One basic math class is required at Elon, and MTH110 is where many first years will knock this requirement out. This class isn’t the most engaging, but it is what you make it, and the effort you put in will likely reflect the grade you come out with. The professors tend to be excited teaching this course as they try to make it as engaging as possible. By following these tips, you will ensure the best chance to succeed.
1. Do Your Homework
At the end of the day, homework accounts for a large chunk of your grade. While each assignment is worth very little, since homework is due almost every class; they add up, and will destroy your final grade if you skip too many assignments. Another huge benefit to doing the homework, aside from simply completion and the grade, is the comprehension skills gained. The exams in this class are all comprehension based, with little to no vocab necessary. Professors tend to re-use questions with different numbers, so if you can do the homework, the exams shouldn’t be too hard.
2. Practice for Exams, Don’t Study
Obviously you should study for your exams, but in this class, studying is simply doing problems and practicing equations. Again, the exams are comprehension based, so if you don’t know the right steps to take, you simply won’t be able to answer the question. Good methods of practice involve going through the chapters and doing the ‘practice problems’ at the end of each chapter. Professors can use these questions on the exam sometimes, but regardless, they are key concepts and formulas required for the actual exam. Another good way to practice is to talk to the professor during office hours. The professor can refer you some good practice questions.
3. Start off Strong
This is a long course with a lot of material. The smaller assignments add up, and if you are able to get 100’s on all of the easy assignments early, it will give you some wiggle room later in the semester, when other classes start to pick up as well. The exams are spread out nicely, but count as an equal percentage (20% each) with no true cumulative final. Every test should be treated seriously and given ample time to study, but again, if you get solid grades on the first or even better first two tests, you have some wiggle room towards the end of the semester.
4. Get A Tutor
This is a free program at Elon: past students who have taken the class and received an A- or A, tutor those currently taking the class. The tutors are there at your disposal to help you with your homework to any extent; from giving you an equation to solving a problem. The tutors are also great when it comes to studying for exams as they know the style of the tests, and often can remember key concepts or material needed to succeed. Tutoring may sound painful, but it’s extremely helpful, not to mention free, and can be done on your own time. You can go twice a week or once a month, but take advantage of the material and people at your disposal.
5. Make A Study Group
Study groups are great for this class as it is a great way to check your work. When studying or doing homework, if you solve a problem incorrectly you will be able to find that mistake by cross-referencing it with your study group. Another advantage to a study group is that you won’t hand in anything late, since you’ll keep in contact with classmates throughout the semester. Another advantage is that the big group project you do at the end of the semester will be a breeze – your group will already have solid chemistry and hopefully not procrastinate till the end!
Math is not an easy subject for many, and for those who struggle, this will no doubt be the best required math class option at Elon. The professors teach it in such a way that anyone can understand, but for some people it never clicks. By following these tips, you will ensure the best possible chance of success and hopefully never have to take a math class again!