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How to Master Your Calculus Class
To study calculus is to study change. This mathematical discipline provides a way to study systems that change and to understand the consequences of those changes. If you want to understand the effects of change on the system you are investigating, you need calculus to provide you with the answers. College-level calculus is an intimidating course for some. There are ways to master your calculus class.
Know the Course
Plan for success from the start of your course. It is important to be present from the very first day of class. Pay close attention to the comments made by your instructor. Listen as the instructor breaks down attendance and grading policies. Read the syllabus. The syllabus contains important information about the course. Success in calculus begins when you understand the expectations of your class.
Class attendance is important for any course. Calculus class moves at a brisk pace. If you miss a class it is difficult to catch up and stay on top of the latest class at the same time. If you have made it to this level of mathematics, you are already ahead of the curve. Be careful not to get too comfortable with your abilities. Show up for class and continue to work hard.
Devote Ample Time to Study
Calculus takes time to learn and to master. Procrastination is not going to work well in this field of study. Last-minute cram sessions will not equal success. Calculus requires hours of study outside of class. Make sure you prioritize your time well.
Form a Study Group
You will benefit from small study groups. Students who work in small groups tend to fare better in class. Find a group of like-minded students and form a group at the beginning of the course. Pay attention to other class members and gravitate towards those who seem to take the course seriously.
As the semester progresses, use the study group as a resource for figuring out complicated problems. Work together before exams to master concepts. Study groups will help you stay motivated when the coursework takes its toll on your motivation.
Use Extra Problems for Practice
Learn to utilize the textbook most effectively. Pass through the material several times before you move on. Begin by looking things over. Read over the descriptions and try to understand the concepts on your first pass.
Consider the second time through the material as a mastery phase. Read the specific examples and explanations in order and build off of each step. Go through each explanation, for example, theorem, and proof. Take notes in the sections you may not understand.
Pay Attention to the Details
After you work through the problem you have mastered, slow down, and work through the stages of the problems you find difficult. Rework the example problems and pay attention to the details. As you work through more complicated problems, remember that the problems are built on the same basic techniques.
The more you work on calculus problems, the better you will become at it. Use extra practice problems to perfect your understanding. If you need extra help, seek out the assistance of a tutor. Many online resources will provide you with extra help.
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