Well, I took "Multidimensional Math" w/ Linear Algebra and Calculus 2 at the same time over a 6 week period for the Summer session.

It was a disaster. I don't think my Algebra and Trig are good enough

Is this the main reason students fail Calc? Because their pre-Calculus is just shoddy? I did well in pre-Calc stuff by itself, barely passed Calc 1, and struggled through Calc 2, getting a little bit of each concept down, but I'm not proficient in any specific section (Integration, Log functions, Sequences/Series, etc) I basically died toward the end of the semester in both classes, being crushed by the workload and just not "getting" some presumably basic stuff the instructor was talking about during the Finals review. I just could not at all manipulate trig functions or even polynomials and stuff at will.

I'm retaking Calc 2 this Fall and before the new semester starts I'm wondering if I should look over all the Algebra formulas and stuff. Feeling really low right now, almost as low as my GPA drop.


closed as off-topic by Najib Idrissi, Alex M., Clayton, hardmath, punctured dusk Sep 1 '15 at 8:37

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  • $\begingroup$ It does sound like reviewing precalculus concepts would be good for you. I'd like to also say that you probably shouldn't beat yourself up about it as much as you are; it is commendable that you're able to recognize where your faults might lie and the gusto to try and fix them. That being said, having a poor pre-calculus background is not the only difficulty that can exist in a calculus class, as in many ways calculus is a pretty different beast from precalculus and other similar classes, since the ideas and concepts of a limit are a major departure from the algebraic-flavor or those classes. $\endgroup$ – Hayden Aug 8 '15 at 5:59
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    $\begingroup$ I think you should give yourself another chance. Taking one class like that over $6$ weeks can be challenging for anyone, let alone two. Calculus $2$ was much harder then calculus $1$ even during a normal semester. I would not have signed up for both those classes over summer especially if you struggled with calculus $1$, I think that was your mistake. $\endgroup$ – HighSchool15 Aug 10 '15 at 0:25

Man to to be honest with you, here is what I think why most people fail calculus classes.

Students think that you should know the answer once you look at the question which is far from truth when dealing with university level mathematics.It's not a sociology class.You should try to be analytic, meaning that , You should see a problem and then try to break down into pieces and work your way slowly to your solution, and make sure you do understand everything until you arrive at the solution. Do this again and again, this will get your analytic skills faster and so by the end of the semester you should be good to go.

Also, Mathematics maturity take a very long time to build. You should study every day small portions. It's like a language. No one and I mean no one on this earth will learn a language in one day and so the same holds for mathematics. It's a language without sound but a lot of imagination. I hope this philosophy helps you in a way or another on how to approach calculus in your upcoming semester.

Good luck :)

  • $\begingroup$ My pleasure man @VLing $\endgroup$ – alkabary Aug 8 '15 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ @alkabary what do you mean by sociology class? $\endgroup$ – Conrado Costa Sep 10 '15 at 12:32

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