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I'm getting owned - First term engineering

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It's been hell since September when I began my first year in engineering school.

 

For one thing, I knew it was going to be 'hard', but I never knew it would be 'that' hard -- where I'm approaching failure in at least a couple courses. To be honest, I wasn't particular great in school (The 80%-ish student, but I graduated from one of the best high schools around here) but true failure was never a word in my books. Failure is anything below 80 like a lot of my friends, and I seem to be able to hold fairly well.

 

When I began class in engineering school, I knew I would have to kick up my work habits -- I used to not study, or barely study and work, and get the marks I've desired. Now that I actually do my homework, study with friends occasionally, and try to pay as much attention as I could in lectures, I just seem to be not able to get it. I admit I didn't work as hard as I've should, but I really, really dislike the courses I'm taking right now. Some of them are weeder courses, where they make it extra hard, and I have no interest in them either because I don't intend to major in those particular engineering disciplines. I plan to go into electrical engineering as that's my passion, which is not any of the actual engineering courses outlined below.

 

Courses I'm taking right now:

- Calculus (Easy stuff)

- Linear algebra (Its supposed to be the easiest course, but I failed the midterm for some reason, yet I ace my quizzes)

- Statics and Dynamics (That's the weeder course)

- Behavior of Fluids and Solids (Seriously, it's extremely boring for me)

- Design and Communication Tech (Where it's all group projects, no exams)

 

Let's start off with the weeder course, statics and dynamics. I understand the concepts, but the problem is that the lecture/lecture notes don't match the assignments, and the assignments don't match the exams, and the way the professor marks the exams is quite questionable in my opinion. He makes everything seem so easy in lectures, yet when it hits the assignments, they're impossible for our knowledge level to complete. It takes a group of 3-4 students a few hours after school to do it, and everyone gets a headache afterwards.

 

Then there's those questions on the exam where no one has seen before. I'm good with calculating forces of a truss, but the exam, they give you a real messed up truss that no one has ever seen before. The way the professor marks is kind of weird too -- for the last exam, I did a question completely wrong but had a nice free body diagram, and got 2.5/4. The next question, I did it completely right with a good free body diagram and got only 2/4 because I didn't use the triple product, but I had the exact right answer because I did the unit vector before I completed the cross product procedure, which, in general, is right and I've clearly shown that in my work. And then for my last midterm I got 2.5/11 for the entire thing with the same procedure. I really don't understand how the marking criteria is executed.

 

The latest midterm which I had the right procedure in pretty much all questions and had the wrong answer in the end because I messed up somewhere in the middle (Who doesn't in this course, 95% of the time you'll have the wrong answer) and got 2.5/11 and that's what half the class got. Unfortunately there's those who either gets it and gets 7-8/11 or those who are unable to and gets 2-4/11. I need a 40% to pass this course, and I have a 48.3% right now (But only 28.3% average on midterms, which is explicitly inadequate if I receive a similar mark on unexpected questions on the final exam). It really sucks, and there's not much curving going on.

 

For Behavior of Fluids and Solids, it's not a "hard" course, and the professor is decent, but it's just... very boring, like above, and both somewhat to extremely challenging for me. At least for this course, the lecture matches the exams, and you get marks as long as you write something down like a formula -- much like high school.

 

For the linear algebra course, I'm pretty decent, but somehow I choked really badly on the midterm. The professor asked things that's either covered vaguely at the beginning of the year, or something from the previous class, and he marks somewhat similar to the Engg Mechanics teacher -- say I got half the calculations right, and I messed up in the middle and got the wrong answer. He just gave me a 0, 10/50, or 20/50. I got 50/50 on one question but I actually wrote down an algorithm I used that I remembered from my homework and got the right answer, but I doubt that's the right way to do it.

