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Math Exam Anxiety

  • 1.  Math Exam Anxiety

    Posted 02-25-2020 00:23
    Growing up, math was my favorite subject but somewhere along the way, I strayed.  I loved it through pre-calculus and then...

    Do you love math? Which math class do you think will be the most beneficial as a chemical engineer? If you could go back and speak to your 1st year self, which parts of math would you recommend as critical to the rest of the your "chemical engineering" academic career and which parts (if any) are not worth the worry?.

    What is your best advice for overcoming math exam anxiety/jitters? Other than, study some more, ;)

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    Maria Carmona-Montalvo
    Chair Elect, AIChE Executive Student Committee
    ChME Student, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
    B.A., University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Northeast Regional Liaison
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  • 2.  RE: Math Exam Anxiety

    Posted 02-25-2020 23:52
    La verdad que cuando lleve el curso de Fenómenos de Transporte I, los cursos de matemática no me ayudaron mucho hasta que lleve cálculos aplicados a la ingeniería química ya que en el curso nos enseñaban métodos para solucionar ecuaciones diferenciales  que son netamente aplicados a la ingeniería química. Toda la matemática es hermosa e importante.

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    EBER COLQUE
    Tacna
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  • 3.  RE: Math Exam Anxiety

    Posted 02-26-2020 00:23
    Eber,
    Me haces reconsiderar mi situación.  En mi juventud amaba las matemáticas por esa misma razón. La hermosa certitud de las soluciones me daban confianza. Ahora me dan miedo, pero no quiero seguir sintiendo ese miedo. Es posible que no le he encontrado la relación a lo que ago en ingeniería química. Posiblemente en el futuro le encontrare conexiónes mas especificas. Gracias por responder a mi pregunta.

    Maria

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    Maria Carmona-Montalvo
    Chair Elect, AIChE Executive Student Committee
    ChME Student, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
    B.A., University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Northeast Regional Liaison
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Math Exam Anxiety

    Posted 02-26-2020 00:24
    I would say this for any test, but math is usually a big setback for people. While it may sound basic or useless, I swear this is real. Stop telling yourself that you'll fail. If you truly put in the time to learn and prepare, it will handle itself. I guarantee that the majority of people who fail tests are just convincing themselves that they will. This causes them to go into panic mode, stress out, and during the test, forget everything because instead of thinking about how to do the math, you were so focused on how failing the test is the end of the world. Take a breath. Relax. Trust yourself. I'm not saying that this will guarantee you an A on the test or that you will, for sure, know all the topics, but that's just life. You're not supposed to be good at everything and if you do still get a grade you don't like, then you have two options. One is to accept that it is your weakness and move on to something you are great at or two, you can try again and study where you're not understanding. That's another studying tip. Don't study what you already know. Focus on where you're weakest at. No reason to jam everything when only a few of the concepts don't make sense. Reduce your study times to enough to understand the concepts and your stress will decrease. In general, stress management = better performance.

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    Tony Le
    Troutdale OR
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  • 5.  RE: Math Exam Anxiety

    Posted 02-26-2020 23:45
    Context: Growing up, I didn't love Math, but I found it to be intuitive. I found that it made sense and everything clicked into place. It was my best subject, although I wasn't the best in the class, but because it was something I was good at, it was an ability I was proud of, I enjoyed doing it.

    But come to post-secondary and ChemEng, and I dislike it now because it is so difficult and I realized that most of the higher level Math classes I've (been forced to have) taken, aren't applicable.

    The most beneficial math class that I've taken has been Introduction to Differential Equation, and I believe other math classes in relation are helpful, as they help you understand now computational methods and everything works, which are important when it later comes to simulation and process design.

    Basic Calculus Skills, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra are helpful for the type of higher level math you'll find in ChemEng (Computational Methods, Controls, Etc.). Basic arithmetic and understanding chemical engineering knowledge helps a lot more with getting through general Chemical Engineering (at least where I am currently.)

    With respect to math advice to my first year self, I would recommend to thoroughly understand linear algebra. A good understanding of matrix math at the beginning helps a lot when it comes to reviewing it later.

    As for overcoming math exam anxiety, get a math tutor. I don't know any other way to gain confidence in something than actually doing it.

    Anyways, I hope this helps,
    Nathaniel Romance Senneville,





  • 6.  RE: Math Exam Anxiety

    Posted 02-28-2020 00:35
    Nathaniel,
    Thanks for taking the time to write such a well thought-out response and for offering really great advice.  The advice will serve me, as well as others who are just starting off on their path to Chemical Engineering Greatness. By the way, I will meet with my new math tutor on Monday and I am really excited about that.

    Once again, thank you so much for caring.

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    Maria Carmona-Montalvo
    Chair Elect, AIChE Executive Student Committee
    ChME Student, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
    B.A., University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Northeast Regional Liaison
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  • 7.  RE: Math Exam Anxiety

    Posted 02-28-2020 00:48
    Tony Le,

    Thanks for your terrific reply and fantastic suggestions.  Often times we do not take the time to really address anxiety.  I think that you are right. I was spending more time thinking about how badly it could go.  I tried to not think about it and just sat down and considered the math and the possible answers.  I feel good about the exam. My perspective changed.  I owed that to you.  I also took my Engineering Materials exam in a de-stressed fashioned and received an 98.72%. I hope to also get a good grade on my math exam. Fingers crossed :).

    Thanks for helping me,

    Maria

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    Maria Carmona-Montalvo
    Chair Elect, AIChE Executive Student Committee
    ChME Student, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
    B.A., University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
    Northeast Regional Liaison
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