Trust me, college calculus can make or break your semester. For some, it’s easy as pie and for others it’s insanely difficult. Chances are you’ll probably have to take MAT 125 or some other version of calculus as a major or minor requirement or just a Stony Brook curriculum requirement. Either way, here are some tips to help you ace college calculus!

1. Get Professor Bernhard

It’s as simple as that. Professor Bernhard is hands down the best MAT 125 professor out there. He’s hilarious, kind, generous and understanding. Most of all, he explains calculus brilliantly so that even a five year old could understand it. If you see his name come up during scheduling, make sure you get his class.


2. In the scenario that you don’t get Professor Bernhard, come to his lectures anyway

This may sound weird, but it’s actually pretty shocking how many people did this. You signed up for MAT 125 and all professors teach relatively the same content and since Professor Bernhard makes all the exams, wouldn’t you rather just want to come to his lectures instead? Does it really matter which lecture you go to if they all cover the same material but Professor Bernhard does it ten times better? If you end up getting a sucky MAT 125 professor and know that Bernhard is teaching the same class on specific days, just go to his lectures instead.


3. Understand WebAssign

WebAssign is loathed by the majority of college students (and rightly so). It’s frustrating, glitchy, annoying, and confusing. However, there are some ways around WebAssign problems if you explore. For example for each problem there’s usually always buttons that say “Read it”, “Watch it”, and “Master it”. If you just can’t get a problem and know you’re running out of options these buttons are your best friends. If you click on “Watch it” you can go to a video where they will show you step by step how to solve an incredibly similar problem to the one you have. If you click on “Master it” or “Try another one” a similar problem will be generated and if you get that one wrong it will explain how to do it and that answer won’t be graded.



4. If you run out of practice problems to do before an exam, redo the problems from lecture

Professor Bernhard actually advised us to do this. If you’ve exhausted all your study material, rewrite every single problem you did during all the lectures and do them again. I mean you already have the answers so it works!



5. Use One Class Textbook Solutions for the paper homework answers

There are no answers in the textbook to the paper homework problems. If you really want the answers just go to One Class’s Textbook Solutions and search for the textbook you’re using via its ISBN number and there you go, the answers for any problem you need. Sometimes not all of them are right or the answer is still confusing, but it can give you a baseline for where to start if you’re clueless on a certain problem.



Hopefully with these tips you can go on to ace college calculus, it’s really not as daunting as it looks.

Mehar Bharatiya

Hi, I'm Mehar and I'm an Anthropology Major and Geology Minor at Stony Brook University! I like reading, writing, art, and cats. In my free time I like pondering philosophical quandaries, watching meme compilations, and engaging in political discourse!

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