Calculus 2 (or Math 116) is notoriously known as the most failed class in the University of Michigan. Scary right? It shouldn’t be. Math is a class that takes time and patience, so if you’re ready to give both, you’ll be fine. A great way to practice is by doing the team home works, which can be a pain but an overall good way to learn the material.
1. Make sure everyone in the team participates
There’s nothing worse than having team members that don’t want to do something, even if its the most minimal work. Make sure everyone picks up their share of the work. If someone can’t make it to the meeting for a certain reason, tell them to work on a part by themselves. It’s called a “team” homework for a reason. Talk to your professor or GSI if someone isn’t cooperating because you don’t want your grade to be affected by slackers.
2. Know the material
Part of the reason these annoying team home works exist is to make sure the students practice and learn the material. They’re there for your benefit, so make use of them. If you’re having difficulty with a specific problem, don’t just pass it off to another person, go to office hours and try to figure it out. Make sure you understand all of the problems so that when the exam comes (which it undoubtedly will – with problems from these team home works), you’ll be ready to face it.
3. Don’t leave it until the last minute
If you work with your team, you’ll probably be able to grind through the questions in two or three hours (sometimes its a little less or a little more, depending on the difficulty of the material). Because of that, don’t leave it for the last minute. Plan to meet a few days before the due date so that you’ll also have time to go over your answers. Most people don’t work well under stress; don’t unnecessarily put yourself through it.
4. Use your time well
The portion of the final grade that includes quizzes and home works like these is minimal, so don’t spend an absurd amount of time trying to figure out one thing. You probably have more prominent issues that you want to take care of. Use your time efficiently. Go to office hours or email your professor if you get stuck in a problem instead of trying to solve it by yourself. The university offers hundreds of resources for your benefit, so use them and save time
All in all, team home works can be classified as a real pain, but power through them, follow the tips in this blog, and you’ll be able to survive them (and the class) without a problem. If you need some motivation before you start, remember that they’re worth the effort. (Think about how you’ve got just one day less until the weekend, you can do it!)