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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi, everyone:

I'll be transferring from community college to a four-year university next Fall and am wondering if my math background is sufficient and proficient enough to do well.

I haven't decided on a major(s) yet, although I listed philosophy (very provisional - I had to list something - and highly likely to change) on my application for admission, but am aware of how central the subject of math is to so many fields.

I enjoy math and have done well (straight A's) at it in my community college (I took College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Applied Calculus there). I have yet to take "real" Calculus (with analytic geometry) or any type of "higher" maths. But from what I've taken, I have done well grade-wise and had fun in the math classes.

For my first semester at university, I'll be taking (working schedule - subject to change) Statistics 1a and Calculus 1 for my maths, Principles in Microeconomics (econ.), Race and Inequality (sociology), and Social & Political Philosophy (philosophy).

(I'd particularly appreciate insights from anyone who has gone from a community college to four-year university!)

1.) What degree of help is typically available at a traditional college/university when it comes to math? At my CC, there was something called a "math lab," where students could go and ask questions related to any math course offered and be tutored by math proficient students and/or faculty. Our class sizes for CC were also roughly around 15-27 students on average.

I'm worried that in a large lecture (the Statistics 1a class I've looked at already has 80 people signed up and it's not full yet with months to go before Fall!) that it would be impossible to ask questions or get to know the instructor personally for help.

2.) How much mastery of pre-requisite math is expected? I know that each math class has a pre-req. listed and one should just assume that you'll need to know everything from day 1 that's a pre-req.

In concrete terms, would that mean looking up formulas or rules, etc. would mean that a person was under-prepared for that college math class?

I ask, because I've found that I've had to look up past math rules and formulas for all of the community college math courses that I've taken. For example, when I took Applied Calculus, I had forgotten the rules for doing logarithmic functions from Pre-Calculus and had to spend a day reviewing that before I could even do the math for my AC class. I had gotten an A in the Pre-Calc. I class where we first learned that topic, but it wasn't something that was

I've been told by some people that math classes tend to move faster at a four-year university and that having to constantly look stuff up could be a drawback, but not necessarily such a strong impediment as to sink you in a class or make you unable to get an A.

I'm curious from those with experience, how much "looking stuff up/review" would you say is reasonable for any given math class? Obviously, I would assume that if you forgot so much math as to have to look up 50% or more of things, then you're probably not prepared for that class. But in roughly estimated terms, how deep should a person's mastery be of pre-requisite material and what percentage of forgotten stuff would you think is "acceptable" for taking a university math class (i.e., you'd have to spend time looking it up)?

3.) To succeed in a STEM or social science major, what degree of mastery of math do you think is needed?

For example, would a typical successful student in those fields have gotten straight A's or all A's and B's in all their math classes, have memorized all of the material (so as to not have to look anything up), and have good intuitive grasp of math (so as to not have to seek tutoring help and can learn on their own)?

In real terms, how good does one have to be at math to succeed in STEM or the social sciences?

Feel free to add any additional thoughts to the topic, in addition to the questions I've asked. Thank you all so much for your help! Physics Forums has definitely been an integral part of my academic success through community college!

I'll be transferring from community college to a four-year university next Fall and am wondering if my math background is sufficient and proficient enough to do well.

I haven't decided on a major(s) yet, although I listed philosophy (very provisional - I had to list something - and highly likely to change) on my application for admission, but am aware of how central the subject of math is to so many fields.

I enjoy math and have done well (straight A's) at it in my community college (I took College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, and Applied Calculus there). I have yet to take "real" Calculus (with analytic geometry) or any type of "higher" maths. But from what I've taken, I have done well grade-wise and had fun in the math classes.

For my first semester at university, I'll be taking (working schedule - subject to change) Statistics 1a and Calculus 1 for my maths, Principles in Microeconomics (econ.), Race and Inequality (sociology), and Social & Political Philosophy (philosophy).

__Some questions & concerns for university math__:(I'd particularly appreciate insights from anyone who has gone from a community college to four-year university!)

1.) What degree of help is typically available at a traditional college/university when it comes to math? At my CC, there was something called a "math lab," where students could go and ask questions related to any math course offered and be tutored by math proficient students and/or faculty. Our class sizes for CC were also roughly around 15-27 students on average.

I'm worried that in a large lecture (the Statistics 1a class I've looked at already has 80 people signed up and it's not full yet with months to go before Fall!) that it would be impossible to ask questions or get to know the instructor personally for help.

2.) How much mastery of pre-requisite math is expected? I know that each math class has a pre-req. listed and one should just assume that you'll need to know everything from day 1 that's a pre-req.

In concrete terms, would that mean looking up formulas or rules, etc. would mean that a person was under-prepared for that college math class?

I ask, because I've found that I've had to look up past math rules and formulas for all of the community college math courses that I've taken. For example, when I took Applied Calculus, I had forgotten the rules for doing logarithmic functions from Pre-Calculus and had to spend a day reviewing that before I could even do the math for my AC class. I had gotten an A in the Pre-Calc. I class where we first learned that topic, but it wasn't something that was

*committed to my memory*. Or, similarly, I remember having to spend some extra time relearning/memorizing the quadratic formula, rules for exponents, rules for complex numbers, etc. for various classes I've taken, where it was assumed knowledge.I've been told by some people that math classes tend to move faster at a four-year university and that having to constantly look stuff up could be a drawback, but not necessarily such a strong impediment as to sink you in a class or make you unable to get an A.

I'm curious from those with experience, how much "looking stuff up/review" would you say is reasonable for any given math class? Obviously, I would assume that if you forgot so much math as to have to look up 50% or more of things, then you're probably not prepared for that class. But in roughly estimated terms, how deep should a person's mastery be of pre-requisite material and what percentage of forgotten stuff would you think is "acceptable" for taking a university math class (i.e., you'd have to spend time looking it up)?

3.) To succeed in a STEM or social science major, what degree of mastery of math do you think is needed?

For example, would a typical successful student in those fields have gotten straight A's or all A's and B's in all their math classes, have memorized all of the material (so as to not have to look anything up), and have good intuitive grasp of math (so as to not have to seek tutoring help and can learn on their own)?

In real terms, how good does one have to be at math to succeed in STEM or the social sciences?

Feel free to add any additional thoughts to the topic, in addition to the questions I've asked. Thank you all so much for your help! Physics Forums has definitely been an integral part of my academic success through community college!

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