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Courses I only got a B in Calculus I :(

I tried my best but the result doesn't match the effort I've put in.
First when I know my result I freaked out and questioned my competent.

Am I mathematically-inept?
Am I cut out for a Physics Phd?

End up with ~70% on this course and I'm taking Calc 2 this December.
I need to maintain >=3.00 GPA for my scholarship program.

Could you guys give me some piece of advice?

Sorry for my broken English.
 
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I'm surprised a 70% is a B, in Florida that's a C-, but I got mid 60's my first run at calc 1 (D), had to retake, then passed calc 2 (harder), calc 3 (honestly not that bad) and differential equations (absolute nightamare) I got C's in all of them but I've passed all the math requred for engineering. Made A's in physics 1 with calc 1 and physics 2 with calc 2, taking physics 3 with calc 3 this semester.

I guess my point is the pure math classes seem more difficult than the physics classes that require the use of that math, for whatever reason.

EDIT:
The real reason for this is once you pass the classes you never really stop using the math, but you use it practically and more and more specifically. I find the calculus of electrical ciruits easier than calculus for economics because I use it in that context so often I am comfortable with it.
 

Drakkith

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Am I mathematically-inept?
With a B in calculus? Absolutely not! I had to take Calculus 2, Vector Calc, and Differential Equations twice each before passing, and it wasn't because I was bad at math. I just had other issues I was dealing with in life/school.

Could you guys give me some piece of advice?
Go to tutoring if your school offers it, go to office hours, study with other people if that helps you, put more time into studying and doing math problems if you have the spare time, etc. There is no magic method that makes you learn math very quickly. It takes a lot of time and effort, with the exact amount varying per person.
 

Klystron

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B's in Calculus and required courses such as Analytical Geometry and Linear Algebra should serve you well in Physics. I personally never repeated a course but my first college Physics courses were not accepted oddly when my major changed from Math to CS with minor in Stats. I spent years taking college physics courses -- actually helping fellow students as I worked at NASA for Informatics while earning a CS degree. Great fun and I met many cool instructors, students and scientists.

Test your analytical skills. Do you recognize common shapes from equations and vice-versa?

After completing Calculus I to IV ABCD plus a little combinatorics, I could walk around Ames research center and identify what people were working on from glancing at equations on whiteboards. Helped me design data structures that fit.
 
B's in Calculus and required courses such as Analytical Geometry and Linear Algebra should serve you well in Physics. I personally never repeated a course but my first college Physics courses were not accepted oddly when my major changed from Math to CS with minor in Stats. I spent years taking college physics courses -- actually helping fellow students as I worked at NASA for Informatics while earning a CS degree. Great fun and I met many cool instructors, students and scientists.

Test your analytical skills. Do you recognize common shapes from equations and vice-versa?

After completing Calculus I to IV ABCD plus a little combinatorics, I could walk around Ames research center and identify what people were working on from glancing at equations on whiteboards. Helped me design data structures that fit.
I realize I misread the question objective,It told me to use shell method but I used washer method, I think the graders wont give me partial credits for that work.
And another mistakes I did are some arithmetics errors during the integrations.
 

Klystron

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Yes, even within a math course where the instructor tells you the equations that apply, that application can be tricky. As mentors have posted, the equations in physics courses may be more straight-forward to compute since you have a physical model.
 
Yes, even within a math course where the instructor tells you the equations that apply, that application can be tricky. As mentors have posted, the equations in physics courses may be more straight-forward to compute since you have a physical model.
Is there any chance for me to do better in the next course?
Is it realistic for me to go from a mere B to a B+ or even an A?
Here this is my next course's midterm syllabus

-Improper Integrals
-Parametric Equations
-Curves Planes and Surfaces
 
And -Spherical Coordinates
 
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End up with ~70% on this course and I'm taking Calc 2 this December.
I need to maintain >=3.00 GPA for my scholarship program.
Ending the course with a 70% average doesn't bode well for the follow-on course. As another member mentioned, 70% would be C- or lower in most/many colleges in the US. If the 70% score is more reflective of what you learned than the B grade is, you are likely to get a much lower grade in the Calc 2 class.
 

mathwonk

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I suggest working again all the questions you got wrong on the test. That way you will know the material at least after the fact, which is what matters going forward. E.g. go back and work that volume problem by shells that you worked by the easier slicing method, and work the arithmetic over again that you got wrong. And do this for every test you took, and ideally also every homework problem you missed.

You must assume that every single topic from the previous course will be needed at some point in the following courses. On the other hand, for applications to physics, theoretical topics like proofs may not be needed as much as understanding of the ideas and their uses. So even if you only got wrong questions like "prove the fundamental theorem of calculus", you may be ok in physics. But you should understand why that theorem is true in some way, or for some easy cases.
 
