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I think I might fail first year...

A photo of 311 311
I feel like crying right now. I'm a first year student at Ryerson (go ahead and laugh) and I just finished my midterms. All of my marks have been horrible. I got a 55, 57, 58, 52, and a 30 on them. I can't believe this is happening..

In high school, I wasn't a dumbass, I can assure you of that. I was the kid who always finished their work on time, studied for tests and got decent marks (75-85's...sometimes 90's) and would stay up all night working on anything from an assignment, essay, to studying for a small quiz. I thought going to Ryerson, which is supposedly known as one of the 'easier' schools would be a breeze.. LOL, funny huh?

So here I am, in my first year. So far, I have attended every single lecture and have been handing in all assignments on time and studying. I studied at least 5 days before each midterm, for every subject. I made notes, read the textbook, went over powerpoints, read out loud, did everything possible to study. I gave it my all.

The thing with all of my midterms is that they were ALL multiple choice. I think all universities are like that?.. Anyways, multiple choice has always been one of my weaknesses in high school. But since i studied my arse off for these midterms, i didn't find it so by so bad. Walking out of each midterm, I felt as if I would have gotten a pretty decent mark. I felt like I knew all of the material well and answered each question to the best of my ability. When I later on received my marks, I was devastated. What the hell happened? I don't know where I went wrong. I mean, i tried my best yet all of my marks are below a 60%.


I had a goal, when i first entered university, to get into the coop program in second year. I need a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to do so, but CLEARLY, that ain't happening. My GPA as of now is probably like a 1.3 or something. I feel like I'm living a nightmare. My marks are below the class averages of each of my courses. Everyone around me is getting higher grades than me. Why am I doing so bad?

Is this normal for 1st year students? Am I doomed for failure. Should I just drop out or something. What should I do, other than study even harder for my next set of exams..

I honestly feel like crap right now. I'd appreciate any advice from you guys.. preferably a university student.

If you are a highschooler reading this, let me tell you one thing. Enjoy high school as much as you can. It is seriously a piece of cake compared to uni. I don't mean to sound negative or scare you but uni is a lot of work and if high school is a breeze for you, don't be fooled. Being a top student in high school doesn't neccessarily (I think I spelt that wrong) mean you're gonna ace uni.

I personally feel as though I wasn't prepared enough for university. High school should have been harder, way harder. I feel like a baby being pushed into running a marathon when I can barely crawl...

This is so depressing. Sorry for the long post, I'd be surprised if anyone even bothered to read this.
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10 replies
 
A photo of ktel ktel
First of all, what were the class averages for the tests? This is important if your class is curved at all. If the average is 50% and you get 55% it's not so bad. You say that your marks are below class average, but is that known or just based on the fact you think everyone is doing better?

Not all universities have multiple choice exams. Mine were rarely MC. There must be a student center or something like that at Ryerson that can help you with exam writing strategies. Most schools have something like this.

My advice to you would be to go talk to all of your professors. Ask them how bad they think you really did and whether you have a chance of improving for the final. Ask them how to improve. This will help you in 2 ways:

1. You will get advice
2. They will remember you as a student who actually cares about how they're doing

Your situation isn't normal, but isn't abnormal either. A lot of students struggle in their 1st year. My boyfriend failed a class and is now a successful individual with a Master's degree and a full time job. Stuff can be fixed.
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Did you go look at your midterms to see where you went wrong? Figure out what the problem is from there (whether it's misunderstanding the question/answer choices, studying the wrong material, not studying enough, not understanding the material etc).

It sounds like you're doing all the right things to prep yourself for tests so it's probably a problem with not reading the questions/answers carefully (especially if the questions are designed to trip you up, eg. none/all of the above, 2 of the above, etc); or not understanding the material. If the latter is the case, get a tutor, go to office hours/tutorials to ask for help, read the textbook, ask a friend etc.

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A photo of rt7 rt7
understanding is key. you'll get 80+ every time if you understand the material taught. memorizing a solution is not the same as understanding the material. people that memorize solutions will hover around 70's and be at the mercy of the prof (difficulty of test), but if you understand everything and everything is intuitive to you, you'll score A's easy.

if you don't know why something is true, you don't understand it enough.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
What program are you in? At McMaster high school marks have generally been correlating with university marks. I got 90's in high school have been getting high 80's and 90s in university. My friends in sciences have also been maintaining 80's and 90's and we have a good social life. Engineering on the other hand is very difficult everywhere. Don't panic bro. This shyt happens. Maybe you're not enjoying what you're studying. That's also key. See how this semester goes, then decide what you may need to change for next semester. If it means switching courses to those that you enjoy and will do well in, then do it.

