“Calculus is a bitch ain’t it?” This is what my roommate told me when I got back from my first Calc 1 Exam. Calculus is very meaningful and will be applied to a lot of concepts for some majors in college, however, there are many people who have to take Calculus 1 as one of their only math credits in college. Is applies to many of the science majors, pre-med students, pre-dental, pre-anything, and some other majors that are not mathematics based, yet require this course for their tracking. My goal with this website is to provide a study plan to not only passing Calculus 1 at a college level, but also getting a good grade to prevent your GPA from being hurt. I failed my first test in Calculus 1 at the University of Florida, and not only did I end up not only passing the course, but achieved a perfect score (we got one test replacement) by following this plan.
PART 1: ACCEPTING FAILURE
Most students have cried after their first exam in Calculus because they didn’t realize that their “high-school calculus course” is nothing compared to college calculus… aka Calculus 1 on steroids. So how do you benefit from failure? See what you did badly at. Address your TA with questions that you missed. Most of the test coordinators need students to fail in order to keep their test percentages not too high and not too low for job security, so these questions will reappear on the final. Don’t be like most people, talk to your TA and get to know the concepts. This way when you see it on the final, or if tests are cumulative, you’ll do great!
PART 2: MAP OUT OTHER EXAMS AND CLASSES AND MAKE IT FIT YOUR CALCULUS STUDY SCHEDULE
More than likely Calculus 1 isn’t your only class in college, but it’s really starting to feel like it right? Well this is where things get tricky. DO NOT AVOID OTHER CLASSES! Your other classes are equally important to Calculus so it is important to manage your time. Find out when your other tests are so you’ll know where to devote more time. What I would do is plan a two weeks in advance before each test how much I would study the week before the test. I know it sounds like a lot but you got to do what you got to do.
PART 3: PRACTICE
This is where my services come in. I will provide access to a range of practice problems and show you which ones will be most useful for testing. DO NOT ASSUME THAT THE TEST WILL BE AS EASY AS PRACTICE PROBLEMS! College takes hard concepts and makes them harder. There is no such thing as over studying in Calc 1. So don’t waste time with questions that are too easy and practice hard questions. Not only practice what I show you, but also take Practice Tests, go to lecture, review quizzes, etc. A good friend of mine told me to “practice until you puke” and I never thought that could be real. I used to fill up an entire 70 sheet notebook with math problems before each test. That’s 140 pages of math within a few days for one test!
PART 4: TEST DAY
By test day you should have taken the practice tests so many times that you will get a 100% every time. The purpose of following my plan is to be ready so that when you take the test, you recognize everything and can think clearly about what you’re supposed to do. Review both your strengths and weaknesses. The reason for reviewing your strengths is to make sure that you are not so confident that you make tiny errors. It doesn’t matter if you understand what you’re doing if you make a tiny error. Multiple choice questions will have answers waiting for you. Furthermore, don’t be worried if the test seems too easy, you practiced and now you’re ready!
Start off with understanding the concept here. Although this seems like an elementary source, it provides a good understanding of the purpose of a function and how it can be used
A really important concept of functions is the difference quotient. This is important because it is a basic concept that will be applied later in the course for more complex material here