The exam was extremely tough,most people in my major get only D to D+ and Only 2 of us made it to A.
The ones who've made it to A were the ones who scored over 80% (32 out of 40) on midterm.
 

FactChecker

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I realize I misread the question objective,It told me to use shell method but I used washer method, I think the graders wont give me partial credits for that work.
And another mistakes I did are some arithmetics errors during the integrations.
These are not errors with the concepts, they are errors from not being careful enough. It means that you should be more careful in reading the question and doing the arithmetic. If you have time at the end, spend it by going carefully over the work you did. I would not retake the class unless there were concepts that you had trouble with. But it is important to be able to do the calculations reliably and to double-check your work. It's a learned skill.
 
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I'm surprised a 70% is a B, in Florida that's a C-,
Its strange how grading differs throughout the world. In Canada an 80% is an A, a 70% is a B, and so on. In the UK a 70% is a "first" (equivalent to an A).

Towards OP: I wouldn't worry. I got a C in calculus 1 but an A in calculus 2. Just keep working harder and find a more effective study strategy. Your first term of undergrad matters, but not acing everything matters less than you think it will (a B is not bad).
 

symbolipoint

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A trend seeming to happen in some places had/has been a strict 90-80-70-60 scale, in percents, for A-B-C-D-F; meaning, minimum for an A is 90%, and on that way.
 

Klystron

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A trend seeming to happen in some places had/has been a strict 90-80-70-60 scale, in percents, for A-B-C-D-F; meaning, minimum for an A is 90%, and on that way.
Curious if the underlying statistical data derives from actual classrooms and laboratories. Do physical lectures attended by participants provide benefits compared to remote learning?

One can list several perceived advantages and disadvantages of both methods indicating compromise with mixed techniques is in order. Attendance at lectures seems to skew across the school term with dense physical presence to begin tapering down to desk with audio recorders post 1990's.

This analysis runs outside the scope of this student's thread. Concur with several mentors this student could benefit from attending discussions and study groups at school; but are they able to?
 
Its strange how grading differs throughout the world. In Canada an 80% is an A, a 70% is a B, and so on. In the UK a 70% is a "first" (equivalent to an A).

Towards OP: I wouldn't worry. I got a C in calculus 1 but an A in calculus 2. Just keep working harder and find a more effective study strategy. Your first term of undergrad matters, but not acing everything matters less than you think it will (a B is not bad).
This gives me hope. :)
It was a real tough situation for me because I'm not get used to get this grade in Maths. Yes,i

How did you manage to make such a good comeback in Calc 2 , seriously?
 
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FactChecker

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As mentioned above, grading scales are not standardized. I once got a 25 on a midterm and then found out that I was one of only 4 non-zero scores in the class of about 20. The result was an A.
 

Dr. Courtney

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I tried my best but the result doesn't match the effort I've put in.
First when I know my result I freaked out and questioned my competent.

Am I mathematically-inept?
Am I cut out for a Physics Phd?

End up with ~70% on this course and I'm taking Calc 2 this December.
I need to maintain >=3.00 GPA for my scholarship program.

Could you guys give me some piece of advice?

Sorry for my broken English.
Hard to say, because what a B translates to in terms of actual knowledge depends so strongly on the teacher. A B from a teacher with very high standards of academic rigor can be a meaningful accomplishment and represent good preparation for downstream math and physics courses. A B from a teacher with poor standards of academic rigor can mean you are not really ready. I barely got an A in my Calculus 1 course and I could have easily gotten a B without really having learned any less. But I ended up graduating with honors and being admitted to MITs PhD program.

I'd recommend seeking some kind of assessment of your Calculus knowledge independent of your grade and your feelings. Here's one that is free and online. There are others:

https://www.varsitytutors.com/calculus_1-practice-tests
 

StatGuy2000

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I'm surprised a 70% is a B, in Florida that's a C-, but I got mid 60's my first run at calc 1 (D), had to retake, then passed calc 2 (harder), calc 3 (honestly not that bad) and differential equations (absolute nightamare) I got C's in all of them but I've passed all the math requred for engineering. Made A's in physics 1 with calc 1 and physics 2 with calc 2, taking physics 3 with calc 3 this semester.

I guess my point is the pure math classes seem more difficult than the physics classes that require the use of that math, for whatever reason.

