Posted by: kaitagsd | July 21, 2009

Short-term success

With reference to a previous post here, I have sort of conducted a “post-exam mortem” and see what I did wrong. Yet unfortunately, I haven’t really realized my mistakes. In fact, I started studying for my second math midterm just the day before.

Yet, my marks were much higher than last time. My midterm was around 45% last time, certainly nothing anyone would be proud of. This time, I managed to score 80%.

I wouldn’t be so happy yet though. I looked through the test, and basically got full marks on numerous questions where I actually got the answer wrong – perhaps pity marks, or maybe I had the right approach? None the less, one of my answers were quite funny:

It went down to solving a quadratic root, and I actually somehow forgot there’s something called the quadratic equation. I wrote out the trinomial (something like c^2 + 4c + 1) and then wrote the answer is ~1.57. Well guess how I solved it. I randomly plugged numbers in until i got a really close answer. Pathetic, doesn’t deserve a full 3/3, but somehow scored it.

Also, I happen to got the worse marks on parts I’ve studied the most on – quite saddening.

With this test, I have realized several things:

– never go easy and happy just because you got a high mark. Chances are, the teacher/professor is going easy on the class because everyone bombed the last test. Or maybe you got a better marker this time, since part-marks and pity-marks are really subject to the marker…

– questions were easier, as well as the fact that the professor quantified how much questions were going to be on each section, making it quite easy to guess the general gist of what the questions were going to be

– or maybe I just got smarter. I happen to stumble upon PatrickJMT’s math tutoring videos on YouTube – they’re fast, to-the-point, no B.S., and quite easy to understand. I guess I owe most of my mark this time to his videos

– luck. Yes, luck. Sometimes your brain is just stuck, and your time management is bad. This time I realized I should go for a rapid approach: tear down what I know, but don’t stall on a question you know just to make sure the answer is right to 10 decimal places. I always do that because I have this perfection disorder (which applies itself at the worst of times really), and you should really just jump through every question ASAP – unless you’re extremely prepared, you’re going to find yourself short of time

So with that said, I hope I do well on my final, or else its “GG”. It’s my third time taking this course, so I better not dumb out again.


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