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Most science and engineering students have to take a numerous amount of entry-level courses during the initial years of studying for their college degree. Although calculus 1 is usually taken at the beginning of those initial years, tackling its strenuous content should not be taken lightly. A student should start by memorizing their trig-functions, but here are some tips to grasping content in calculus 1:

1. Be prepared

Do your homework, be on time to class, and have all of the materials that are necessary for studying this course. These items usually include: A graphing calculator, pens/pencils, a large binder, graphing paper, and Mathematica downloaded onto your personal computer.

2. Mathematica

Mathematica will be downloaded for free, your teacher will go over this. After having downloaded the Mathematica application from the Wolfram website,, make sure that you know how to use it. This application can make performing calculus much easier and is an extremely helpful tool for studying.

3. Pay attention

Listening to what the teacher has to say is always worth it. Remembering a simple demonstration or example problem can go a long way when taking a test that is worth 20% of your grade. Follow along with your professor each class; do not fall behind.

4. Ask questions

Ask questions inside of class when a piece of material being presented does not make sense. Always remember to write down what you have learned from asking each question. Asking questions outside of class about confusing course material, by approaching your teacher after class or during their office hours, is also a good idea.

5. Take notes

Take notes for the whole duration of the class, in order to have a physical representation of what you learn each day. Take notes outside of class from reading the book and going over difficult parts of your homework with someone knowledgeable on the subject. All of your notes will be everything when it comes to succeeding on your exams.

There are many resources that a student can utilize in order to manage time well. Calculus 1 is no simple task for a college student, however, studying can become much easier when healthy steps are taken.


Joseph Widder

Studying Environmental Engineering at Elon University

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