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Do you feel like an idiot?

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by chasingmytail, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. chasingmytail

    chasingmytail Member
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    Ok well, I had to start a new thread for this one:

    Does anyone ever feel like a complete MORON in their science classes? I mean I graduated from a pretty good school with a number of A's in undergrad classes. It was pretty straightforward - read the material, attended lecture, studied a couple of days before a final - got a good grade.

    Now I'm taking post-bacc science classes and I thought I was doing everything right - going to class, taking notes, studying before a test. Ok fine. So Bio wasn't bad. But I swear I have some mental block against Physics and Chem. Are these different? Is there something I'm missing? Orgo started out okay but it's going downhill for some reason. I DON'T GET WHAT I AM DOING WRONG. I thought I aced my last test but I ended up with a 70/100 while a few ppl in the class got A's. So I'm working full-time and not going through the material every day, but when I do sit my butt down and study on weekends, I think I know my stuff.

    I have never felt so stupid in my life!!!! Sorry, venting...only SDNers can understand ... or so I hope
     
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  3. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    The courses you mention differ from bio and other undergrad courses in that you cannot succeed merely by studying and knowing the lectures and notes, you really must sit down and do problems, and lots of them.
     
  4. Barfalamule

    Barfalamule Member
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    Bust out other material. Buy practice problems off Amazon, do old tests, grab another physics or chemistry book. Mastering these topics is not about memorization, it's about doing so many practice problems-seeing the material from every different angle-so that you not only understand it, you can apply it in all forms. That's where the A comes from. And that's why these classes are so much damn work!

    Did you go over the test that you got the 70 on? Did you make simple algebraic mistakes or did you apply the equations incorrectly? Learn from this one and attack the next one with all you've got!

    Good Luck
     
  5. Chrissy

    Chrissy Senior Member
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    where are you doing your post bacc work?
     
  6. remo

    remo Senior Member
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    Like everyone else said - you have to do lots of problems in these types of classes. Just reading won't get you anywhere. I found that working the assigned problems multiple times was a good way to do it. In ochem I tried to work every assigned problem 3 times before the exams. By doing them multiple times it makes things click for you. I also re-worked all prior exams that the professor made available (very important).
     
  7. stookie

    stookie Slick Nasty
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    I have yet to learn anything this semester in animal phys and organic chem. But i manage to my tests. I cant remember what I learned after I take a test
     
  8. jamesrd

    jamesrd Member
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    The thing I've found most useful is to write out your thought process as you do a problem, draw diagrams (in phys), and most of all justify each little detail and action you're taking in depth(IN WRITING! It's easy to gloss over concepts when you're just thinking). That way, you not only drill new material into your head, but you have to continually go back and pull on things you learned weeks ago.

    For example, we're just finishing up rotational dynamics. When you're introduced to an energy problem that brings rotational KE into the mix, don't just write out that Etotal = PE+KEtranslational+KErotational, but address why each is there. You can bring in concepts of force, circular motion, momentum, and conservation of energy, etc. This way, when the test comes around, you don't forget why mass*velocity is momentum and what it means. Since you've been using it all along, its still fresh in your head, and the more tools you have at your disposal, the better off you are (and this is coming from a guy who almost failed physics as a frosh in '99). Chem's no different, do lots of problems, make sure you don't gloss over anything, because they're going to test you on the areas that aren't so cut and dried, they're going to make you think, so the better you understand the concepts, the better off you're going to be.

    And yeah, LOTS AND LOTS of problems. Each chapter we go through generates ~40-50 pages of problem solving with the method I describe above.
     
  9. slimshadiest

    slimshadiest Junior Member
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    I think in order to do well in these classes you must use cognition instead of memorization. That's why the MCAT is such a burden on many people who did well as a biology major. You have to understand and use your thoughts to logically deduce answers, like using your thoughts to logically deduce your career path as a doctor. Overall picture is key and not little stupid details that even a monkey can memorize.
     
  10. chasingmytail

    chasingmytail Member
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    ouch. hey, now...

    however, deduction is not my problem. Dude, give me a Boards type question where you have to deduce a probable disorder and I'm happy. I wish the MCAT was based on this type of deduction. I'm acing Bio sections where you are given a passage about a disease and you have to apply knowledge and pick apart facts to figure out what's up. I really think I lack patience in practicing these concepts of chem and physics.

    Wow, do a problem 3 times each? 40 to 50 pages of problems? Just the thought of that frustrates me. I guess I have to readjust my technique.
     
  11. Dr Trek 1

    Dr Trek 1 Senior Member
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    From a psychological perspective, I think it's important to keep in mind that everyone learns material differently. What's most important is finding what way works for YOU. For some, it is endless practice problems- for others, it is rereading of concepts. Some people even do better when they don't study at all.

    I would suggest practicing from past exams as often as possible so that you do questions as the professor asks them.

    Also, never be intimidated by other people. And never be afraid to act confident- for confidence breeds success. Good luck!
     
  12. supersash

    supersash so what's an epitope?
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    for organic, i have two books that are pretty good at straightening up some stuff, organic chemistry as a second language, and organic chemistry 1 for dummies.

    i picked up premed as a jr in college, and i feel ya. going from something else, to all science is tough. stick with it!
     
  13. pompompurin

    pompompurin Junior Member
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    actually going over problems helps ALOT for physics and chem.

    If they give you a sample problem in the text, don't just skim through it, really sit down and write out the steps.

    Most people get the gist of the thought process that goes into these problems so they tend to skim problems (i was really bad with that).

    However, tests are given when you under complete stress and limited timing. I'm sure with an indefinite amount of time people can solve a problem given without seeing how the problem was done before... but realize that you're gonna be stressed out during the test and not focused enough to think as clearly. knowing the steps of working out the problems gives you the advantage of familiarity and less wasted minutes mulling over a concept.

    good luck!
     
  14. chasingmytail

    chasingmytail Member
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