Are you planning to take a math course in the fall semester such as algebra, trig, or calculus? Is math your “problem” subject? Are you already worried about it?
Don’t fall into the same trap that catches so many students! If you wait until after the first exam to get help, you will spend the rest of the semester digging yourself out of a deep hole. Line up your tutor now.
- The first exam is the “easy” one. If you get a bad grade on the first exam, you’ve missed your chance to start out with a good grade.
- Starting out the semester with a bad grade is a double whammy. Not only did you miss your chance for an easy A or B, now you’re stuck with a bad grade dragging down your average for the rest of the semester. Even if you get back on track, that first grade hurts you all the way until the end of the course.
- Math courses are cumulative. By the time you get to Chapter 3, you’re expected to understand and apply the material from Chapters 1 and 2. If you don’t understand the early material, your situation will only get worse later on.
- If you haven’t taken a math course in a while, or your last math course didn’t go so well, you are setting yourself up for a shaky start. Most math courses are designed with the assumption that you have already mastered all the previous material and are fully prepared to move forward.
- With so many classes being moved online, it is extra easy to fall behind. Instructors are less available to answer questions. It is not unusual to get distracted during online lectures. Many instructors are good classroom teachers, but poor online educators. Some bad instructors are even worse online. Too many online classes expect the student to teach themselves.
- Are you taking a “pre-packaged” math course (e.g., Pearson), with online quizzes and exams? One of the keys to success in those exams is learning how to format your answers. For example, you know that 6/8 = 3/4 = 0.75 = 0.750. Sometimes, you may not get credit for solving a problem correctly just because you did not format your answer the way the exam was programmed. On the bright side, if you can master the homework in those classes, there are rarely any surprises on the quizzes or exams.
- NOTE: If you are reading this in the middle of the semester and you’re already in trouble, don’t get discouraged. With a good tutor and some extra effort, it’s possible to salvage a math course even if your first exam (or two) didn’t go so well.
So what’s the solution? Schedule your first tutoring session now. Even if your semester has not started yet, now is a great time to get acquainted and work out the details. Contact me to discuss your situation.