exam moderately prepared and left thinking wow I am ****ed. So here I am now, wasted another $800 (thank GOD I am not having to pay an American tuition fee) and now one full year behind graduating (going for a BSc Math&Economics).

    Anyone have any tips for me on how I should maybe switch my study habits? Any tips that work for them that I might try... really I just had to rant.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2010 #2


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    I'm sorry to hear it, Zill!

    I think you know better than any of us what's best for you, but if I were you I'd pick myself up, brush myself off, and keep going.

    You may find this hard to believe, but often there is more to learn from failure than from dancing through unchallenged. Maybe not short term, but long term I really believe this to be true.
  4. May 10, 2010 #3
    Are you sure you want a degree in math? No offense, but a 21% when you're "moderately prepared" for an exam in a mid-level course might be a sign.

    Was the exam made intentionally impossible? Did a lot of people get a 21%? Is there a massive curve?
  5. May 10, 2010 #4


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    Relax. Can you retake the exam sooner than in a whole year?
    Did you feel ready to take the exam? Did you feel you could solve any problem you've been assigned to?
  6. May 10, 2010 #5


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    What are your study habits? We need to know what you're doing so we can tell you what you're not doing or not doing well. Do you do practice problems over and over again, or do you just read the notes, do a few problems, and consider yourself moderately prepared? If you're not already doing it, the first option is one of the ways you should be studying: doing as many problems as you can. It's said it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at something - start practicing!
  7. May 10, 2010 #6
    I am trying... I honestly just dislike school so, so much but I have invested enough money and time that it isn't worth quitting. I like mathematics enough that it's worth taking but my God by the time I am done I am going to look back at it and cringe. I just haven't found something GREAT that I love. I LIKE math... maybe I am not great at it but I like it... I just wish there was something that caught my interest and gave me passion.

    For the first part see above. I went and saw my exam. I got the longest, most difficult and highest marked question 15/15... the other 6 points I got out of pity.
  8. May 10, 2010 #7
    If this is truly what you want then don't quit. You don't want any regrets later on down the road. As long as you can tell yourself at the end of the day "I did everything within my power to prepare for this test, quiz, presentation, etc." then you can't be so hard on yourself. Don't let any course break you. Don't let anything break you.
  9. May 10, 2010 #8
    I just finished Cal II with a low A or high B. What's helped me alot is banging my head against problems more advanced then what will be on the tests. Once you get used to seeing problems you don't immediatly know how to solve it makes it alot easier to not panic during tests. It's all about confidence, once you solve a couple of headscratchers your tests will seem like a breeze.

    I spent 6-12 hours a week, not including class time, on Cal II.
  10. May 10, 2010 #9
    I'm willing to admit they aren't great. I have the "do what I like doing the most and put off the boring stuff" mentality... I also can't study for very long periods of time. I do lots of practice problems... but I usually do the SAME problems and don't increase my difficulty. I guess it's a matter of just doing what I know I need to.

    Exactly... I know that if I leave school I am going to regret it deeply... It's just such a blow to be held back AGAIN... it seems like I am years away from the finish line.
  11. May 11, 2010 #10
    Sweet :smile:.

    Sorry to hear that. You'll be fine. I failed so many important and not so important tests in high school but I never learned my lesson. Always doing something useless and time wasting when I'm supposed to be studying. I'm a senior in high school getting ready to graduate in about a month. Hope I can shake of this bad habbit during the summer.
    But I think you'll be fine even thoug you failed.

    From you posts I'm drawing a conclusion that failing the test, getting a 21 / 100 doesn't bother you so much as graduating late. Is that what troubles you the most?? The possibility of not graduating on time?? Why don't you try and take some classes during the summer to make up for this so you can graduate earlier than waiting a whole year again??
  12. May 11, 2010 #11
    Is the professor going to curve exam?
  13. May 11, 2010 #12
    What this suggests to me is a change in test taking strategy...you spent so much time getting the big question right you ran out of time for the shorter problems. If you completely skipped the 15 point problem do you think you could have gotten all or most of the remaining 85 points? Sometimes intense concentration has drawbacks.
  14. May 11, 2010 #13
    I agree with the person above. You need to learn how to write exams. You need to be making practice tests for yourself and timing yourself so that you can finish difficult test questions comfortably within the allotted time. And never leave a question blank, never ever, no matter how menial or how completely flummoxed and flustered you are by it. ******** it, make it up, try to half-*** prove it-- you'd be shocked at how many part marks you can get and how much those part marks add up.

    And don't beat yourself up. You can do this. It's Calculus II, you can learn it, it's all there for you and you're more than intelligent enough. You've just got to approach it systematically. All the sections of the course should be broken down so that at the very least you can pinpoint where your troubles lie.
  15. May 11, 2010 #14
    At my school, receiving under 40% on a final in the math department is an automatic F.

    I agree. I am not good at taking math tests; it seems like I even know what to study but I don't do it.

    It's hard not to beat myself up. I am trying to grit through and do this even with people saying stuff like "math probably isn't for you" and "not many people can do math degrees" and this just makes me agree. It frustrates me so much because when I am in class I understand everything *instantly*. I just don't take the time to hone it. I just look at the final exam statistics and see the kids getting 100% plus the 5% bonus mark and I am thinking... what the HELL are these kids doing? How are they doing so well and why am I not doing it... am I not smart enough? dedicated enough?

    But I am going to be re-taking the class this July in an accelerated 2 month program. I need to get a C+ or higher to stay off the academic probation. I really hope I can do it.
  16. May 12, 2010 #15
    just do all of the hardest problems in the book and you should dominate any reasonable test on the subject. while doing them, try not to ask for the solutions from anyone, because being told how to do it and doing it are different things: one prepares you amazingly well and the other is useless. If you are hopelessly stuck on one of the unassigned challenge problems, step back and do some of the easier problems to boost your comprehension/read (and reread) the chapter

    i find that rereading a chapter a day or two after i have already read it really solidifies my knowledge on the subject. i recommend that too.

    another thing is calc II is like the exact same thing as calc I, so if you are struggling with calc II, don't ever fear to reread a chapter or even a few chapters on calc I
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