Dealing with grades that you feel are lower than you deserve

AZFutureDoc

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Seems like this phenomenon has been the worst this semester. I'm in an upper division math class, and I'll study really hard, go to class every day, etc... I have no problems doing my homework, but when it comes time to take a freaking exam, I just end up being unable to do stuff I had no problem with on HW! Several of my friends have been seeing this in their prereq classes this semester too. What do you guys do after you think you've mastered material only to get an exam grade that doesn't reflect what you can really do? I love this class I'm in, and it is my favorite this semester! And the highest grade I can even get now is a B+! Any suggestions for fixing this, or getting over it would be appreciated!
 

cyclin M

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Get over it.

If you don't get the grade you want, then you don't deserve it. Apparently other people can get As in that class. Why not you? Talk to your TA and Prof to see if you are studying the wrong way.

Or maybe you have a deep seated psych issue relating to exams that needs to be dealt with. Maybe a therapist or meds can help with that part...but seriously you should talk w/your TA and prof to fix this.

EDIT: by the way it might be a time problem, you have all the time in the world for HW, not for exams.
 
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Dr Lyss

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Seems like this phenomenon has been the worst this semester. I'm in an upper division math class, and I'll study really hard, go to class every day, etc... I have no problems doing my homework, but when it comes time to take a freaking exam, I just end up being unable to do stuff I had no problem with on HW! Several of my friends have been seeing this in their prereq classes this semester too. What do you guys do after you think you've mastered material only to get an exam grade that doesn't reflect what you can really do? I love this class I'm in, and it is my favorite this semester! And the highest grade I can even get now is a B+! Any suggestions for fixing this, or getting over it would be appreciated!
talk to your professor and find out what you are doing wrong. It could be a problem in your approach or the way you are studying. Homework and exams are very different (usually). If you mastered the material then you would be getting the grade you "deserve." Find out what you are doing wrong, fix it & then adjust.
 

erskine

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some people are just bad test takers, whether due to stress, fatigue from cramming the night before, whatever...

but I know how you feel. Sometimes I make really careless errors on my tests and those make me more angry than if I had just not known the answer.
 

GoSpursGo

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I've so been there. In P Chem last year, I lost LITERALLY 10 points on EACH of the last three exams due to sign errors- or put another way, a whole letter grade. It had nothing to do with my inability to do P Chem, but everything to do with me just forgetting to put the negative sign into the calculator even when it was on my paper. I rocked the final, but wound up with a B+, and that was generous of my teacher.

Anyways, it happens. There's not much you can do about it but try to do better next time. Maybe you could go over the exam with your prof, and if you can show to him that you know what you're doing wrong and you're just making silly errors, you might get lucky and he might give you a little bump in grade at the end if you're right on the cutoff for a particular grade.
 

chemnerd89

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Way back in Physics 1, I blew the first test for no apparent reason. I rocked the last 3 tests and convinced the prof to bump me up because I aced the material from the first test on the final.
 

MilkmanAl

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Talking about what you deserve makes it seems as though you're being cheated or short-changed. It's pretty clear that isn't the case and that you've earned the grades you've made. Deserving and desiring are very different. Get some tips from other successful students and your professor, and try to figure out where you're going wrong on test day.
 

cyclin M

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some people are just bad test takers, whether due to stress, fatigue from cramming the night before, whatever...
Yes this is true, but from what you listed there we can see that in reality there is no such thing as a "bad test taker," but rather these people are really bad at everything else that is supposed to come before the test. They are bad at studying, bad at time management, etc.

Many problems can be solved, even just taking a look at your list:

1. stress - if you're prepped, you're not stressed. Would you be stressed taking a high school math test? Nope. Because you know you know it and whatever comes you've seen it before and will be ready. Stress comes from fear. Fear comes from the unknown. Therefore if you know the unknown (ie. the material being tested) you will have no fear --> no stress. PROBLEM SOLVED.

2. fatigue - as you said it's a result of cramming. Get your sleep. If you waited until the last minute, tough luck. Take the bullet this time and be prepared next time. Start earlier and change.

Many times people get their test back and think "well I guess I'm just a bad test taker." Sorry, this is self-deprecating BS. There is nothing inherently wrong with YOU. It's not like it's test taking is built into your genes. You can CHANGE THIS PATTERN OF FAILURE. It's something you can change, so you should take advantage of this fact and do something. Good luck.:thumbup:
 

GoSpursGo

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1. stress - if you're prepped, you're not stressed. Would you be stressed taking a high school math test? Nope. Because you know you know it and whatever comes you've seen it before and will be ready. Stress comes from fear. Fear comes from the unknown. Therefore if you know the unknown (ie. the material being tested) you will have no fear --> no stress. PROBLEM SOLVED.
This is a vast oversimplification of the issue. You're not taking a high school math test, you're taking a hard science test, and your performance will determine your grade that will go on your transcript THAT WILL FOLLOW YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. No matter how irrational the worrying may be, for some people the weight of an exam of such magnitude gets to them no matter how much they studied for it; for some people, they really CAN'T just "get over" the stress. For these people, the problem goes deeper than simply studying more.
 

cyclin M

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for some people, they really CAN'T just "get over" the stress. For these people, the problem goes deeper than simply studying more.
So like I said 1) stop crying, and 2a) get a therapist, 2b) take meds, 2c) see a therapist and take meds. PROBLEM SOLVED :)
 

GoSpursGo

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The rest of your life? If you get into med school, college grades disappear.
That's a big if... more people fail to matriculate than do in any given application cycle. Until they do matriculate, it certainly will continue to follow them.
 
