wow i'm failing mit

<p>... i've never gotten such bad grades in my life. just putting that out there. thank god for p/nr...</p>

<p>Yep, that happens.</p>

<p>Go to office hours, get tutoring, go to Student Support Services. The worst thing you can be is shy right now. Be proactive about getting things better :)</p>

<p>the scary thing is that i do do all those things (except student support services.... lol) and im still doing so badlyyyy.
and i hear classes get harder over the years.... im so scared now</p>

<p>Try Student Support Services. Seriously, they're good at finding a new direction if stuff isn't working for you :)</p>

<p>"Harder" is relative. For a lot of people, the first year at MIT is a rerun of high school. For others (like me!), things get easier because my first year I was slammed with hard work, and after that I knew how to deal with it. It depends on your background, your major, etc etc :)</p>

<p>Classes get harder. </p>

<p>And you get smarter, and figure out how to work more efficiently.</p>

<p>Failing several tests as a first-semester freshman should tell you that you need to figure out this college thing, and that you can improve your study skills and probably your time management skills. It should not tell you that you're stupid or that you can't handle MIT.</p>

<p>Signed,
A girl who got a 5th-week flag in 5.111, failed 3/4 8.01 tests, and got something like a 33 percent on at least one 18.01 test</p>

<p>I went from 4.0 per semester to some 4.7 at the end. the freshman classes are very different than higher-level classes. Much more high-schoolish in a way -- lots of memorization, less creative, lots of science and less engineering...</p>

<p>Someday (ie. after I graduate I think), I think I will post a full account of how badly MIT has screwed me over at times : )</p>

<p>Don't worry, I'm a 4th year bio major and I can't even get past a B on the 7.012 tests, lol.</p>

<p>@oasis, ok yay that makes me feel a lot better. i did so badly on that second 7.012 test.... even compared to the 56 average....</p>

<p>Can I remind people that I am a real-life biology graduate student? And that I work one subway stop away from MIT, in a hospital with a cafeteria that sells $1 ice cream? </p>

<p>Seriously, I am happy to sit down and help with 7.012/3 any time somebody's willing to come over to MGH. (Piper can vouch for the fact that coming to visit me is fun and educational -- I let her watch a mouse surgery!) I am suffering from withdrawal this year now that I'm not tutoring all the cheerleaders.</p>

<p>Mollie, I should take you up on that - it's been <em>way</em> too long since high school biology :P</p>

<p>I am completely serious. Send me a PM or an email (mollieb at alum).</p>

<p>
[quote]
Piper can vouch for the fact that coming to visit me is fun and educational -- I let her watch a mouse surgery!

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Heck yes, it was fantastic!</p>

<p>
[quote]
in a hospital with a cafeteria that sells $1 ice cream

[/quote]

?!?!?! Why did I not know???</p>

<p>I think I may have to visit you again :)</p>

<p>If it's bio you are having a hard time with, I think the trick is to do AS MANY PROBLEMS AS you can. MIT Bio is very much about being able to think critically about experiments and solve problems. You don't learn bio by passively absorbing materials in lecture.</p>

<p>There's a book that they used last year in 7.012, full of genetics problems. It has a DNA molecule and is white, can't remember the name. THat book is REALLY good. It's problems are exactly like exam problems. You should totally get it for 25$. Any sophomores who took 7.012 probably has it.</p>

<p>I mean, "problems" are relative, right. I mostly just want an excuse to get $1 ice cream.</p>

<p>oh i have that book... i just never use it.... ok maybe i'll try that next time...</p>

<p>and on a related note, i have just almost failed 8.01..... why does mit just keep hurling bad news at me....</p>

<p>^ Yep, it'll do that to you. Know that you are not alone.</p>

<p>So can you guys explain, given that you're having such a tough time, how you think you got into MIT in the first place? I mean, I thought these guys were selecting people that were just brilliant - what do they do to make the classes so difficult? Is it just hard because of the volume of work or is it just that the exams are cyptic?</p>

<p>MIT is hard for a variety of reasons.</p>

<p>One reason is certainly the volume of work. Students typically take three technical classes and one humanities class each semester, and it's typical for technical classes to have a problem set every week, a few midterm exams, a final exam, and often a final project or paper. It's typical for humanities classes to require several papers and/or projects through the semester. The typical courseload is supposed to require 48 hours of work per week, but some weeks are much heavier.</p>

<p>Another reason is that the work is designed to be challenging. That's different from "cryptic" -- it is intentionally difficult, but not poorly-written. The problem sets and exams are difficult because science and engineering are difficult, and because MIT professors think that undergraduates should be challenged and taught to think.</p>

<p>It's important to note, though, that it's typical to struggle freshman year at MIT, especially first semester. Many MIT students were at the top of their high school classes without having to actually put in that much effort, and it's quite an adjustment to come to MIT and need to learn study skills and time management. Plenty of people who are, in fact, "just brilliant" struggle freshman year.</p>

<p>What mollie said is certainly accurate. However, you also have to consider that for most freshmen, the difficulty of the GIR's and intro level classes (18.02/18.03/18.06/8.03/8/0x) are directly related to your high school preparation. For every person I know that struggled freshman year, I know another one who just coasted through and thought the coursework was lighter (although more interesting) than in High School. Personally, I got way more sleep freshman year than I did in high school. There was a lot less boring busy work to do.</p>

<p>I think a main drawback that many freshman don't realize is that MIT expects them not just to regurgitate from lectures, but apply your knowledge in a completely new setting on an exam/pset. That's called problem solving, and being able to solve challenging problems is of primary importance here. I know people in some physics classes who know the theory well backward/forward/sideways, but still have difficulties because they don't practice enough in order to be able to apply the theory in original/cool problems.</p>

<p>Although MIT has a threshold below which admission is very likely, it also admits a very wide range of students having very different academic backgrounds. What is completely new material for some might be review for others. That's why some people might think GIR's are a joke/boring, while others struggle. The level discrepancy is less noticeable in higher level classes, as the people coming with little background catch up, or take more intro classes to gain the same background. For example, if you took a solid AP Physics C class, you'll probably find 8.01/8.02 very easy. 18.02/18.03/18.06 is not that different from what you would get out from taking a local math class at your university, or through self studying (in fact, I realized I learnt way more by self studying 18.03 in high school in order to study physics than I did taking the class). 7.012/5.112 are a little bit nonstandard, in the way that the MIT version is quite unique compared to other universities. However, if you did olympiad work in any of those subjects, the classes would be ridiculously easy.</p>

<p>A final comment: There are also those classes that everyone (or almost everyone) will agree are incredibly challenging. Those classes usually win the consensus because they are immensely time consuming,not necessarily because they involve very difficult concepts. Examples are: 6.005 (java death), any course 6 labs, unified, J-lab, 2.005-2.006 (Thermal Fluids). Those classes tend to be more common in engineering than the pure sciences.</p>

<p>^ Look, first term freshmen year especially, MIT slams people to the ground. MIT is a lot harder than a typical college (and I have some relevant first-hand experience here), let alone a typical high school.</p>

<p>This sort of thing is hard to experience - but don't let it make you feel like crap as a whole. You had a bad term. What do you do now? You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, find new resources to improve, and take a deep breath with the realization that you probably won't get a 5.0 and that is perfectly alright :)</p>

<p>As far as "i have just almost failed 8.01" -- if that means you passed 8.01, then congratulations! You have a P on your record and you should celebrate. If that's not what you meant, see what I wrote above. Use winter break and IAP to recoup, do something fun, talk to your adviser (who is there to help you!). </p>

<ul>
<li>seriously I have lots of experience with this stuff</li>
</ul>