Tips For Success in Math
Attendance and Being an Active Learner
Do not miss a class. Math is cumulative, i.e. it’s like building a house
one brick on another. If you miss a brick, the whole house will fall
apart. So attending all classes is important. However, your mere
presence in the classroom is not enough. You have to actively
participate in the classroom activities. You should take notes, ask
questions each time you don’t understand, and actively participate in
discussions (we will have them a lot.) Just watching somebody else
solving problems or explaining things is not enough. Can you imagine,
for example, learning a basketball by just watching others play? Active
participation in class-work and practicing on your own are essential
part of learning.
Homework is the most important part of the learning process. Instructors
do not assign homework to make your life miserable (well most of the
instructors…) Many times after watching an instructor solving problems
on board, you may think you completely understand how to solve the
problems. However, that’s a false feeling. You won’t know if you truly
understand the material and can do the problem if you don’t attempt the
homework. You need to attempt to solve all the problems and if you think
it’s not enough do more. It’s OK if you can’t solve problems at the
first or second attempt. A common barrier in doing homework is when
after just reading a problem, some students think they don’t know how to
solve it and move to the next one. Often there will be a similar
problem in the notes and/or text that can help you to get started. If
after several attempts and reading the textbook you still can’t solve
some problems write down questions and ask me or at the tutoring center.
It is important to work on homework as soon after the lecture as
possible while the lecture is still fresh in your mind.
Finding a Study Partner / Forming a Study Group
Your classmates can be an excellent resource. Remember that one
of the best ways to learn is teaching others.
Exchange email and phone numbers with some students in the class.
If you need, I can meet with your study group outside of class time to
discuss specific topics or review for exams.
Use available free tutoring in Math Center located in CMS 121 (M-Th 11am-8pm and Sat 10am-2pm) and LRC.
See me during my office hours or make an appointment.
Get help before it's too late. Once you don't understand a concept or
problems in homework use the available help. Do not get behind. It will
be much harder later.