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Tips 4 Understanding concepts

  1. May 15, 2007 #1
    Hello,
    I'm taking cal I and II this summer as a special five week course each. I need a good way to understand the concepts of calculus. It seemed like in college algebra the examples that were done in class were fine, i could do those with no problem, but once I got home and looked at the homework, i realized the homework looked totally different than the examples from class (which were an exact replica of the sample problems in the book).
    I always felt like if the instructor used different examples other than the ones already in the book, i'd be able to understand it better. But now I really just think that I'm not understanding the concepts very well (I kind of picked up on this in Trig). Does anyone have any "magic spells" for understanding the concepts? I don't want to be a robot, I can do without memorizing, I want to be able to understand it. And cal I and II will be moving along very swiftly (five week courses) and I need all the help I can get. Thanks guys.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2007 #2

    chroot

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    Well, I have to say that I strongly recommend that you don't attempt a year's worth of calculus classes in ten weeks unless you are phenomenally prepared. I think it's a pretty awful idea, myself.

    The "magic spells" are the same as in any other class: read the book, talk to the professor about things you don't get, and work through lots of problems.

    - Warren
     
  4. May 15, 2007 #3
    Yeah, I took trig in an 8 week class, and at the school that I attend, they offer all kinds of short classes such as 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks and the traditional 16 weeks. I thought that if I didn't do the 5 and 5 with cal I and II, that I would do the 8 week cal I.
    I just wanted to get calculus over with as soon as possible. Anyhoo, thanks for ur response.
     
  5. May 15, 2007 #4
    I just feel like I'm really behind, and if I want to go into math, physics or engineering, then i feel like I need to make up time to get there, as obviously I'll be starting from the beginning. I've been in school for a while, basically general classes, kind of an off and on again type thing. I just think I have a lot of ground to make up for, hence cal I and II in the 5 week sessions.
    thanks
     
  6. May 15, 2007 #5

    chroot

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    The way to catch up is not to take extremely fast-paced classes which you are not prepared to take! That's almost a recipe for disaster.

    Except for financial concerns, it doesn't really matter if you take 3 years or 5 years to get your degree -- and the national average has constantly been creeping towards five.

    Take the courses at the pace you need to learn them thoroughly. Calculus, in particular, will be used in virtually every class you'll ever take in the rest of a degree in math, physics or engineering -- so it will greatly benefit you to understand it thoroughly. Rushing through it just to "get it over with" might well be a major mistake.

    - Warren
     
  7. May 15, 2007 #6
    cool, thanks!
     
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