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When your tests are always on the same day

  1. Oct 17, 2011 #1
    I'm having a lot of trouble this semester. I've had three exams in physics and calc 2, and they have always been on the same day. It seems doing well in both is going to be a very difficult feat. It takes me from the previous test to the next to absolutely master the calc 2 considering our crazy hard tests.

    First test was A in physics, F in math.

    Second test was C in physics, D in math.

    Third test was the same.

    I am studying every moment of available time to try to do well on my "physicsmath" test but it is still not making a dent.

    What are some good study methods for this situation? My other classes get no study time because of this combo.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2011 #2
    How are you studying for them? In my opinion it shouldn't matter, studying time wise, that the tests are on the same day. The only thing is kinda of mental exhaustion of taking tests that might be a problem. I would look more on how you are studying for these tests.

    I do feel your pain though, I've had 8 exams in the last 3 weeks. They usually come in pairs. Last friday I had two tests back to back (no break between) and ended up locking my keys in the car.
  4. Oct 17, 2011 #3


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    So you are saying you can only handle one course per semester? You are struggling with two courses and "get no study time" for the rest?

    Either you need some serious help to get your life better organized, or you need to face up to the fact that the work is just too tough for you to handle, IMO.
  5. Oct 17, 2011 #4
    Well I certainly perform better in all of my classes than you do in reading comprehension. ;)
  6. Oct 17, 2011 #5
    AlephZero's reading comprehension is fine. I don't see how Aleph took anything you wrote out of context. You mentioned the physics and math combo caused you to not get enough study time for those classes despite studying every moment of available time. Actually, you only mentioned how long it takes you to master the calculus material but haven't mentioned how long it takes for the physics.

    Chunkysalsa even asked how you are studying currently, which you gave no response to. It will be helpful to know how because you may be doing something very wrong. Also, how long are you studying?

    You might want to consider seeking help from others if you have not.
  7. Oct 17, 2011 #6
    shot's fired :rofl:
  8. Oct 17, 2011 #7
    I don't get it. This sounds like an easy version of taking finals.
  9. Oct 17, 2011 #8
    How should it be a problem that tests are on the same day?? Just study a couple of days before the test. The evening before the test you just need to revise things. If you really know the material, then you should be able to handle that.
  10. Oct 17, 2011 #9
    Because on a physics test day, I like to get up, and be in "physics mode." Think about physics, wonder about physics, think about the concepts that'll be on the test.

    It's just hard to be optimistic and excited for a test, if I have another one on a different subject that same day. It just feels like I can't focus all of my attention on one of them as well. If they were just one day apart, it would make all the difference.

    IIRC AlephZero suggested that my entire life is seriously and detrimentally unorganized, that I can only handle one course per semester, and should give up on college because two exams on the same day for two difficult subjects that require fundamental understanding is difficult for my current (and totally modifiable) studying style.

    So, either AlephZero's reading comprehension is pretty bad, or he's just an ***. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and even put a winky face.
  11. Oct 18, 2011 #10


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    I don't think that is fair. I only had a two test on the same day a few times when I was an undergraduate, but when I did I always did badly on the test in the afternoon (with one or two exceptions). My brain just needs a break and some time to re-adjust after concentrating on a topic for 4 hours and I don't think that is unusual.
    Of course it depends on the length of the exams (mine were always 4 hours long) and how long the break in-between is; but having two exams the same day is hardly ideal.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  12. Oct 18, 2011 #11
    It is line of thought that may be holding you back somewhat. While I also like to be in a certain frame of mind for tests, it is not always a good thing (especially if you have more than one in a single day).

    For multiple tests on a single day, you can try to develop a different mental "routine" if you will (easier said than done, I know). One that allows for (in this instance) both mathematics and physics.

    I may sound like I am merely talking gibberish, but this is what worked for me (but I understand that everyone is different and may not work for you).

    Anyhow, I wish you luck 1MileCrash! :)
  13. Oct 18, 2011 #12
    I agree, I always come into tests with an open mind. I feel no test anxiety and I'm more able to think through questions I don't know the answer too. If you studied enough, the material should be in your brain to access. For this reason I rarely study the day of a test and I don't lose sleep over tests.

    Plus physics and calculus are very related, it might help if you focused on how each of them relate to each other.

    If your tests are a couple hours apart, it might help to take a short nap or something, a brain flush.

    I would focus on your study habits before the test though, its one thing doing worse on the tests because they are on the same day but you are pretty much failing the tests. I'm assuming class average is normal (C range) though my physics classes had averages in the D range.
  14. Oct 18, 2011 #13
    I like this question:
    1) Is there any way you can make yourself study guides for important things in these classes: equations for physics problem solving, particular integration methods and results for calc II? Reading over a study-guide refreshes your mind and can get you in the "mode" as you say, for the next class. My anecdote: When I had an organic II chemistry final exam 15 minutes after a calc-based Physics II (or III) exam, I made a HUGE study guide for chemistry of all the important things in the organic final... a guide to naming organic molecules, a list of important types of reactions, their reactants and products ad any conditions needed. The guide took up two whole standard size classroom blackboards before coping it to paper. I read over the guide during the fifteen minute break to refresh the material in my mind and focus on the new topic... and I aced the final (I heard I got a 98% from a research advisor I had in chemistry at the time).

    2) While your problem is with midterm exams, if there is a conflict with multiple finals (in the case of my institution, three in one day), many universities allow a student to reschedule to reduce the number taken in one day.

    But as much as I liked the first question, I hate the following sentence:

    (This is... I'm pretty sure.... where Alephzero is dinging you, BTW. Note he has a "science advisor" tag... so certainly isn't a bad person, especially as viewed by those with higher status on the forum than you or I.) So...

    Can you balance your day by taking "breaks" doing the work/study associated with with "easier" (or at least "different") classes, such as gen-ed coursework? You haven't listed your other courses (at least that I've seen)... but if you have an English, Art History, Medieval Warefare or Philosophy paper that needs written, take a break and walk (or drive) to the library to grab some references. Go back home and study the hard stuff again. Later, wind down by writing some of that paper (or reading for your Shakespeare class)... while dinner is cooking in the oven (and later while you're eating dinner). If you need a study-guide for the easier classes' tests, write those up while watching football or golf on TV, or while sitting on your front porch with some music going.

    These are the introductory courses (and presumably gen-ed on the side)... so unfortunately it's not going to get any easier from here (when you'll presumably have multiple science or engineering courses and math courses if you're really taking advantage of your college educational opportunities).
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