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Studying Why do I consistently receive low marks in basic science quizzes?

Greetings, I am a twelve year old currently attending an academically selective school, intrigued by theoretical astrophysics and working on laying the ground for my mathematical intuition (which I am lacking greatly). At the succession of each science unit, we must undertake an assessment of 25 questions. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to score atrociously in such tests, and I'm flummoxed as to why this is the case. The questions are basic (relating to dichotomous key reading and taxonomic classification), but I regularly tend to make careless errors, which arguably partially accounts for it. How can I avoid making such careless errors, and what is a topic/strand of science that I ought to work relentlessly on so as to enhance my knowledge? I'm dubious as to whether six months of mastery of integral calculus, conceptual basics of QM, appreciation for the theoretical physics community and effort to become better at mathematical thinking had any fruit to it. My classmates generally remark that I am an intellectual, but I beg to differ. How could I be classified as intelligent - having any ability to acquire knowledge - when I have invested the majority of my time into pseudorandom, SEEMINGLY FRUITLESS topics? I aspire to become a theoretical physicist; howbeit, I wish to steer clear from the hope of embarking on an intellectual journey of any sort, because I simply do not have the intellect. Please assist me, sagacious autodidacts. I'm currently facing a major dilemma, in which I am skeptical as to what I shall do next - what I ought to learn next. (For all those who were wondering, my mark for the biology quiz was a pathetic 76 percent).


Science Advisor
Gold Member
six months of mastery
Six months is not long enough to master anything. Six years is barely long enough to master anything.

First, cut the self-pity. As long as you work hard and seek quality guidance, you'll be fine. Second, what makes you think learning QM will help you on a middle school biology quiz?


Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
  1. Don't be afraid to be twelve years old. It's great that you aspire to become a physicist. But you don't have to be a physicist now. Read up on the science that you're interested in in your spare time, but not at the expense of the time you need to master the subjects that you're currently covering in school.

  2. If you're not performing as well as you would like, ask your teachers for guidance. They are the ones most familiar with your particular circumstances, and they are the best ones to know which learning strategies tend to be most successful for students in your position. There is no shame is asking for help.

  3. Consider how much time you're putting into directly preparing for your quizzes. Does your performance improve if you put more time in?

  4. Think about your quiz-taking approach or strategy. Are you pressed for time? Do you try to be the first person done? Do you check over your work before you hand it in? There are strategies for maximizing your performance on tests... reading the whole quiz over before answering any questions, determining a time budget, etc. Again this is where your teachers can offer guidance.

  5. Take good care of yourself. Life is all about balance. Make sure you're eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise. Take time to socialize and allow yourself some down time. Taking care of the "non-studying" aspects of your life will help you focus and make your study time more efficient.


Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
After reading post #1, I agree with Choppy in post #3.

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