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Can I succeed in comp sci 1

  1. Jul 10, 2013 #1
    I have no previous experience with programming or any form of computer science. I am planning to take it this fall along with some basic math classes. I am thinking about taking this course because it is required for my major when I transfer (physics.) I am currently at a community college at the course has no pre reqs yet is the first comp sci class a CS major takes? Here is the class description, what do you think? Is it doable without previous experience.

    CIS 231 - Fund Comp Science I 4 units
    Presents the fundamentals of an engineering approach to software development. Intended for Computer Science Majors. Transfer: CSU; UC. Materials fee $5.00. (Formerly CIS31)

    Also, I will be taking
    art history- pre history 3 units
    Algebra 2 (or possibly trig...I am taking assessment test tomorrow, super nervous) 5 units
    Intro to engineering 1 unit (explains the different types and societies and such)
    Nutrition 3 credits

    For a total of 16 units....should I try to cut down on units? I am a 17 year old that graduated a year early due to testing out with the California equivalency exam. I was failing high school. I do extremely well on test (2220 SAT score, 91 ASVAB) This whole year I worked in customer service and realized what crap work actually is and need to take school seriously so I can complete my goals of getting a good job and working in science/ engineering. I have taken both AP physics B and a semester of AP Chem but I failed both due to just going to learn not pass (already had test so I didn't care)

    Does anyone have any advice for me on succeeding in college. I am so excited to take classes and have never been excited about school....even though it is community college. Any advice would be very helpful! Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Hey TheKracken.

    My advice for you for computer science is primarily to keep on top of everything each week and don't let things catch up on you. This is one of the things that can happen and even if you slip for a week, things can be difficult because a lot of what is taught in tertiary education is cumulative: in other words, the next week builds on top of the previous weeks in terms of knowledge and understanding.

    One other hint: don't be afraid to get help if you need it. If you need help, ask for it as quick as you can. You have to remember that for a majority of people, learning is a social activity and a lot of people that haven't been exposed to the material and the way of thinking are probably going to need time to adjust to that.

    If you need help, ask someone whether it be your professor, someone on a forum like this, your classmates, or anyone that can give you a hand. Nobody should care if you don't know something and if they do, then they probably have some kind of psychological problem.

    Also if you need help, make sure you prepare the question in advance to show that you have tried to answer it, and exactly where you are stuck: teachers like to see the students put in effort and if they see you have put in a genuine effort then they will be more willing to help you.

    In terms of programming, I can give you a few pointers if you want but I think that will be for another post.

    If you do the work and show some initiative you should be OK: also try and enjoy the course in some way and if things are not going well, know when to cut your losses and move on.

    Good luck.
  4. Jul 12, 2013 #3
    Thank you, and I will defiantly come to you for advice and help. Thank you very much.

    This semester I am taking 15 units

    Trigonometry - 4
    Comp Sci I - 4
    Intro to engineering - 1
    Art History- Pre History- 3
    History of West civilization - 3

    Is this doable for a high school failure....I feel like I just need to kick into gear and get through it...but I need some advice. I would like to get all A's and transfer to a good university and make myself proud for once.
  5. Jul 12, 2013 #4
    It should be doable. But the most important part here is that you study the right way. Studying in an inefficient way can be very counterproductive.

    For computer science, I found that the best way to study is to invent mini projects for yourself and then program them. I'm into mathematics, so what I did was to make a program that could deal with set theory and stuff. It's not supposed to be an advanced program, just have some fun with it. It's the best way to learn.
  6. Jul 12, 2013 #5
    If I take this Computer science and the next one should I be proficient enough to be useful in a lab or get a job to help pay for college? I am looking to do research and even if I do grunt programming work I would be happy for now.
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