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WOOT got an A- in first semester calc, but what is in store for me next semester?

  1. May 19, 2004 #1
    Hi all, Im not trying to brag but I recently got an A- for my first semester of calculus :biggrin: however the second semester has got me worried. My friend who is a semester ahead of me recently flunked out of the second semester of calculus, and as far as I know, he was an A calculus student. I know every college uses different books, but the one we are using takes us three semesters to get through. The second semester is all about finding volumes, techniques of integration, arc lenths, differential equations,sequences, convergence, ect. Is it really that hard or am I worried for nothing? I consider myself a math person and the first semester was pretty easy for me. Any suggestions?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2004 #2


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    I got B+ in Calc I & A+ in Calc II.

    AFter the first two tests in Calc I, my average was a 55%.
    I was really slacking in Calc, & didn't take the time to know all the theorem's (i.e. Rolle's Th'm, M. V. Th'm, etc.)
    Luckily, I did really well on the exam (which consisted mostly of areas b/t curves, volumes of revolution, basic integration).

    My Calc II consists of:
    I really took the time to redo all my Calc I during my winter break, and took the time to understand Calc II.

    I found it easy for the most part (except waking up & commuting for the lectures :P).

    It should be fun.

  4. May 19, 2004 #3
    There isn't usually a big jump in difficultly between Calc1 and Calc2. If you can do well in 1 and you understand the key concepts then you can probably do well in 2.

    You should do some preparation before you start calc2 (review your old calc1 notes, practice questions to make sure you haven't forgotten everything) but don't let it worry you or stress you out. Nothing good ever comes from that.
  5. May 19, 2004 #4

    Math Is Hard

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    Make sure you're comfortable with your "u substitution" techniques for integration. The teacher might skip that step sometimes and just assume that you'll know what's she's done when she evaluates an integral. Being solid on your trig helps,too. Those identities are like bad pennies - they just keep turning up! :biggrin:
  6. May 19, 2004 #5
    Most students around here have the most trouble with second semester out of the three, but I can't think of any that've done well in first semester and failed second.

  7. May 19, 2004 #6
    Do your best.
  8. May 19, 2004 #7
    Agreed, integral calculus was probably my most difficult. The rest were a joke--- I loved series, related rates, vector valued functions etc..

    I am taking Calc IV (Multivariable) and we go into double/triple integrals, which are really easy to evaluate because you can usually find ways to change what you're integrating with respect. But in the normal integral calculus course they just slap you with an ugly integral where you might have to combine techniques such as partial fractions, and integration by parts etc!!

    Can get messy.

    Oh and yes--- you will LOVE the work chapter <--- Always remembered from integral calc!!!
  9. May 19, 2004 #8
    In high school I got nothing but C's. When I got into college I got nother less than a B, and in Calc I and II I got an A. It seems I'm better at math than I had originally thought.
  10. May 20, 2004 #9


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    i had A+ in calc I and a B+ in calc II. i'm taking ordinary differential equations right now and its scary.
  11. May 20, 2004 #10
    I just finished Calculus last semester with an A. I'm kind of worried about Calculus 2 as well. What are some good sites for preparing for Calculus 2?
  12. May 20, 2004 #11
    Calc II will be a breeze since you got an A in Calc I. It was for me.
  13. May 29, 2004 #12
    Well, I'm a Brit so I'm not 2 sure about the exact work u'll be doing, but we're doing the same sorta topics in calc at the moment. We do modules of pure maths alongside others like statistics and decision. The topics look much harder than they are. I kno when I first started em, they LOOK hard, but it's just a case of learning the rules. After a few examples it becomes routine like most maths. Partial fractions tho...they make me sick, lol. Hate questions involving them, not 2 sure why, but I always seema mess summin up along the way! hehehe. But yeah, just make sure if ur teacher says summin assuming u kno it, ask a question at some point cos its easy 2 get lost if u don't kno where it's all coming from. N I agree wit Coda, make sure u solid on Calc 1 befo u start

    Congrats on the mark btw man
  14. May 29, 2004 #13


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    Partial fractions are one of those things that come back from middle school to bite you in grad school. It's really because both integers and polynomials form Rings, and a lot of the math carries over (check out ideals!). Worth practicing on your own to get over your negative feelings about them (left over from school?), which are what are causing your persistent mistakes.
  15. May 29, 2004 #14
    at my school, i took calc 1... did not go on to calc 2.. but my calc 1 friend went on... she said it was hella hard.. much harder than 1.... thats just my school though
  16. Jun 2, 2004 #15
    Everything is hard the first time you do it (like riding a bicyle). You shouldn't worry to much about the grade, but rather you should worry about your understanding of the material that is being taught to you. Of course, when you can't understand what is being taught to you, then you should start worrying about whether you're 'capacitated' to even be taking these courses (or in college for that matter).

    I get depressed sometimes when I can't solve certain problems (even though I have the knowledge to solve the problem, just not the intuition which makes me think that I'm stupid and that there is no hope for me, getting me more depressed, etc.). But remember, this is why forums exists. If everybody could solve every problem, the world would be rather dull I think.

    Don't get scared and never give up.

  17. Jun 2, 2004 #16
    I got an A in Calc I but I kind of struggled with Calc II. I'm taking Calc III and ODE's right now (same prerequisites). Differential Equations can be confusing.
  18. Jun 5, 2004 #17
    Just about to finish up my first quarter of calc, the end starts integral calc, and man this stuff is blowing my mind. :confused: I was with my professor for about 5 minutes tell he started showing us the summation stuff. :frown: I believe I am going to struggle :cry:
  19. Jun 5, 2004 #18

    Math Is Hard

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    Don't worry too much about the Riemann sums. It doesn't last long and you will SO appreciate integration after you've been through it. :biggrin:
  20. Jul 23, 2004 #19


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    the hardest idea is a limit which already somes up in calc 1. The reason some people do well in calc 1 and poorly in calc 2 seems to be that they already knew calc 1 and took it easy, then did not work enough in calc2.

    In the other directiuon people who struggloed in calc 1 learned to buckle down, and then did well in calc 2.

    So it is basically how hard and how consistently you work. Thus the advice to review calc 1 over summer, and maybe even read ahead in calc 2 is good. Some people even sit in cald 2 for one semester before they take it. Then the fear is gone and they have heard it before.

    Anyone with your concerned self interest at this stage, is already ahead of the game. You will be fine.
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