Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Trouble with Calc 2.

  1. Oct 31, 2007 #1
    On my Calculus 2 class, I study and study, I feel I know the material, I can do most of the HW but when it comes to tests I just don't to to well on them. I am just asking for help.

    On my first test I got a 45 of 90.
    On my second test I thought I was so prepared and after felt very confident, I got a 43.

    Now I have 1 more test on series and thats it. This test is in early December. As for HW I get around 95% of 100, so I do understand the material.

    What sucks is that the average in the class is around a 69. My teacher wont really tell me If I can pass.

    Test 1: 45 X .90 X .25 =10.125
    Test 2: 43 X .90 X .25 = 9.675
    Test 3:
    Homework: 95 *.25 =23.75
    Total: 43.842

    Test 3 I haven't taken yet, but as it seems, I would need a perfect to get even a C. Is it worth it, or should I drop the class and take a R which is a resign.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2007 #2
    There may be a curve depending on how the rest of the class is doing.
  4. Oct 31, 2007 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well at my college if you get a grade worse than a C in any of the science, math, or engineering courses, you'll have to retake it. That one C can really screw up your GPA because math courses are usually high credit. Does your school allow you in the event of a retake to substitute your new and old grades?
  5. Oct 31, 2007 #4
    Well there is a curve and it puts a C at the average, so in general the curve will hurt more than help.

    Yes I can retake the class, though the class stays on the transcript, when I retake the class only the new grade is factored into the gpa.
  6. Nov 1, 2007 #5
    On a 100 point scale you're 28 points below the average. I don't think I've ever recommended someone drop a class, but this may be a case in which you should strongly consider living to fight another day.

    That's a really tough situation, friend. I'm sorry.
  7. Nov 1, 2007 #6
    Is an R(resigned) ok on a transcript, or would getting a D be better, because if I keep at my same pace, I will get a D,+,-
  8. Nov 2, 2007 #7
    I would assume that the R is better than a non-passing grade, but that sounds like a question best asked of your academic advisor.
  9. Nov 2, 2007 #8
    Depending on how bad everyone does is a HUGE factor.

    My grades on my comp architecture exam where the following:
    33/100, 45/100, 65/100 on the final.
    I had almost a 100% on the homeworks and projects though but both only added up to 20% of your grade.

    My grade was a C+ after the curve.

    I stopped going to class for about a month, I love curves.

    I sent him an e-mail after taking the final and realizing I totally bombed it and explained how I believe I knew the material I just did very poorly on his exams. In truth I really didn't have a good understanding of the material, but I'll take a C+!

    It did end up lowering my GPA to a 3.65 but oh well. As long as I can keep that GPA above a 3.0 with 3 semesters left I'll be happy. A GPA is useless once you get a job, all they look at is how well you performed at your last job.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  10. Nov 3, 2007 #9
    Seriously, if you think you're going to get a C or lower, just retake it. Your grade will be engraved in your transcript and will effect your GPA. Retaking classes isn't as bad as you think.
  11. Nov 3, 2007 #10
    advisor's at my school don't advise. they just agree with ya, they shed no opinion.
  12. Nov 3, 2007 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Surely scraping a not so good grade in a class is better than dropping out of a class. If you drop out of a class without a good reason, then people will ask you why, when they come to look over your transcript. To me it would seem that the student was going to fail and just dropped out to save face. However, if you go through with the class and get a grade, then firstly you're not admitting defeat, and secondly, you may even surprise yourself.

    I would advisor you to go and talk to a tutor, or whatever you have over there. If one person doesn't give you any advice, then find someone who will!
  13. Nov 3, 2007 #12


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Either one is passing the course adequately or one is not passing the course adequately. If one knows that he is not passing adequately, then he should, if possible, drop from this course and restudy on his own at the nearest opportunity; and then enroll again at the soonest opportunity. The second enrollment needs to be more successful than the first enrollment. One must also look into oneself and determine if some underlying essential prerequisite knowledge is weak. Any such weakness needs to be remedied before restudying the course being poorly passed.