EDIT:
The real reason for this is once you pass the classes you never really stop using the math, but you use it practically and more and more specifically. I find the calculus of electrical ciruits easier than calculus for economics because I use it in that context so often I am comfortable with it.
In Canada (at least in the province of Ontario at any rate), the grading system typically follows according to the following percentages:

A: any grade between 80-100%
B: any grade between 70-79%
C: any grade between 60-69%
D: any grade between 50-59%
E: any grade between 40-49%
F: any grade <40%

I know that different countries follow different conventions. It's worth pointing out that the OP is from Thailand, so it appears that in that country, the grading system seems to resemble that of Canada.
 

symbolipoint

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This gives me hope. :)
It was a real tough situation for me because I'm not get used to get this grade in Maths. Yes,i


How did you manage to make such a good comeback in Calc 2 , seriously?
You asked that of mcabbage but I did this through intense review of Calc 1 on my own before re-enrolling in Calc 2.
First grade in Calc 1 was B but some things I did not really learn.
First grade in Calc 2 was POOR so I dropped the course.
Review of Calc 1 on my own helped me understand some things better.
Second grade in Calc 2 was B - this time through, I learned and performed much better.

Understand, grade of any kind one one course does not guarantee success in the succeeding or next course.
 
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This gives me hope. :)
It was a real tough situation for me because I'm not get used to get this grade in Maths. Yes,i


How did you manage to make such a good comeback in Calc 2 , seriously?
I just practiced a lot and paid more attention to understanding the content on assignments rather than grinding through problems on a case-by-case basis. In calculus 2 I was able to grasp the "bigger picture" of the course a lot better.

What challenged me in calculus 1 was applying taylor series to problems as well as computing them in the first place. I had simply just not done enough practice of the fundamentals (computing taylor series, dividing taylor polynomials, doing basic problems from the book), and had instead focused on the advanced topics (those covered in the assignments such as physics problems)

In calculus 2 I spent more time doing integrals, computing bounds for approximations, proving that series converged, and so on. This way when I studied the advanced topics I was just so much more efficient.

Many people will instead focus on the fundamentals and never study the advanced topics. In my experience the key is to find a balance between the two.
 

symbolipoint

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What challenged me in calculus 1 was applying taylor series to problems as well as computing them in the first place. I had simply just not done enough practice of the fundamentals (computing taylor series, dividing taylor polynomials, doing basic problems from the book), and had instead focused on the advanced topics (those covered in the assignments such as physics problems)
Many Calculus 1 course put Intro to Limits, Differentiation and the beginning of Integration, and some applications, but put Taylor Series into Calculus 2 instead. Then Calculus 2 will instruct about techniques of Integration, some multiple integration and finding volumes, and instruct about some Series including Taylor Series.
 
Hard to say, because what a B translates to in terms of actual knowledge depends so strongly on the teacher. A B from a teacher with very high standards of academic rigor can be a meaningful accomplishment and represent good preparation for downstream math and physics courses. A B from a teacher with poor standards of academic rigor can mean you are not really ready. I barely got an A in my Calculus 1 course and I could have easily gotten a B without really having learned any less. But I ended up graduating with honors and being admitted to MITs PhD program.

I'd recommend seeking some kind of assessment of your Calculus knowledge independent of your grade and your feelings. Here's one that is free and online. There are others:

https://www.varsitytutors.com/calculus_1-practice-tests
The exam was really tricky in some parts.
,as I've mentioned above most of people in my class barely make it to D's.These kind of students who make only D's are the ones who rely solely on tutors and other students to cram them a week before 33rsthe major test event.
In Canada (at least in the province of Ontario at any rate), the grading system typically follows according to the following percentages:

A: any grade between 80-100%
B: any grade between 70-79%
C: any grade between 60-69%
D: any grade between 50-59%
E: any grade between 40-49%
F: any grade <40%

I know that different countries follow different conventions. It's worth pointing out that the OP is from Thailand, so it appears that in that country, the grading system seems to resemble that of Canada.
Yeah,I'm from Thailand which grading scale resembles Canada's.
the most challenging part is

1.This course worths 4 credits (It's a one of core courses in my B.S. program)

2. 5% Class Attendance
15% Assignments
40% Midterm < bomb this test and you 're screwed for the rest of semester.
40% Final <Want to make a comeback?


3.Exam gets much more trickier than the previous year.
I just practiced a lot and paid more attention to understanding the content on assignments rather than grinding through problems on a case-by-case basis. In calculus 2 I was able to grasp the "bigger picture" of the course a lot better.

What challenged me in calculus 1 was applying taylor series to problems as well as computing them in the first place. I had simply just not done enough practice of the fundamentals (computing taylor series, dividing taylor polynomials, doing basic problems from the book), and had instead focused on the advanced topics (those covered in the assignments such as physics problems)

In calculus 2 I spent more time doing integrals, computing bounds for approximations, proving that series converged, and so on. This way when I studied the advanced topics I was just so much more efficient.