 

What I've learned so far is that, most of the time, the stuff learned in class (Especially the weeder course) is harder than most information found on the net, homework doesn't match what's learned in either direction, which in turn gives an extremely unexpected turn in exams with unknown criteria of how they are marked. I'm passing all my courses now, all I need is to pass my finals and I'm good to go. The only positive thing I've heard it's really easy to get into electrical lately. My dad took electrical engineering back in the days, mind you that has no relation to my choice today -- the contents are my passion and my interest, unlike everything else that I could have taken. I didn't take engineering because of the money or the prestige (Haha I didn't know there was the prestige until I actually went in :P ) but I like it, unfortunately I'm taking everything that I simply don't like. It's kind of like high school physics where I got a poor mark in Energy, yet I aced the circuits, quantum, and everything related to the electron in the physics area. Everyone practically failed quantum but I got 93% because I actually like these things (Though quantum is not a big element of electrical engineering, it's more applied circuits, which is what I enjoy)

 

I'm worried about how I won't pass my finals, which was never really a problem until now :( All I need is a pass and I'm done with these crap forever except linear algebra, which I hope would have a better prof next time, not for teaching, but at least makes reasonable exams :P

 

Any suggestions/advices/etc welcome :P

 

(Btw I didn't work on APH much lately because of what's above -- and SOMEONE isn't doing their job completely :P )

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Take less courses. That's what I did, and it's working wonders until now.

 

Or maybe each semester instead of taking 5 courses that are absolute murder, take 3 that will go towards your degree and have one or two that are "GPA boosters" so in the event that you happen to fail a course, your "GPA booster" courses can boost up your GPA such that you don't get kicked out.

 

Again, that's what I've been doing and it's working so far. Only problem with that is to choose your GPA booster courses very carefully.

 

Some of them sound easy to start, but the material may be hard to understand (or you have a sh*t professor which is a very likely scenario in University -- most of them really only care about their research)

 

But yeah, I was in the same boat as you in second semester last year :P

Almost had to withdraw too.

Edited by SHiFT

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Nah I don't plan to withdraw. I just need to pass :P

 

If I fail, I'll likely have to repeat it next year. Some of the courses are prerequisite to next term stuff, so basically I'll be real screwed. I really don't want to waste another year on this junk.

 

Anthony: I didn't expect it to be this hard haha. I should have taken Econ another time. Right now I have 6 courses for 5 exams, the thing is I have to have 5 courses because I can't slow it down with engineering. You have to take this amount of courses, we didn't even get to choose our own schedule. What ended up is that I was in class where I knew literally nobody. It's a great opportunity to make new friends and that definitely worked out very well for me.

 

Next term I have Design and Comm Tech (Same as this term), advanced calculus, programming, Physics (Electricity and magnetism, another weeder course, but I think I'll be better at it), and Chemistry (woot high school review GPA booster).

 

Exam schedule is Tuesday Calculus and Econ, Thursday Linear Algebra, Friday Behavior of Fluids and Solids, and the inevitable Statics and Dynamics the following Tuesday.

 

:P

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I thought engineering programs usually allow a very limited number of GPA-boosting electives, because of the sheer "groundwork" required for the profession.

Edited by ty8131990

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Basically everyone ends up in the social sciences. Economics, urban studies, etc.

 

Not that they're particularly easy :P I was actually thinking of a humanities myself.

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Well if you didn't notice... Engineers are known for 'hardcore party animals' (I'm not).

 

Personally, I would correct your stated equation:

 

"Engineering + Party = :P "

 

Into

 

"Engineering Party = :P "

 

MMMM... Engineering Party...

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Well if you didn't notice... Engineers are known for 'hardcore party animals' (I'm not).

 

Personally, I would correct your stated equation:

 

"Engineering + Party = :P "

 

What are you serious, I thought arts and business students are.

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No you've hard it wrong. We got a, um, a little more than a "lounge" to ourselves. It's common knowledge around here of how the stereotypical engineers are hardcore party-ers. I'm not sure if UA is the same lol.

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The problem with this course is that even if I retook it I might not pass, never mind an A. The exams are too unpredictable for me.

 

Additionally, it is a prerequisite for a course next term (Although they are not directly related) therefore it would be much better if I could just be done and over with this crap.

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