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Difference Between Honors and Regular Math Classes

  1. Mar 21, 2012 #1
    I am not in the honors program at my University but I really want to get good at math so I was thinking about perhaps enrolling in an honors section for the Discrete math and Linear Algebra classes I'll be taking next fall.

    It seemed like the greater depth that these classes go would be really helpful for me in reaching my goal of becoming as good at math as I can. However, I'm worried that the greater degree of difficulty and being in a class with peers who are all way smarter than me could actually hinder my development and just lead to me feeling frustrated and lost.

    What have you guys' experiences been with honors math classes? Do you think it would be more beneficial for a "non-honors" caliber student to take honors LA and DM or just regular?

    thanks a lot

    EDIT: oh and something else. I am taking a computer science department version of Discrete math this semester so perhaps that would make it more realistic for me to handle the honors DM class? As for LA, I've never seen or done anything with it so that may be a bad idea
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2012 #2
    it depends on the school
  4. Mar 21, 2012 #3
    I've been to two different colleges and I have done an honors course in both. They are very different from each other. My first one was kinda of unofficial where we mostly had to do an extra paper/presentation and harder tests. On average you had to work about a third harder than normal to get an A. In the other college, the course was built from the ground up to give a very good grounding for the rest of their college experience and was probably twice as hard as a normal class. Not only that, but the requirements to get into that class were to have a very good comprehension of previous classes; not just getting a B or C, but an A or A+ so you could keep up in the honors course.
  5. Mar 21, 2012 #4
    I know at my school the honors sequence is much more difficult. The honors sequence of calculus and LA is entirely proof oriented and the topics of the courses are different.
  6. Mar 22, 2012 #5
    Thanks for the responses guys, those were very helpful

    If I am trying to get into grad school eventually do you think it would be better for me to get Bs or maybe even a C or 2 in honors courses or As and Bs in regular? I feel like honors classes would make me a better mathematician but they might hurt my GPA too much. :/

    Any advice on what I should do for next semester would be appreciated!

    Any advice on me deciding w
  7. Mar 22, 2012 #6
    Usually honors courses are done in the first two years of a four year education. That being said, I have heard that getting good grades on your last two years is more important than if you did bad on the fist two, since it shows you have improved. Knowing this, doing a few honors courses in the beginning, even if you get a few C's, should really help you further along your education and make getting A's easier in the last two years of your education.
  8. Mar 22, 2012 #7
    I never thought about that; that is a really good point. I will keep that in mind, thanks transphenomen
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