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Calculus I grade

  1. Apr 10, 2008 #1
    I was just wondering what grade people here passed their first university calculus class with..I guess I posted this in the right section..

    I have had some things going on at home and haven't been able to make it to my morning Calc I class for about 2.5 weeks. I've been taking my own notes, though, and doing the homework to the best of my ability; I've talked with my instructor about the situation also. Unfortunately, I am almost certain that I will get a C in the course, which is below my own standards (for me). I understand 80-85% of the material we have covered this semester, but I am still feeling crappy about that C.

    I guess I am looking for someone to tell me that a C is okay, and that I shouldn't drop the class and retake it over summer...dumb.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2008 #2
    if you can drop it without it showing up on your transcript that you've dropped it i would. if you can drop it but it'll show up then you just have to think about which looks worse.

    the first time i did poorly on the second and third exam and then withdrew. second time around i got an A
  4. Apr 10, 2008 #3
    its just calc I, do better from now on and it will not matter at all. I got a A- in calc I my first time.
  5. Apr 10, 2008 #4


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    I bet you got straight A's (or nearly so) in high school, and now you're discovering that college/university courses are on a different level from what you've been accustomed to. it happens to a lot of students. If you do well in the following courses, that C will have little if any effect on how people evaluate your record when you graduate.
  6. Apr 10, 2008 #5
    I agree with jtbell. Keep working hard, make sure you at least get the C, and do much better in subsequent math courses.

    Calc I might be the hardest college course I ever took (and I majored in Physics and eventually completed a PhD at MIT.) I took the prof seriously when he told us to spend two hours each day doing the homework. I can still remember doing calc homework from 10:00-11:00 AM and 1:00-2:00 PM every day, five days a week, for sixteen weeks the first semester of my freshman year. I did not miss a single day of class, and yet I was only pulling a B heading into the final. Through some miracle, I posted a 98 on the final which barely pulled my semester grade up to an A.

    Very few people will look askance at a C in Calc I if you post some As in subsequent math courses. I've been on committees evaluating undergraduate transcripts and a pattern of Cs or only Bs and Cs is problematic. One C is easily overshadowed by a majority of As.

    Michael Courtney
  7. Apr 10, 2008 #6
    I think a lot depends on the professor. Some professors go out of the way to "challenge" their students, which if you have anything going on in your life or outside of school, can really hurt your grade. Not exactly sure what I'd do, but it might be best to work on it a lot over the summer. As long as you can understand derivatives & integration you should be ok for Calc II. The rest of the stuff covered is just conic sections & sums/series... at least at this school (some schools I think swap vectors for sum/series). I got an A in calc I, but everyone is different & you shouldn't compare yourself to others. I remember this one girl who sat next to me literally got 100s on all her exams & she wasn't even a math/physics major. Needless to say, I always felt kind of dumb next to her.
  8. Apr 10, 2008 #7


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    Your grade in Calculus 1 means very little if your knowledge and skills don't stay up when the next term begins. Your grade in Calcu 1 possibly does not even tell you how much you know. The performance of the other students might render the C or B to look more impressive than it truely is (since other students' did poorly enough to lower the class average).

    Most essential is UNDERSTAND and HAVE THE SKILLS of Calculus 1 before going to Calculus 2.
  9. Apr 10, 2008 #8
    I got 105% in my first year calc, gotta love bonus questions.
  10. Apr 10, 2008 #9
    Thanks to all of you for your input. The semester is over in less than a month, and we're on our last chapter right now. Luckily, I found out that the instructor curves final grades. He said that my test and homework grades were pretty consistent with everyone else's, so I might have a chance at a B. I'll ride it out as long as possible to see how it's going to end. If things take a turn for the worse, I will just drop it and take the summer course.

    I am going to take less hours next semester and see if I can balance my grades out to all A's. I'm taking 17 credit hours right now, which is one factor contributing to my low Calc grade (less study time, etc.).

    Thanks again.

  11. Apr 10, 2008 #10
    Yeah, adjusting your expectations to deal with curved grading is a big part of the process of adapting to college courses. Coming from high school, we expect an A to correspond to 90% and over, a B from 80-90% and so on, but college courses are not designed so rigidly.

    I recall taking a freshman physics class and being really worried that I might fail, as my average going into the final was around 50%. I ended up getting an A+, and feeling really stupid about worrying so much.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2008
  12. Apr 10, 2008 #11
    I got a C in my first calc class.

    I am graduating this semester with a 3.5 GPA in all my math classes, and a 3.6 GPA in all my physics classes.

    I would not recommend retaking a class because you recieved a C. I recieved several C's and my GPA is still above average, and I am recieving offers from several grad schools now... so, I personally think that the latter calc classes became easier and no need to worry!
  13. Apr 10, 2008 #12
    There seems to a few people with this same opinion here. I'm taking Calc I this semester and doing pretty good, but I'm a little worried about finals.
  14. Apr 10, 2008 #13
    Yep, that's because it's completely true. If you get a C in one of your first math classes, just do better in the rest of them. For the other poster, instead of retaking it during summer, use the summer to review it and try to do work with a research group at your school or something productive like that.
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