I survived another round of finals with better-than-expected results.
E/M Theory was predictably nightmarish, with a full semester of memorization required and no hints as to what might be needed. As it turned out, he did not ask any questions at all from the last two chapters, which is just plain silly (but hardly my only complaint of the instruction), as those were the only two chapters we had not been tested on. That did not keep me from totally blowing two questions, but they were not hard questions – just happened to require formulas I did not memorize (of the couple hundred possible). I had already estimated that I only needed a 45% on the final to receive a B for the course (but an 85% needed for an A), so the final grade surprised me. Course grade: A-
Classical Mechanics was not as tough as it could have been, although I could have done better. Just as in E/M, I blew two questions, but in this case, it was just plain brain meltdown. They were not hard questions; I was just under temporary idiocy. Thanks to the marvels of heavy curving, I managed to come out on top. Course grade: A
Introduction to Applied Mathematics finally started getting interesting in the last few chapters (Complex Analysis). I studied the hardest for this exam for some reason, going over nearly all of the suggested practice problems throughout the entire semester. Given that I was going into the final with a low- to mid-80s average, I was surprised at the final grade. I suspect I managed to pull off nearly 100% on the final. Course grade: A-
My cumulative GPA has now been scratched (3.95), which is bad news in some ways, although still quite good, of course. As long as it was a perfect 4.00, I had a vested interest in having the best scores in class – now an A- does not seem as bad. Fortunately, I have only 4 more classes (well, two lecture-based classes, a major lab and a research project) remaining.