Explain Why This Happens To Me

Discussion in 'Community' started by CubaTBird, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Apr 18, 2004
    Why is it that I study my ASS off for a math test only to get a F on it? I mean it was a trig test, and like I knew the formuals like the back of my hand and knew how to apply them. I mean cmon', I literally said "wtf" when I got the test back. It seemed I made really stupid mistakes like leaving off minus signs and the like and she took major points off for that. :( DAMN, anybody here in college that can tell me what can I look forward to in college math next year, (senior in high school now) im going into a business type field. Is college math like high school math just more FREAKIN harder or what... w0w, i seriously wanna like not sleep now.....
  2. mlw1235 macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    You're not the only one who failed a math test today...I did too. You would think it would be easy to memorize all kinds of calculus derivatives and antiderivates but no. Oh well...

    btw, I'm a high school jr. who wants to know the answer too.... ;)
  3. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    take one course on Partial Differential Equations and you'll be looking back at your trig days and wish it was that easy again :D

  4. Pittsax macrumors 6502


    Dec 8, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    Sounds like you need some encouragement. Well, here goes: In real life, unless you're going into science or engineering, chances are you're only going to need arithmetic and maybe some stats. I don't think business math involves things like cosecants or integrals.

    Heck, I'm in graduate school getting my PhD in science, and I haven't seen an integral since I took Calc III in college (and that was because I was stupid back in those days and I chose to take the class)
  5. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    I hear that! I'm a civil engineering student right now, and boy, does math get tough.

    If it makes you feel any better, I failed a circuits final today :(. Oh well, at least it's not that important to my major (although it's required for graduation).
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Don't worry, flipping a sign on a engineering drawing might mean the bridge falls down. :p

    So you can tell him, sometimes signs are important -- and a detail that is sometimes quite easy to check.

    But I much do prefer some of the more advance sections of math, where it's so advance -- you can do it with a simple sketch, instead of plodding your way through all the math.
  7. revenuee macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2003
    A place where i am supreme emporer
  8. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2002
    Tacoma, WA
    Stay away from the majors previously mentioned and you'll be fine in college. I know people who can't do CRAP math and they're 4.0 students. It's because they're psychology.

    I'm an EEEE student, and trust me, I would give anything to have a HS math class again as a GPA booster.

  9. urban1985_ macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2004
    Burnaby, British Columbia
    Some people just aren't good at math. I barely passed math 11. I still consider myself a good student. I never took math 12; it wasn't required for the university program I'm in. If I ever need math in the future though, I'd rather take one of the quick, condensed courses, rather than drawing it out over a year. I'm sure I'll forget certain things and do really badly on the final.
  10. dotnina macrumors 6502a

    Aug 19, 2004
    Math courses and their tests are so misleading. You can know everything like the back of your hand, and recite formulas in your sleep and everything, yet STILL do badly.

    It's not important that you know math; it's important that you know how to do math. The same principle holds for a lot of things. It's the application of knowledge that counts.

    Sorry, college math isn't too pretty. I've been putting off taking my last math class forever for just that reason. Basically, take all the regular concepts from math -- graphing, unknown variables, equations for geometric figures, etc. -- and interbreed ALL OF THEM until you get something completely unrecognizable and uninterpretable. Enjoy. :D
  11. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    A common problem with the teaching of math is that Section 3.2 teaches you the Law of Square Things and then you do 50 problems that use that law. Then comes Section 3.3 and 50 problems about L'General'Hospital's Rule. Section 3.4: The Pituitarian Theorem for triangles. And so on. (OK, I know my examples are dopey.)

    Then comes the test, and you see a mixture of problem types. Which method applies to which problem? Well whatayaknow, figuring that out wasn't part of what you were taught!

    I've tutored a few math students. The most common mistakes on math tests are often the simple ones, forgetting that subtracting a negative means adding, adding the same value to the numerator and denominator of a fraction and thinking the value is the same, etc. - stuff you'd do right if you had time to be more careful. But the untaught lesson about how to find the right method for a given problem is a reason I often see for kids doing poorly on tests when they did fine on the homework.
  12. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Basically, practice, practice, practice.

    I found with 4U maths for my HSC that simple mistakes were always your undoing. No matter how well you know the equations, if you make a simple mistake when applying those equations in an exam situation then you have failed.

    Get old exam papers and do them relentlessly. Make sure you get everything right and make sure someone marks them. Ask your professor if they would be kind enough to mark them for you as I am sure some would appreciate that their students are putting in the hard yards.

    Memorisation is about 10% of the work, applying is the hard part.
  13. CubaTBird thread starter macrumors 68020

    Apr 18, 2004

    my major as of me being admitted to my cal state of choice is shown as "pre-business" now, do the GE's I take have any direct affect on my major? For example, do I have to take calculus math to fulfill the business requirement GE or can I just take regular old algebra for my ge's and that calculus is considered a "business requirement" so I take it at a later time... :confused: :eek: :confused:

    Also, what field in business would have the least amount of math? Marketing, admin?

    Im just askin this so I don't get screwed over in college. :p :eek: :eek:
  14. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    You should be able to get the answer from their web site, depending on which Cal State it is. For example, Cal State L.A.'s web site says

    Students should seek General Education Advisement from Advisers in their School Based Advisement Center or faculty Advisers in their Major and Minor Departments. Students who do not have a Declared Major should seek Advisement from the Academic Advisement Center for Undeclared Majors. ​
  15. jimjiminyjim macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2003
    If math is not your thing, no worries. Not all undergrads need math. And as others have said, there are only a few careers that need the kind of extensive math you do past... about grade 5. So ya, as long as you watch for minus signs on your bank account, no worries. I know plenty... ok not plenty, a few... people who suck at math who are creative geniuses. And I know plenty... really, plenty... of people - like myself - who are pretty much average. When it comes to the out of school world, it really is different. Don't let it hit you too hard.
  16. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    I was a Chem E till I started burning out, had a Cal III prof from Equidor, kept yelling at me with a string of rolling RRRRRRRRs. Drove me nuts. Remember the scene in Real Genius when they are studying for finals and the kid in the library losses it, :p :p , I almost did that. Lost it on infinite series. I can't remember a darn thing about Calculus, except the term, infinite series. The good news, I skipped out on college, went to Vail for a year and skiied as much as possible.

