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Helpful Tips to Succeed in College Math

August 13, 2021

Most students will take at least one mathematics class in college and it is not uncommon to take the same math course more than once to pass. Even if your major is in humanities and social science, most colleges will require all students to complete at least one math class. There is a reason why colleges do this as it’s important to always learn new things. Nonetheless, here are some handy tactics for you to succeed in college math classes.

Plan ahead

Students often don’t plan for the semester ahead and this is a big mistake. Plan your semester, mark down when homework is due and when you need to prepare for your exams. Professors will not coordinate with other classes to give you time to prepare for exams. In fact, sometimes exams can be all in one week so you are responsible for keeping track of where you should be.

Students should always read the materials before a class even if it is difficult to understand. Learning this way will give you the opportunity to think about the materials beforehand and be ready to ask about any confusing concepts in class.

You can even go further and plan who will be the professor teaching your classes. Some professors are better at teaching and some might provide assessment formats that you are better at. It is always wise to scope out professors for the reasons above to prepare yourself with the best chances of succeeding in your math exams.

Read the textbook before solving the problems

Lectures are limited by time and will not cover everything in the textbook, so always review the chapter before attempting any math problems. College level mathematics can be more abstract and complex compared to high school, where mindless computations could be enough for you to pass. Understanding the concept of math problems can make the problems more fascinating and easier to solve rather than jumping directly into problems.

Do the homework

Completing homework in mathematics is essential for the making of an academic superstar. Homework given in class will most likely be the types of questions that will be in the exam and completing them on time will make the next class a lot easier. Take the homework seriously, be sure to ask questions when you can’t solve a problem and don’t leave a problem unsolved.

Join a study group

Better to be together than alone. Study groups are the perfect sharing point with your peers where you can find more resources, get homework help and teach each other. For example, other students may have more past papers to practice on or tips for the exam from students who have completed this class before. Either way, you can assess yourself, if you can teach someone else math, then you have truly mastered the topic.

Some colleges provide students in undergraduate math classes with free access to course assistants. For example, Harvard provides this through a community called Math Question Center (MQC).
Learning to succeed in college takes a lot of hands-on hard work and engagement with your classes. On the other hand there are different undergraduate math classes where you may do better in some and worse in others. You may be asking yourself, is calculus hard at college? In the end, math is one of those many hurdles you will face in college and it is not impossible to succeed in it. In addition to these tips, here are skills every student needs to succeed in college.