Question 11

By: MB


Posted On: November 6, 2018

The Question:

I am taking a math class which I am in severe danger of failing. I am in severe danger of failing this math class because the tests are not testing material we have been taught. I spent 8 full hours over the last 24 drilling every practice question we’ve been given until I understood the material so well I could do every problem in my sleep, because I’m in danger of failing, and I’m a hard worker. Then I sit down confident for the quiz, and one of the two problems in a question unlike anything we have been taught or instructed how to prepare for. It’s been like this all term, every test, even the midterm, and I’m terrified I’m going to fail this course because it’s so unfair. It doesnt matter how much I study, because it’s not testing what we’ve been taught or how well I understand it, its testing if we are inherently good at math. I am not. I see the peer tutors, I put the time and work in, but it is meaningless because the test is not fair.

Please advise.

The Answer:

Thanks for your question!

This is one we definitely get a lot. First and foremost, it’s important to let your instructor know how you’re feeling! Simply put, they can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on. Instructors are meant to test on the material taught, but that material could be things that weren’t taught in class, but may be in the textbook. As per BCIT policy 5103 – Student Evaluation, “Evaluations of students in a course will be based on the learning outcomes described in the course outline”, so have a look at those on your course outline and see if the test you wrote matches.

I can appreciate that you aren’t ‘inherently good at math’ (you’re certainly not alone there!) and it really sounds like you’re doing all the right things (studying, seeing tutors), and so I’m sorry to hear that things aren’t working out as well as they could be. The most important thing now is to speak with your instructor about this. They can help you if you they know what you need help with. If you do speak with your instructor and are not satisfied with the answer, please come and speak with us and we’ll see what we can do from there. You can call or email us any time, 604-432-8279 or… Please be assured that you will remain anonymous, and we will not inform your instructor or anyone else that you have come to speak with us.

Finally, if you or anyone is feeling anxious or nervous, we definitely recommend the BCIT Counselling and Student Development Centre. They’re great at helping students work through this stuff, because they’ve seen it a lot at BCIT. This can be a really tough school for sure, and the counsellors are well-versed in being able to help.

Thank you, and good luck!

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