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I think I'm doing poorly in college. any advice?

emily09098emily09098 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
Right now I am taking general bio and chem course as a freshman with each according labs.

However, I am such a bad test taker in general, especially weak in MCQs.
So bad that I got 49/50 on the short answer section of my bio exam and a whopping 22/50 on the MCQ.
While I'm taking the test, I am not rushing and ironically enough, I am confident about my answers when I choose them.
With that grade my overall grade in the class is a C-. (we've only taken one exam).

In bio lab, I am getting perfect scores in my pre and post-lab reports. however, the quizzes (MCQ) I am bombing.
So I have a 70% in Lab.

I am a little better in chem, but still in a similar situation where I understand the material but am not getting the score that I want.

I recognized this only last semester and ended up with a terrible GPA of 3.19.


I just feel like a failure overall and so overwhelmed by the grades.
I don't have test anxiety either, I work out the problems and work at my own pace.
Has anyone been through this? Any words of advice?

When I emailed my prof about wanting to talk about my grade and how to improve, he replied," I have gone over how to succeed in this class. To improve your grade in the class you need to engage with the material."








Replies to: I think I'm doing poorly in college. any advice?

  • geraniolgeraniol Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    When you get your exams back, do you look through and logic out the questions you got wrong? I’m confused that you say you’re confident when you pick your answers and that you’re not rushing...
    If you do the exam questions in your own time, outside the classroom, do you do better?
  • emily09098emily09098 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    @geraniol Yes I do go over them when I get them back. It seems as though I miss a lot of them because all of the choices could be correct. It's one of those "pick the best answer" types of questions.
  • geraniolgeraniol Registered User Posts: 143 Junior Member
    Pick the best answer questions can be tricky, it sounds like your professor is a little short with you, but if you feel confortable talking to him/her at office hours, and asking about a specific question and your logic and how you thought one answer was as good as another, he/she might be better poised to help you rather than when you just ask for generic help.
    Alternatively, if your lab has TAs, they can sometimes be more generous with their time in helping you. It sounds like you probably know the material well, and that’s how you do well in the short answers because you can write out all the possibilities even though they might only be looking for a couple of the answers you provide. It’s just a matter of you learniing to discern the best answer, which means considering more nuanced aspects of an experiment, ie. the most feasible way of doing something or the best way to do an experiment so that it tells you exactly what you want to know and doesn’t require a second experiment to further confirm.

    tldr; ask your prof/TA on specific questions and the exact reason why one answer was right and the others wrong.
  • emily09098emily09098 Registered User Posts: 68 Junior Member
    @geraniol wow, thank you for such detailed advice. I will try to figure out why exactly I chose that answer instead of the other options and present it to my professor or my TA. Maybe there could be a error in my logic when approaching the choices. You exactly pointed out where I am having trouble, "the nuanced aspects", which is really hard for me to grasp. I should definitely talk to someone about it. Thanks again.
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