• Question: I know its hard work to be a scientist but I am not getting the best of grades at the moment can I have some advice as to what to do

    Asked by drtrollface to Carol, John, Phil, Rebecca on 4 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Carol White

      Carol White answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      The first thing: don’t panic!!

      Next, talk to your teachers for the subjects and explain that you’re feeling like your work isn’t paying off. I think they’ll be impressed that you’re trying, and will either help you through a difficult subject or suggest different ways to learn.

      I have a terrible memory (I mean really really really bad) so I can’t remember names, dates etc.

      My solution: I use spider diagrams for each topic I’m trying to learn/revise! An A4 piece of paper with lots of colour and the key points on it – stick it on your bedroom wall or in the back of your school folders and it’s a really visual way to remember things and help you understanding!

      If you’re a sporty person, you might find you learn/remember things better when you’re moving around. So you could recite things as you walk/run/play sport!

      But most importantly, keep trying to ENJOY science, it’ll make it easier to understand. If you get too stressed about it you might end up hating it.

      Good luck drtrollface!

    • Photo: John Welford

      John Welford answered on 4 Jul 2012:

      Don’t worry about it too much! You’ve asked some great questions here so you’re obviously interested and have a good brain for science. Asking good questions is a really important part of getting good answers!

      I’m not sure what level you’re at, but I found GCSE’s to be some of the hardest exams I’ve ever done – there are just so many different things you need to know about. I remember putting in loads of work and it paid off in the end.

      The best way I’ve found for learning new stuff is to try to explain it to someone else. Ideally someone who doesn’t know anything about it. If you’re able to explain it so that they understand it, it means you must understand it yourself! If they ask you questions that you can’t answer – then you need to do more reading!

      I also find trying to summarise all the things I need to know for a subject on one sheet of paper helps. You might need to write really small and try it a few different times before it all fits on, but it’s surprising what you can fit onto one sheet of paper!

      Some people think you need to be super, super clever to be a scientist but I don’t think that’s that case. It’s more important to be able to think in a logical manner than it is to remember loads and loads of facts.

      I hope you stick with it and do ok in your exams!

    • Photo: Phil

      Phil answered on 6 Jul 2012:

      If you want to do Something.
      Don’t let any one else tell you that you can’t do it
      Just Do It, and never give up. (if its what you want)

      and Grades?
      I failed practically every GCSE i took at school because most of the teachers didn’t believe in me
      …now, schools have changed allot, great advice from Carol and John above
      (do go have a chat with your teacher..)
      Don’t panic
      Hay! If I can fail my GCSE’s, fail my A levels and still get a PhD at the end of the day.
      You can do anything you want to do!!
      Just go for It ! and never let anyone tell you it cant be done. 🙂