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Advice for students taking MATH 1130: Precalculus

From students to students

Advice for Students

Students who took one section of Math 1130 during the spring of 2010 were asked, "What advice would you give to a student starting precalculus?" Here are the responses:

  • Take this if you need a refresher course. Take trig separately, only take this class if you have already taken trig; the class moves too fast to get a good understanding of it. Do not take this class to learn algebra or trig, only to refresh yourself.
  • I would tell students considering taking this course that it is a good refresher, and that the pacing of the material seems to speed up at the end of the semester, on ellipses and hyperbolas, so don't slack off.
  • The one piece of advice I would give to students planning to take precalc is to practice more hours every week. I think that was my weakness this semester. The final advice is to take advantage of all the handouts.
  • Attend all classes. Try your best not to use your calculator during homework. It's important to have a firm grasp of each step.
  • Keep up with homework, that's my advice.
  • Create a schedule for doing the homework assigned and stick to it. When you encounter a problem you can't recall, relearn it and practice the problems in the book until you don't need to look at your notes. Actually take notes during class and especially on the day before exams.
  • The advice I'd give to someone coming into precalculus is to be sure to do the homework and read the book. Also, when it comes to tests be sure to go to the reviews and do the review sheets the instructor gives you.
  • If I were to prepare another student for this course I would tell them to try not to miss any material at all. It all builds on itself and missing any lecture hurts the building blocks in this class.
  • Make sure you have a strong background in algebra and some knowledge of trigonometry. Stay on top of your homework. Form study groups or find a tutor.
  • My advice is to take extra notes, like what exactly the teacher is doing. That way when you go back to do homework, you can remember how to do it.
  • In order to do well in this class you need to show up. Missing a single class can put you behind and it takes a long time to catch up. Also actually doing some of the practice problems in the book that are not assigned helps to understand the material.
  • My advice to future students would be to not do commitment sheets and assignments at the last minute.
  • The advice I would give to students taking precalc in the future is that they should make sure they have taken the necessary classes that lead up to precalculus.
  • My advice is make sure to show up to class every day. Write down your notes clearly. Helps to do study guide for the test.
  • I would advise to complete all of the work and to attend all of the lectures. I would also advise to read through each chapter in the precalculus book in addition to the lectures. Take advantage of the MERC Lab if needed.
  • For anyone taking this class I would advise getting other precalculus material either online or purchasing extra books from Barnes and Noble. Any extra help is good.
  • If you want to get into precalculus you need to know mostly all of your regular algebra. You will use it a lot so you need to know it well. Also if you have never taken a precalculus class before then you should try to remember your trig. Functions and most of the equations.
  • The advice I would give is to take the readiness test before you sign up for precalc and review the trig/algebra and try again before you sign up for precalc.
  • If I had to give advice to a student at the beginning of the class, I would merely tell them to attempt all their homework, and anything they are having problems with, take it to the MERC Lab. If you do this, you will get an A.
  • The best advice I would give other students is to study a lot of trig and to make sure you are comfortable with putting answers into the computer. You may know every problem on the test but if you don't know how to put in the correct answers you can miss every problem.
  • Don't load up on classes during the semester you take precalculus. That was my biggest mistake. Make sure you are willing to spend a lot of time learning the MathXL and MMT formats in addition to the written coursework.
  • Show up to all the lectures. Do the homework. This class was not hard if you put in the time.
  • Do the homeworks on time. It helps a lot to do the homeworks. Read the book and professor's notes. Always ask professor if you do not understand a problem. Use the MERC Lab too.
  • I would tell the student to take trigonometry before this class.