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Taylor polynomial/series, series, function series

  1. Jan 13, 2016 #1
    well, i have an calculus exam tomorrow and i'm 100% gona fail. ive neglected calculus so i could study for other subjects and left only 2 days to study taylor's polynomial aproximation, series and function series, the latter two are way more complicated than i expected.

    good thing is i can retake this exam in one month.
    i need help knowing were to start, slides provided by the teacher are confusing (and very heavy) and lack examples, i've found that its muh more productive for me to have small exercises incorporated in the study material, it helps me a lot.
    last two days ive spent more time researching other sources of information orher than actually studying and solving problems, it has been very counter productive.

    classes during the semester were terrible, overcrowded and noisy, zero help, i learnt nothing from them.

    any books or websites you can suggest?
    exercise sheets?
    a weekly time-table, as in, where i should be at the end of each week to make sure i understand everything properly in time for the retake
    any other advice?
    i have all the time in the world in the coming month, i can study 8hrs a day if there is need to do that ( hope there isn't xD)
    do you think my future looks very grim?

    ps: there are also integrals but im pretty much good with those i just need to.practice a bit, not very concerned, looking at previous exams it makes up for 1/6 of the exam.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2016 #2


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    Well, I would look over the past exams religiously.
    I would also use Khan Academy's Calc II videos to my advantage.
    I would then use Paul's Online Notes to help me further.
    If you have a textbook, look at the exact parts that are important.
  4. Jan 14, 2016 #3
    Exam went poorly as expected, at best i can get a 50% but im pretty sure that it ain't gonna happen.

    thank you very much for your advice.
    ive used khan academy videos before to help me with algebra. but the ones i saw regarding series seemed to simple, maybe i saw only the introducting videos and should, and will, look further into it.
    Paul's notes also sound familiar.
    previous exams wont be much help, the head teacher for calculus changed, and the exam was extremely different, focused equally on everything, instead of mainly these last 3 topics, last year's exam ( which is the only one i have access to) was 9/10 multiple choices, whereas today's had no multiple choices only direct answer (no justification) a couple of theory questions, and a few justification answers.
    well, tomorrow i begin my studies.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  5. Jan 14, 2016 #4


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    Are you sure there won't be a curve to the grade/exam? I would ask your teacher about this. You may not be high and dry yet.
  6. Jan 14, 2016 #5
    Im not sure what curve is, wiki says
    which would be in line with what older students have told me, that sometimes, when 25% of students don't pass (teacher might gets in trouble) and the second exam becomes a lot easier to allow more students to pass...
    What would mean, that if many students pass, the "retake" exam might be harder than expected, to allow for said curve...
    I really don't believe teachers would do anything to "harm" us students, physics is a hard course and we have a big amount of students failing mechanincs and calculus every year, teachers have been doing their best to reform their subjects to find better ways to teach us and allow us to pass (without jeopardizing our knowledge)
  7. Jan 14, 2016 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    It shouldn't be surprising that the exam went poorly, given that you have neglected calculus so far, and were attempting to spend only two days cramming the material for some complicated topic areas.
  8. Jan 14, 2016 #7
    it was not surprising... i was already counting on having to retake it when i started studying for my finals, i just prefered to prepare myself better for other subjects, like mechanics, which have much bigger failing rates.
    I have one month now, i have no classes and nothing to do really, so i can focus on studying, i think one month is enough time to prepare myself for it
  9. Jan 14, 2016 #8


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    Did you fail the entire course?

    It will basically (or should anyway) delay you taking E&M as well. Probably not a good idea to just let yourself fail classes like that.

    For study materials, did you try reading the book instead of just the lecture notes from the professor?
  10. Jan 15, 2016 #9


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    I suggest you use your textbook as your primary resource and use other sources when you get stuck. When you get to the examples in the textbook, try to work through them on your own before looking at the solution.
  11. Feb 22, 2016 #10
    i passed. yay!!! ... thanks for all your suggestions
  12. Feb 22, 2016 #11


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    Stop neglecting class in the future, especially classes that are fundamental to your degree program. =)
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