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What classes/fields did you do the worst in?

  1. Mar 13, 2013 #1
    I personally know that calculus isn't my thing, i do terrible in my calc 3 class even though i probably spend more time studying than anyone else. I've done multiple all nighters studying (had to because of my work schedule), and i'll go into the class thinking i'm gonna get an A, then after i take the test i still think i did ok. But then i'll get the test grade back and its an F.!!!! this is really pissing me off because this stuff shows up on my transcript as an F or a D for the class. And yes, i can retake the class to replace the grade, but they can still realize what happened. It seems like the classes i have to study the least for are Physics classes and the most for are math classes The reason i cram all the time is because i'm so busy studying for a test and the next test after that gets pushed back on my list of things to do until my test has been taken.

    I've been wondering if physics or some sort of engineering (Mechanical) is for me, which i really think it is, but my math classes keep murdering me and gives me doubt about majoring in science.

    Has anyone else had a class or flied of study hold them back or cause them troubles?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2013 #2


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    Pick ANY subject and I guarantee you that someone has had a serious problem with that particular subject.
  4. Mar 13, 2013 #3
    I sometimes think that it is less the subject/field and more the professor that teaches it. You can understand the material quite well, but the test/exams can be extremely unfair or unrepresentative of what you've been taught or what important things you should have learned.

    Other times the style of examinations in the course can hurt you. For instance, in 4th year Quantum Mechanics (almost graduate level), the course was composed of 4 quizzes and a final with each quiz worth 15%. I typically do bad on short quizzes if they are modestly difficult, and hence I ended up doing quite bad in the course (relatively, it was my worse mark in university). Stupid mistakes can really hurt you, especially when each question in the course is worth 5% of your final mark, it only takes a couple mistakes to seriously drop your mark.

    So I guess my advice is that if it is just one subject or course that is holding you back, stick with it. You may find after taking later courses that you aren't as bad as you think, but it was just the actual class/prof.

    Also, don't pull all nighters.
  5. Mar 13, 2013 #4
    I always did worse in my non-math and science classes. No matter how I tried I could not get an A in them.
  6. Mar 13, 2013 #5
    The only reason i pull all nighters is because i typically work wed-fri or satuday at night from 5pm-11 or midnight. So i only have monday, tuesdays's during the week to study in the daytime.
  7. Mar 13, 2013 #6
    classical mechanics... :cry:
  8. Mar 13, 2013 #7


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    E&M kicked my butt.
  9. Mar 13, 2013 #8


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    I had to repeat thermo / stat mech in grad school. Then I had to teach it for many years at undergraduate level, out of textbooks that I was never very happy with. Finally I found Schroeder's textbook, but I got to use it only twice before a major departmental rearrangement took me out of teaching thermo.
  10. Mar 14, 2013 #9
    Experimental Physics I, II and III... I hated every single thing of it, I'm just happy they're gone now :)
  11. Mar 15, 2013 #10
    I have to take those classes later on. What exactly do you do in those classes?
  12. Mar 15, 2013 #11
    In Experimental Physics I and II we were given a report that explained how to do the experiment. Then we'd take the data we needed, put it in tables or treat the data with regressions on the computer for example. We were evaluated by the work we did on classes, tests and 1 report and 1 oral presentation about some experiment we did. In Experimental Physics III we were just given the objectives and we had to design the experiment for ourselves, with the material we were given. They were mostly classic experiments, about mechanics, electromagnetism, etc... Some people found those classes interesting though, I was the person who probably hated those classes the most, so don't take my word for it.
  13. Mar 15, 2013 #12


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    Keep in mind that courses with the same title (especially with vague titles like "Experimental Physics") may be very different in different universitites and different countries.
  14. Mar 15, 2013 #13
    I got beaten up pretty badly by advanced mathematics courses, abstract algebra, topology, advanced calculus, although I do not know if this was because I was overly ambitious and took them all at once (!) or because I'm not much of a mathematician.
  15. Mar 16, 2013 #14
    Physics 1B (E&M) is pretty intense right now (at UCLA with Brent Corbin, if anyone has heard of him). The average on the exams are usually around 30/90, so passing is, I believe, a little under 30. One of the questions on our last exam involved a spherical shell capacitor with two different dielectrics, one filling half the sphere plus a smaller half sphere on the other half, and the second filling the other half of the sphere (minus the small sphere of dielectric 1).
  16. Mar 18, 2013 #15
    For E&M, I benefited a lot by studying in a group. If at least one person in the group really understood the topics thoroughly, he/she would help us out with it.
  17. Mar 18, 2013 #16
    I took grad algebraic geometry my senior year and nearly failed the second term of it. I didn't continue through to the 3rd term.. That class still makes me cringe from the difficultly. Although, the little I understood of it was incredibly beautiful.
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