    Where you go to college and what you decide to take and when, has a lot of impact. Learn from the silly mistakes, talk to your teacher, show him/her that you really do know the stuff and see if you can get a break, shoot you got a F, what can you lose!

    Good Luck!

    I went back to school and got a biz degree, stay away from Finace, head into marketing, organizational behavior, or even better, if available get a health administration degree (biz focused on healthcare).
  17. CubaTBird thread starter macrumors 68020

    Apr 18, 2004
    yeah, im not so much worrired about math in the real world as i am worried about college.. well based on the posts, looks like im gonna have to bulk it up and just do it :( :eek: :eek:
  18. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    Control the Fear

    Lots of good stuff here. It's all about controlling the fear.

    As a business major, the worst you can expect is:

    -College Algebra (the equivalent of Algebra II that you've already taken).
    -Business Calculus (a watered-down version of Calc I which focuses on application rather than theory).
    -Finite Math (which is quite fun and independent enough of the other maths to allow you to do well even if you've had problems in the past.)

    Trig, as such, should not come back to haunt you.

    You'll also run into Accounting. The key to Accounting is to not let your fear of math spill over into Accounting. THERE IS NO MATH IN ACCOUNTING! There is lots and lots of arithmetic, but Accounting is primarily a business course. It's business principles and procedures carried out in arithmetic.

    That said, take your math early! Do it in your Freshman year, while it's still fresh in your head. And, in a worst-case scenerio, if you fail it, you'll have plenty of time to take it again. There's nothing worse than seeing a student put their feared subject (math, speech, etc.) off until their last term only to end up not graduating because they don't pass it.

    And, if passing is a real fear, make sure you're taking enough credits that, if you need to withdraw (for the sake of your GPA), you still have a full-time load (for Financial Aid and athletic eligibility reasons.) If you are going to have to withdraw, stay in the course until the last possible day. Seeing it will help you to pass it the next time.

    Most colleges have some kind of a "Math Center" - where math majors are available to tutor other students taking math courses. Take advantage of this, but make sure that they aren't just giving you the answers. Build a relationship with a tutor who will take the time to figure out how you think and to help you to understand *why* you're doing what you're doing.

    In any case, don't choose your major (or your college) based on trying to avoid math. Anyone who can learn a language can learn math. Unfortunately, there are many teachers out there who are bad at teaching math, which leads to math phobia. You can take anything they can throw at you.

    Good luck!
  19. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    As I recall, I only needed one math class in college to fulfill my business degree. I took Statistics and the text was How to Lie with Statistics. Was a pretty good class. I was always good in math but never really liked it.

    I'm a VP of Marketing and use math quite a bit on my job. Mostly percentages and even some algebra. I track all kinds of percentages for sales reps and Internet marketing (click ratios, conversion rates) and do projections.
  20. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    I got 97.5% in my GCSE Maths exam (UK equiv. of US High School finals I guess). When it comes to day-to-day work it's never really helped and I'm well aware that I'd be lost in the same exam today, 15years on. The only 'math' I use is for sports betting, this year I'm running at a annual return of around 40% try getting that from a bank!
  21. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    It sounds like you knew what you were supposed to be doing in the exam but that you screwed up with stupid mistakes that meant a possible pass turned into an F

    The idea of doing some past test papers is a great idea. It gets you into the mindset of examiners and they do often repeat questions just with a few different values tossed in.

    The thing I think you need to learn to do is 'checking your work'. There's no point in getting all the questions answered within the time if most of your answers are hurried and wrong. I hated (and still hate) checking my answers - I prefer assuming that I must have got it right. Take the time to work through the answer again and just make sure it's all OK - and if time is an issue, it's often better to miss off the last x questions and make sure you've dotted all those i's and crossed the t's in the first ones.
  22. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Damn.... I'm taking that next year... :rolleyes: :eek:
  23. 4409723 Suspended


    Jun 22, 2001
    A-Levels would be the equivalent of high school finals. GCSEs would be mid-high school exams I suppose, no direct conversion there.

    I prefer my maths classes to say English because at least there is no frivolous arguing of points that I really don't care about. I honestly think that a good part of the work we read and 'analyse' was not intended by the author to have these meanings and is purely coincidental.
  24. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    Also, think of taking your math as a summer school class. Take it and only it, see if you can audit it the first semester of summer school, then take it the second semester, or audit it at another school the first semester and take it the next one at your school. (I know some people who did this, audited Organic Chem at a local state school in the summer, then took it at Duke in the fall-aced it!)

    rots of ruck!
  25. keithpetey macrumors member

    Nov 30, 2004
    college is a joke

    im a sophomore in college right now and all i can tell you is that college is a joke. ive only taken a couple math classes and those were equally worthless. the key to college ive figured out is never showing up. my grades are consistantly high as long as im not required to be in class. for the ones i am required to be in, i get a b-c grade. im a 3.8 gpa student right now by the way and in high school i was a 2.4 gpa student. i think its funny cuz all my life teachers were telling me they were preparing for college like its hard or something.

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