Many people will instead focus on the fundamentals and never study the advanced topics. In my experience the key is to find a balance between the two.
The most challenging parts in the exam were
- Many Question worths ~3-4/100
If one bombs just 2-3 questions,good bye 12%

I keep making little silly mistakes which cost me 10% despite reviewed th
Many Calculus 1 course put Intro to Limits, Differentiation and the beginning of Integration, and some applications, but put Taylor Series into Calculus 2 instead. Then Calculus 2 will instruct about techniques of Integration, some multiple integration and finding volumes, and instruct about some Series including Taylor Series.
"Cal 2" in my program isn't really a "conventional Cal2" ,It's called Intermidiate calculus (A mixture of Cal2+Cal3+Partial Derivative).
Here this the midterm syllabus

-Improper Integrals
-Sequences and Series
-3D Space + Polar Coordinate and Curves

Most challenging part is not the material itself, it's the grading scheme.
Some professors won't give any partial credits if the final answer is wrong.
So one might get zero easily for that question.
The exam is much more difficult than the previous year.

This is what I have to keep in my mind.

1.No partial credits for wrong final answers.I must get the right answer to get scored in that question.the graders dont have so much time to beat the bush around.

2.The exam will be more difficult than what's on quzzes or assignments. I have to pracetice problems outside the given material.
 

Dr. Courtney

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The exam was really tricky in some parts.
,as I've mentioned above most of people in my class barely make it to D's.
The performance of others in the course is not informative without additional information. Success rates in my 1st semester Physics course have varied from 35% to 90%. (Defining success as an A, B, or C with all students in the denominator). Nothing much changed about the course, but I did work with the math dept to improve the prerequisite courses and the counseling office to enforce the prerequisites. Some sections of a course simply end up with a very weak pool of students. At the Air Force Academy, morning sections of Calc 1 often ended up with disproportionate numbers of athletes, who tended to be weaker students in terms of their preparation and habits.

Mental gymnastics about your past semester pale in comparison with an independent assessment of your real Calc 1 abilities.
 

mathwonk

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As Dr Courtney said one cannot deduce anything precise from such data as percentage scores. As a calc instructor I can easily write an exam on which essentially every student in an average class will score less than 10%. just by asking harder questions requiring more precise knowledge and harder computations. It is harder to write one on which most students will score 70%, at least at my old state school. We do generally adhere there to the rule that A is ≥ 90%, but we have to work hard to write an exam that the best students can get 90% of. We do this by just asking slight variations of the same problems we have already given as homework. Some students think this is too demanding and argue that we should ask only the exact same problems they have already seen. In these average classes no proofs at all are asked.

In my own case as a student at an elite school in an elite honors class, I got a B- with 50% on the final and was advised to drop out. Not doing so I got a D- in the second semester of "calc 1". I recall getting something like 20% on the hour exam, and that was with a gift of 10 free points, which raised me from an F to a D. Of course that second semester of "calc 1" included proofs of all basic theoretical results on existence of maxima for continuous functions on closed bounded intervals as well as abstract linear algebra and differential equations.

After taking a semester off I re enrolled and got an A in a non honors calc 2 class, including giving a complete proof of the existence of solutions of a first order ode by means of the "contraction lemma" in complete metric spaces - and that was the non honors class. Then I got back in the elite honors version of "calc 2", which was calculus in infinite dimensional banach spaces followed by the spectral theorem for bounded hermitian operators and applications to Sturm Liouville theory. In the 2 halves of that course I got B+ then A-. The book written from the notes of that course is Loomis and Sternberg's Advanced Calculus. (By the way, I consider this treatment of the subject, from the viewpoint of "now that I am a senior researcher in analysis, I would prefer to present the material this way", as absolutely ridiculous as an introduction to the material. I recommend this book only to those people who already know all its contents rather well from a more traditional and pedestrian standpoint. I.e. first master Courant, both volumes, then approach Loomis and Sternberg.)

I managed to improve so much in my scores just by working harder and studying with a friend. I also attended class faithfully, having attended only about once a month when I got the D-. So "anything" is possible with the right behavior. I admit also I was math champ of my (small southern, educationally backwards) state senior year in high school, (they gave a test), so was considered a candidate to do well, and was embarrassed to initially do poorly. But I strongly believe hard work is more important than being a high school "star". In my state, questions from the NY regents exam, which is required for all students to graduate there, were considered too hard even to ask on the state prize math contest.

Years later, I read a study by Uri Treisman on techniques that worked to lift failing minorities at Berkeley to become honors students, and feel they would have worked for me too. My opinion is that minority students in the US in general suffer from the same problem as general students in the south, namely poor schools. The behavior needed to succeed at a good school differs from that to succeed at a poor school, and even star students from poor high schools must re learn how to study at a good college.

http://math.mit.edu/~hrm/interphase/TreismanXArticle.pdf
 
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