    Has anyone done poorly in a course, restudied weak prerequisite knowledge and then re-enrolled in the course again and NOT done much better?
  14. Nov 3, 2007 #13


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    It really does depend on how the rest of the class is doing. I had a test in Mathematical Physics the other day. I got a 70 on it. Technically passing on a standard scale but nowhere near a great grade. Now, consider the fact that the highest grade in the class was a 75. I have at least an A- on that test, if not an A! So, everyone has said, consider how well the class as a whole is doing. It does make a difference.
  15. Nov 3, 2007 #14


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    That is not a good guide for how to decide to re-enroll or to continue directly to the next course. You would be letting the class statistics tell you how well you are doing. Most of you could get academically clobbered in the next course for not really knowing pre-requisites well enough.
  16. Nov 5, 2007 #15
    go in and actually speak with the teacher......possibly show your concern, and your knowledge of the material. Sometimes, a teacher will weight the class differently for certain individuals...meaning, you might talk them into letting you just use the final exam grade.....or weight the final and test 3 more heavily for just you. Never know, might be worth a try.

    Another thing to consider, is why you are doing poorly....test anxiety? If so, go to your school's counseling service and get tested for it.....usually if you do have it(or something)...you will get an extra 1/2 hour on the exams....
  17. Nov 5, 2007 #16


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If you're getting a D at the time you withdraw from the class (is that what you mean by resigning?), does your school consider that a pass or a fail or make note of that when you withdraw? When I was in college, once you passed a certain point in the semester, they'd record on your transcript withdraw passing or withdraw failing so people would know if you dropped because you were going to fail. It's easier to explain a withdrawal and repeat of a class later on than having a D or F permanently on your transcript. Even if your school doesn't include it in your GPA, it doesn't mean others won't look at that and calculate it differently if you want to go on for an advanced degree.

    I agree with the advice of others to talk to your lecturer. If you're doing well on homework and not doing well on exams, you need to find out why. Are you not understanding well enough to retain the knowledge for the exams although you can do it while fresh in your mind after lecture to do well on homework? Are you anxious during tests that you're blanking out? Is there something different about how the exam questions are worded than the homework questions that's getting you confused? Are you making careless mistakes when you feel rushed on an exam that you don't make when you have more time to do homework? How long does it take to do your homework?

    We should also ask...what's your major? For example, if you're a physics or engineering major and having trouble with Calc 2, you're going to be better off in the long run to drop it now and retake it and get those foundations firmly in place before moving on with more advanced courses. If you're a bio major, it wouldn't matter so much...what you'd need to use again in the future, you can brush up on a topic by topic basis.
  18. Nov 6, 2007 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    But the OP admits that he is withdrawing because he thinks he will fail!

    I don't see what the big deal is with having one or two bad marks on your record; I've certainly got some that aren't that good, but it didn't stop me from pursuing an advanced degree. I also don't understand how people can drop classes and still get a degree. Over here, there are a certain number of classes that one must take, and pass, each year in order to obtain a degree. If you drop a class, you won't have enough credits at the end of the three years to qualify for a degree.
  19. Nov 6, 2007 #18
    In my opinion, you shouldn't drop it. I do suggest you retake it, regardless if you pass or not, simply because calc II can prove to be rather important. However, if you do poorly in calcII but do awesome in every other math class there after, this little blemish would hardly be noticed. Most people have a bad semester somewhere in there transcript.
  20. Nov 6, 2007 #19
    My major is Computer Engineering. Im just not sure if dropping is wise, I dont feel I will get better than a C-. My class average is about 69, but the entire class is pre-pharmacy kids, and all that matters to them is grades. Not really an excuse.

    Is it better to take a D and get credit for it, or take a resign and don't get credit, though both ways I will retake it.

    Oh and we dont have different types of resigning, even if you are passing or failing you just get an R on the transcript. Thogh if you are passing you can request a I, which is a incomplete, that you can retake the class, but not register for it and the new grade replaces the I.
  21. Nov 19, 2007 #20
    I did well on my first two Cal II exams. I had the third one today. It was over Polar Coordinates, Sequences and Series and their convergence/divergence Tests. Well, there were two or three problems where I just couldn't remember how to complete it - you know, I look back at the homework/notes and say, DUH! to myself. I only have one more Cal II exam and it will replace my lowest exam grade.

    Oh, also I took Cal I last Fall, so a good two semesters were in between them! Haha.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2007
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook