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Calculus at any school is far from easy. But, at CofC, it is extraordinarily challenging. Further, it is a required course for students in the Honors College, but it is among the top three reasons why students end up dropping out of the Honors College. Even as just a major requirement, this class can pose tons of challenges. Don’t despair, though! Here a few tips on how to survive Math 120 at CofC:

1. Go to Math Lab

CofC has wonderful student support programs, and their no-appointment-required Math Lab is no exception. With knowledgable student tutors and faculty members, Math Lab is a great place for struggling Calculus students to visit. On top of the workers, there are at least 20 computers and hundreds of textbooks for students to use and look at.

2. Go to Office Hours

Though going to office hours is probably some of the most common advice students in college have been given, it is key to success, especially for Math 120. Professors have likely been teaching their course for years and years and years, and often times, they can go through the material rapidly. As a result, it is so easy to fall behind. But, this problem can easily be remedied by a once a week visit to office hours. With one-on-one time with their professor for review, a student is sure to do better.

3. Hire a Tutor

Sometimes, though, Math Lab and office hours are not enough. In that case, it can be beneficial for a struggling Math 120 student to hire a tutor. In many cases, there will be advertisements for student tutors plastered to the walls and hallways of the buildings, and all a student needs to do is pick up a flyer and call. Most tutors are super affordable and so helpful and absolutely worth the time and money.

4. Use Your Resources

It is rare that homework is fun. But, it is hard to argue, especially for Math 120 at CofC, that it won’t help improve your skills and comprehension. With that, homework is generally done online, and there are plenty of tutorials and extra examples available for practicing. Though not enjoyable, doing a few extra math problems every day can immensely improve a struggling student’s grade.

5. Find a Friend

Friends make almost everything better, and Math 120 is no exception. Finding a friend to struggle with you can actually be extremely motivating. Together the two of you can go to Math Lab, work on homework assignments, and study for tests. On top of helping to motivate both of you, finding someone else who is struggling keeps you from feeling alone or not capable.

Though Math 120 at CofC is a challenge, it is definitely a surmountable one. With the use of resources, visits to the Math Lab, time spent in office hours, and the help of tutors as well as friends, students can not only pass but also thrive in Calculus at CofC.


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Kyra Swartz

I am a sophomore at the Honors College at College of Charleston. There I am a double major in Early Childhood Education and English with a concentration in Creative Writing!


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