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Math 009A, also known as Introduction to Calculus, is a common course that many majors have to take. It is usually reserved the people in BCOE who are engineering majors because they need the course the most. Though, people who are in Biology and Economics all need this course. Math is a fundamentally important subject and many majors are all fighting for this course

Derivatives and Limits

Calculus is where many people believe math starts to become difficult. After all, there can be over 10 steps involved just for doing 1 problem. One silly mistake in those countless steps and you can get the wrong answer. These concepts are not actually easy to grasp as they are unheard of. With a mixture of complex algebra and new concepts, calculus creates numerous struggles among students. Plus, this is not even applied calculus, so professors are simply teaching in theory. Students cannot physically grasp onto to these concepts as they are intangible.

Showing Work

Some professors can be extremely picky at how work is shown. Notation for limits and derivatives have to precise and accurate. You even have to rewrite the entire limit equation at the end as some professors can be very picky. Since the class size is so large, you won’t always have the opportunity to show how your work should be done. Although, there are some laid back professors who do not care about how you show your work.

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Biweekly Quizzes

The one thing that many students hate about math are the constant quizzes. There is almost a quiz each time you meet up with your discussion class. Some classes even give out quizzes each week for 10 whole weeks. Other classes give out no quizzes. Most classes give out five classes in total. That means there is a quiz almost every other week you meet up with your discussion class.

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Finals and Midterm

The math classes here place a heavy weight on the midterm and final. The midterm is usually 30% of your overall grade and the final is 45%. That means those two tests added together make up 75% of your total grade. In general, that makes up your total grade. Doing badly in one of those exams could risk your A. Also be aware that the class may not be curved.

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Online Homework

There is homework assigned after each lecture and due at the next week. Your friends will not have the same problems as the computer generates different problems. This makes students understand the concept and avoid copying homework.

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Math 9A is a mandatory course for many majors. The difficulty can vary depending on your professor. Though, students inevitably have to take this class. As long as you put in the time and effort, you should do fine.


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Andy Xiang


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