Extra Review Needed for Python Loops

I have been doing the Python Computer Science career path and I was feeling pretty good until I did the sections on loops. And then I came back down to earth. Hard. It’s been a very discouraging 3 days.

Previous sections, I was able to complete the challenges with minimal lookup and/or googling. On the loops, I couldn’t finish a single one on my own. I am hesitant to continue working through this career path until I figure these out, otherwise I feel I’m not going to be able to completely understand future lessons.

Are there any remedial review sessions or extra practice exercises (not challenges) here (or externally) for this topic (loops)? Or is it possible to retake the loops lesson without resetting the progress for the whole career path? I especially think I need to better understand how the loops functions iterate through lists and, for example, when “i += 1” is needed to increase the index and when it isn’t.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you.

Hello @blog4247097350. Firstly, loops are hard. Googling and looking up is normal, and a part of programming. Even people who do it as a profession look things up. Secondly, if you want extra practise on just loops, if you go to the Python course: https://www.codecademy.com/learn/learn-python-3 and go to the section on loops (module 5 focuses on loops), it dedicates many lessons to just teaching loops. I think that is probably what you are most looking for. Other than that, you can google loops, and read through articles and/or the languages docs, but that might not be as helpful. Once you think you have an idea, you should try to play around with loops, to really cement it. But I would definitely go to the Codecademy Python course first.
I hope this helps!
Happy coding!

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Thank you for pointing me to the practice section and for your words of encouragement. That’s what I was seeking out but wasn’t able to find the link. I’ll keep at it. :slight_smile:

You’re welcome, and keep going…you will get there!

I am in the exact same boat, and same timing. I came across loops three days ago and have been struggling with the logic of the syntax. Udacity has a free Python course that I’ve been using to supplement my Codecademy path, but I got jammed up again on the loops section and couldn’t pass the first quiz. I’m very frustrated and wanted to let you know you’re not alone.


Hey jabevan, thanks for chiming in…good to know we’re not alone on this journey. I think one of the biggest challenges in learning coding is teaching the brain to work in that step-by-step, methodical, and logical manner…to think like a computer. That’s been my biggest challenge anyways. Not something I often do in everyday life (and my current job sometimes demands the opposite lol).

I was able to hack my way through the loops section with a lot of Googling, but I don’t feel like I have a grasp on it at all. There’s so much syntax. I kind of felt like there was too much too fast in this section. I’m very frustrated.


I don’t know if this will be any help to you, but I’ve found it useful to print out the code from the exercises as a hard copy. I make notes on what the functions return and where they are called in future functions and generally map out where the code goes. I find this easier than trying to scroll back and forth on follow it on a 1/3 column of the screen.

I keep trying to remind myself this is a marathon and not a sprint. It has been a lifelong shortcoming of mine, that when something becomes difficult and frustrating, I tend to put it aside and move on to something different. It’s not an easy thing to change at this point in my life, but I am committed to stick with this, even though I’m banging my head on the wall quite often.

I’m with you too (three weeks later). It is disheartening - I felt confident in the Learn Python 3 course through the Lists section but felt like I was dropped in the deep end with Loops. Halfway through the interactive lesson, I took a break. I took an hour to run through the Code.org Blockly tutorials on For > While loops - https://studio.code.org/s/express-2019/stage/12/puzzle/1 - to remind myself that loops are useful and potentially fun. Then I tackled the Python course again, rereading Loops from the beginning. It’s going more smoothly on the second iteration. :slight_smile:

That blockly tutorial reminds me of the scratch site at mit.edu (https://scratch.mit.edu/), which was mentioned in the harvard cs50 week 0 video. I didn’t play around with it much because it looked more for kids and I’m not that interested in animation projects. Still it’s probably okay for practicing these concepts.

Code.org is aimed at kids, but it goes deep on computer science concepts. It starts from “if you can you run a browser”-level beginner and it’s visually appealing It’s where I started a couple of years ago, side by side with my (then) first grader. I circled back around to the loops material there because I knew I had learned loops before and the learning curve didn’t have to be staggeringly steep.

The animations and blocks aren’t just there because it’s kid friendly. They show how things fit and the animations shows the problem and the steps carried out.

A beginner might not observe what they’re doing or might write invalid code. Those are trivial problems, they’re the wrong thing to be focusing on.

Those blocks and animations are roughly how an experienced programmer views their code, it’s not an oversimplification.

You’d run into problems with things that are difficult to draw on screen, but that’s not what you’re doing anyway.

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