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Retaking Classes at the college level

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i have talked to at least two people who have said they they have/will retake all the AP/college courses they took in high school at whatever university they are going to.

one friend plans on retaking calculus (from 1) because, supposedly, it will be under better teachers. he also says that he doesnt want to work extremely hard right out of the gate

also, a teacher said that he knew a guy from when he went to college that, though he took 3 years of calculus in high school, restarted with calc 1 at college. this student only went to 5 classes all year (the tests) and aced them all so that he could up his GPA without having to do hardly any work.

what do you make of this? i dont struggle at all in calculus or physics. in fact i am at the top of my classes. i plan on taking calc BC and physics C so that i can skip way ahead (hopefully). will i be putting myself under a lot of stress starting off with calculus 3 and thermodynamics?

btw i am doing mechanical engineering at the university of illinois.

furthermore, i am considering taking calculus 3 either online from UIUC or from a nearby junior college during the summer. good or bad idea?

thank you
 

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  • #2
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I took calc 1 at a Community College and I got accepted to a University a few days before that class ended. I got an A in the class, but I was scared that I would not be ready for calc 2 at the university, because I figured that the community college didn't cover everything that would be covered in calc one at the university level. I also thought that the University would have covered the material much more rigerously. So I ended up retaking calc 1 once I got to the University.
And it turned out that we covered less information at the university than we did at the community college! They covered the material with the same rigor, but not as many topics were covered.
I felt very dumb for retaking the class because this set me back a whole semester in my math classes.
So my advice to you is to TALK TO A COUNCILOR AT THE UNIVERSITY and ask them exactly what they cover in their classes. And if they don't know, talk to a professor that teaches the stuff before deciding.
 
  • #3
JasonRox
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Nothing000 said:
So my advice to you is to TALK TO A COUNCILOR AT THE UNIVERSITY and ask them exactly what they cover in their classes. And if they don't know, talk to a professor that teaches the stuff before deciding.
Yeah, that's the best advice.

Sometimes it will be enough, more or not enough.
 
  • #4
chroot
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I got 54 hours of college credit from IB and AP courses, including two semester of calculus and all my history, english, foreign language, and cultural studies requirements.

The downside was that I was plunged directly into upper-division engineering classes as a clueless freshman, and it took me a few semesters to acclimatize and begin making decent grades.

- Warren
 
  • #5
JasonRox
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chroot said:
I got 54 hours of college credit from IB and AP courses, including two semester of calculus and all my history, english, foreign language, and cultural studies requirements.

The downside was that I was plunged directly into upper-division engineering classes as a clueless freshman, and it took me a few semesters to acclimatize and begin making decent grades.

- Warren
How well did you make out in the end?

Did you graduate yet? If yes, how well did you do?

Most importantly, how well do you feel you did?
 
  • #6
chroot
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JasonRox said:
How well did you make out in the end?
I'd say quite well. I'm a senior integrated circuit designer at a Nasdaq-100 corporation, as well as a part-time graduate student at Stanford.
Did you graduate yet? If yes, how well did you do?
I graduated with honors almost six years ago.
Most importantly, how well do you feel you did?
I can't complain.

- Warren
 
  • #7
JasonRox
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chroot said:
I'd say quite well. I'm a senior integrated circuit designer at a Nasdaq-100 corporation, as well as a part-time graduate student at Stanford.

I graduated with honors almost six years ago.

I can't complain.

- Warren
So, how your grades in the 1st, maybe even 2nd year, were irrelevant towards your success?

Note: Obviously you shouldn't assume life is over if you do bad in 1st/2nd year, but hard work is ahead if you want to succeed.
 
  • #8
mathwonk
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anyone who "doesn't want to work extremely hard" is doomed. he will wind up selling krystals for 75 cents. ot if lucky maybe managing a burger king.:cry:
 
  • #9
chroot
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Honestly, few high school students, even those with a lot of AP/IB experience, are really prepared for the demands of an upper-division college course. My first college math class was multivariable calculus, and it was damn hard on me. My difficulty obviously wasn't due to an aversion to hard work -- it was just a result of not having formed appropriate study habits, and a lack of familiarity with the format (only two tests all semester?!).

I wouldn't say that my first couple semesters' worth of grades were irrelevant at all, Jason -- they haunted me for the rest of my program. While I went on to make a GPA > 3.6 for five semesters straight, I still barely edged over 3.4 cumulative (the borderline for cum laude) by the time I was done.

There is no shame in taking a easier class load than you're really qualified to take for the first semester or two in school. You'll get started with a better GPA, and will have adapted to the demands of a college curriculum by the time you get hit with the really strenuous classes. You might be the brightest kid on earth, yet still have to play catch-up with your study skills.

- Warren
 
  • #10
JasonRox
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chroot said:
Honestly, few high school students, even those with a lot of AP/IB experience, are really prepared for the demands of an upper-division college course. My first college math class was multivariable calculus, and it was damn hard on me. My difficulty obviously wasn't due to an aversion to hard work -- it was just a result of not having formed appropriate study habits, and a lack of familiarity with the format (only two tests all semester?!).

I wouldn't say that my first couple semesters' worth of grades were irrelevant at all, Jason -- they haunted me for the rest of my program. While I went on to make a GPA > 3.6 for five semesters straight, I still barely edged over 3.4 cumulative (the borderline for cum laude) by the time I was done.

There is no shame in taking a easier class load than you're really qualified to take for the first semester or two in school. You'll get started with a better GPA, and will have adapted to the demands of a college curriculum by the time you get hit with the really strenuous classes. You might be the brightest kid on earth, yet still have to play catch-up with your study skills.

- Warren
I noticed how hard it can be to bring your average up.