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Lippert7

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I've made a couple of really dumb mistakes in my chem class, it's aggravating especially when you realize how easy the problem was.
 

cbrons

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Not everyone gets a grade they deserve. Some instructors fail to live to the standards they set for themselves within the course syllabi... I just started a thread on such a topic. Also, some instructors do not give fair examinations. Sure its a great minority of them but I know for certain that my psychology instructor this summer had exam questions with more than one correct answer. I know this because I took my graded exams to an expert in the field and he pointed out several discrepancies. Also, the content within the textbook for the course contradicted no less than 20% of each answer he listed on each exam. We have a weak admin. who are too afraid to confront big egos with tenure so they basically tell you 'tough ****.' Thats why you have to research and find out everything you can about each instructor BEFORE you sign up for the course.
 

airplanes

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Talking about what you deserve makes it seems as though you're being cheated or short-changed. It's pretty clear that isn't the case and that you've earned the grades you've made. Deserving and desiring are very different. Get some tips from other successful students and your professor, and try to figure out where you're going wrong on test day.
:thumbup::thumbup:

Wake up and smell the roses, tests aren't the same as homework problems. Know how to apply concepts, not just the solution process.
 

AZFutureDoc

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I wasn't trying to sound like no matter how I do on tests, I deserve an A... The test questions usually require the exact same approaches that HW problems do, but I think I just have a hard time seeing that at the time. I can take a test in this class, do pretty crappy (first one was a C!) then get the answer key next class and be like wtf, I really do know how to do all these!

So anyways, I don't just deserve an A cuz I'm special, but rather because I really grasp the material while doing problems in class and homework.

I definitely can see some truth in the high school math test example. I'm a science major, taking a few interesting math classes to be full time, and I think that I just feel uncomfortable with things that I don't have a lot of experience with. When I draw a blank on science and humanities tests, I can either eliminate multiple choice answers to make a very educated guess, or BS (something that I am rather good). The tests in this course are zero multiple choice, just solve problems, and since I can't BS or make educated guesses, I can't use tools I would use on exams testing material I'm comfortable with.
 

apgar

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You mention that after you receive the answer key, you can understand the problem easily. Because of this, it seems that you do indeed understand the material, you just need more practice for problem-solving strategy. It may be possible that the HW problems (that you can do on your own) take the principles/theories and use them in slightly different manners than the professor tests on. I would recommend doing some of the book problems that the professor does not assign. You can most likely purchase the key online, and these extra problems will give you more practice in approaching problems.
 

Wylde

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Seems like this phenomenon has been the worst this semester. I'm in an upper division math class, and I'll study really hard, go to class every day, etc... I have no problems doing my homework, but when it comes time to take a freaking exam, I just end up being unable to do stuff I had no problem with on HW! Several of my friends have been seeing this in their prereq classes this semester too. What do you guys do after you think you've mastered material only to get an exam grade that doesn't reflect what you can really do? I love this class I'm in, and it is my favorite this semester! And the highest grade I can even get now is a B+! Any suggestions for fixing this, or getting over it would be appreciated!
you arent studying enough/correctly.

be honest when you study!

Do not just read the book and tell yourself "okay, i read that chapter. check". Make sure you understand every line before you move on; genuinely understand it and not just read over the words.

Do not do a bunch of the same type of problems in a row. Switch up the problems so that you arent simply memorizing a format and not thinking about why the format makes sense. Also, once you think you understand a type of problem, stop doing it for a couple of hours/1 day and then come back to it.

Time yourself. Try and do 5 (or whatever number) of each type of problem in 60 minutes (or whatever the limits of your exam are).
 

TheBateman

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How do I deal with it?

Complain about a B+ on SDN.:thumbup:
 

bozz

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B+ is a pretty good grade man

I'd understand if you were getting C-s or something. You're doing fine.
 

flip26

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Talking about what you deserve makes it seems as though you're being cheated or short-changed. It's pretty clear that isn't the case and that you've earned the grades you've made. Deserving and desiring are very different. Get some tips from other successful students and your professor, and try to figure out where you're going wrong on test day.
I agree with this...bad name for the thread...you always get the grade you earned - "deserve" has very little to do with it...
 

AZFutureDoc

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I will definitely give some of these suggestions a shot on my final! Thanks a lot for the help guys.
 
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