Sit down and think calmly. Do you enjoy your program? What do you want to do in the future? Transferring universities will be difficult right now with your poor GPA. Don't just give up and drop out. You had the marks to get in and know you're a good student, keep trying but don't stay in a program that you know is preparing you for failure. GPA is key, no matter what you're in.
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A photo of sllencer sllencer
I don't know why, but for some reason I think you're in business/commerce/ whatever it's called.

Since it's multiple choice, I'm guessing the prof tries to confuse you by putting down the wrong answers that usually come up when doin the problems. If that's the case, you should try to do more problems (I mean like crazy amount) to get a good feel and try to be more careful.

If the problem is that you're reading the question incorrectly...try to be more careful.


And... if you get your midterms back and you still don't understand why you're wrong, I suggest you make sure you really understand stuff, visit profs during their hours (more often than not, they like it when students visit). And.. in general don't just do one or 2 easy problems do as much as the book has (this is what I try to do, but I'm not from business so I don't know how much practice questiosn you can get from ur books), and you MUST be able to do the hard questions from the book.
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A photo of kraken kraken
in addition to advice from above posts: drop a course or two so you can salvage some grades and are less stressed out.
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A photo of HSingh HSingh
In all honesty, don't freak out. Chances are, you're not the only one dealing with this situation. I completely understand what your going through, partially because I've been in your shoes. There is tons of room for improvement, and you should definitely go speak to your professors. Although it may seem intimidating, its actually quite helpful. Just keep doing what your doing, and know that first year, especially first term, is a time for transition, no matter how prepared you thought you were for uni. Take first term as a time to test the waters, and don't worry to much about coop and the future. Continue to work hard and don't give up. Try to get as much help as you can, and when your writing the tests, take your time. Just know that second term is a fresh start and an opportunity to apply what you have learned through your experiences in first term. Even if your midterm marks are bad, chances are your assignments will boost your mark, and there's always bell curving. Know that things will get better in the future and keep carrying on. If the field of study you're pursuing right now is really what you want, then keep at it, and don't compare yourself to other people because that will only make you depressed. At the end of the day, one way or another, your hard work will pay off, whether you believe that or not.
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A photo of 311 311
Wow, thanks for the replies everyone! I never got around to checking this forum after but I appreciate everyone's advice.

Like some of you mentioned, I ended up talking to my profs. They were really helpful and supportive. I have been working really hard since my midterms and I think my marks are improving a bit..so that's good.


@HSingh wrote
In all honesty, don't freak out. Chances are, you're not the only one dealing with this situation. I completely understand what your going through, partially because I've been in your shoes. There is tons of room for improvement, and you should definitely go speak to your professors. Although it may seem intimidating, its actually quite helpful. Just keep doing what your doing, and know that first year, especially first term, is a time for transition, no matter how prepared you thought you were for uni. Take first term as a time to test the waters, and don't worry to much about coop and the future. Continue to work hard and don't give up. Try to get as much help as you can, and when your writing the tests, take your time. Just know that second term is a fresh start and an opportunity to apply what you have learned through your experiences in first term. Even if your midterm marks are bad, chances are your assignments will boost your mark, and there's always bell curving. Know that things will get better in the future and keep carrying on. If the field of study you're pursuing right now is really what you want, then keep at it, and don't compare yourself to other people because that will only make you depressed. At the end of the day, one way or another, your hard work will pay off, whether you believe that or not.




You're so right. I was just really depressed after my midterms, it felt like a slap in the face. But I guess I was still getting the hang of uni so I was just overwhelmed with all the workload and whatnot. I've gotten used to it now, and my marks are slowly going up. Assignments have been helping as well. As for bell curving, I've heard a lot of good things about that so I really hope my profs all do it. It breaks my heart thinking about not getting into coop lol. Oh well, we'll see what happens.

Anyhow, finals are next week (at Ryerson at least?) fml.

Best of luck to everyone reading this!

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A photo of Slasher61 Slasher61
Relax, they try to weed out the pretenders in first year. Simply just keep plugging away at your work, seek help, and most importantly, don't let it get the best of you. Simply find the small things in your work that are well done, and build your confidence from all the little aspects. To be honest, having the connotation that you are going to fail does't help. Trust me everyone else I know failed their midterms by like 20 percent and they're some of the smartest people. They push you hard to see if you can handle it.
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A photo of kraken kraken
yay happy endings.
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