It certainly isn't easy.

My first year wasn't great, but also not bad at all. After my first term in second semester, and scoring an average 12% higher than my first year overall, I still managed to only bring it up by 3%.

On the other hand, my major average probably went up like 5%.
 
  • #11
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chroot said:
My first college math class was multivariable calculus, and it was damn hard on me.
Geez! That was you first math class in college. That is pretty crazy. I don't think that I would recomend anyone to start out at that level their freshman year of college, but I see no harm is skipping calc 1, as long as he has taken a calc class already. But I really think the best thing you can do is talk to your school advisor and possibly a professor in the math dept.
 
  • #12
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mathwonk said:
he will wind up selling krystals for 75 cents. or if lucky maybe managing a burger king.:cry:
What do you mean selling krystals? And what is wrong with someone being a manager at a fast food restuarant. I deffinetely would not want to do it, but it takes everybody to make the world go around. Just like my dad always says: I sure am glad someone wants to be a trashman because if not the world would be one dirty place. Or something like that.
 
  • #13
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Are you already taking "calculus based" physics at your high school?
 
  • #14
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Haha you guys just want to throw off the curve for the rest of us poor people who never had access to AP courses. But I can't blame you if I was in that position I would have done the same thing.
 
  • #15
JasonRox
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Nothing000 said:
What do you mean selling krystals? And what is wrong with someone being a manager at a fast food restuarant. I deffinetely would not want to do it, but it takes everybody to make the world go around. Just like my dad always says: I sure am glad someone wants to be a trashman because if not the world would be one dirty place. Or something like that.
You have younger people who do the BK job, and just continually get replaced by younger people. No need for someone who's 45 to do the job.

Also, the trashman job isn't a bad one. They get paid quite well around here.
 
  • #16
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Trashmen make less than 14 dollars per hour. A manager of most fast food restuarants make about the same if not more.
 
  • #17
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JasonRox said:
You have younger people who do the BK job, and just continually get replaced by younger people. No need for someone who's 45 to do the job.
I am not talking about a person that operates the cash register. I am talking about a manager at a fast food restuarant. That is a perfectrly find carreer for many people.
 
  • #18
JasonRox
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Nothing000 said:
Trashmen make less than 14 dollars per hour. A manager of most fast food restuarants make about the same if not more.
In my city you start at $18.
 
  • #19
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How do you know that?
 
  • #20
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Oh, you live in that wacky place called canada.
 
  • #21
JasonRox
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Nothing000 said:
How do you know that?
Everyone who lives here.
 
  • #22
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I started my college life with 26 AP credits (not bad for a foreign student who took all tests in Senior year :cool: ). I consider myself a fast maths learner. But when i take my second maths class, analysis, i really have no idea what i am learing in class. There are few reasons.
most professor in my school speak english with accent. Unlike high school, teaches are mostly american and they would do the best to help you understand what they are talking about. IN university, they dont really care. They might not even pick up any homework as well. It is a heaven for slacker, nothing different for hard-working student. I am a slacker and i never do any homework. Thus i encounter impediment while i take tests for analysis. the impediemnt is caused because university is different from high school. teacher will not go over the same material after they conduct it. if you dont do your homework, you shall have no chance to see that material again until the test.
My point tring to be made is that if you have forgot everything you have learnt and you are not the kind who like to "preview" b4 you go to class, you might just want to take your APs in college again just to strengthen your foundation.
Of course, if GPA is important to you, way to go!!
(though, i am still going for fasttrack with 31 credtis this semester........ just to test my limit (or kill my brain cell). I never really care about my GPA, and i dont have extra money for those classes)
 
  • #23
mathwonk
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perhaps my life experience is irrelevant to todays more gifted young scholars, but if of interest i will share that as a student i never tried to maximize my grades, but to maximize my learning. I had a 1.2 gpa my first year in univ., then got kicked out, worked in a factory and came back to try again.

i audited classes to learn math that i needed in my own classes, and whenever I got an A+, I transferred to a higher level, more difficult class.

at length I became a mathematician. my experience teaches that progress is proportional to work, not to prestige of school, or grades received for doing nothing.

some young persons may be misled by my idealistic teaching, but it is at their own risk. if you thinik my mathematical comments here have merit, perhaps you might have reason to believe my advice. If not, be your own guide.

Or ask Matt or Hurkyl.
 
  • #24
JasonRox
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mathwonk said:
perhaps my life experience is irrelevant to todays more gifted young scholars, but if of interest i will share that as a student i never tried to maximize my grades, but to maximize my learning. I had a 1.2 gpa my first year in univ., then got kicked out, worked in a factory and came back to try again.

i audited classes to learn math that i needed in my own classes, and whenever I got an A+, I transferred to a higher level, more difficult class.

at length I became a mathematician. my experience teaches that progress is proportional to work, not to prestige of school, or grades received for doing nothing.

some young persons may be misled by my idealistic teaching, but it is at their own risk. if you thinik my mathematical comments here have merit, perhaps you might have reason to believe my advice. If not, be your own guide.

Or ask Matt or Hurkyl.
Grades don't imply you know anything.

That's the way I look at it.

You are totally right, but I'd still like to go to a presitigious school. :biggrin:
 
  • #25
JasonRox
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leon1127 said:
(though, i am still going for fasttrack with 31 credtis this semester........ just to test my limit (or kill my brain cell). I never really care about my GPA, and i dont have extra money for those classes)
If you're a math major, I don't recommend this.

Trust me, you need to put more emphasis on learning and absorbing the material. I highly doubt you are getting what you can out of it.

Life isn't a race by the way because if it was, I certainly wouldn't want to be winning!
 

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