I run into this situation all the time. A college student (often in one of the engineering disciplines), who never-ever struggled in a math course, is one or two exams deep into Calculus I, and is absolutely drowning. A 20 on the first exam. Shocker, but no worries because the professor drops the lowest grade. Then a 40 on Exam #2. Uh-oh…
The reality is that college math is not high school math. In many high school math courses, you learn how to solve simple problems by rote and the material is lovingly fed to you with a teaspoon. In college, you’re expected to actually understand the material, which is launched at you through a high-pressure fire hose by a sadistic sociopath with a PhD. The bottom line is that you are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.*
*This analogy does not apply to students in Kansas, but all the rest does.
Don’t let this happen to you:
By the time you realize you need help, you are in serious trouble (or perhaps more accurately “By the time you’re ready to admit you need help.”) If you intend to salvage the semester, you need a solid plan. You need someone to guide you through an intense review of the earlier material, and simultaneously to provide a bit of a boost to help you through the new stuff.
And this is where a tutor comes in. Ideally, you need someone who understands the math well enough to explain it to you so that you can understand it. You also need a tutor who understands the emotional component. Maybe math terrifies you, or this maybe the first time you’ve ever struggled in a math course and you’re worried that your entire career plan was a huge mistake. For many students, there is an element of stubborn pride at work here, too.
My advice: it’s never too early to start working with a tutor. When you first sense that you are not understanding the material, you are already starting a slide down that slippery slope toward disaster. Get a tutor now!!!
Even better, if you are reading this at the very beginning of the semester, avoid most of the pain and start with a tutor before you fall behind.
Contact me and let’s discuss your situation. Whether you need help with homework, test prep, understanding a few concepts, or anything else related to your math course, I can probably assist you.