I'm having a rough time...I'll pass, but even after studying right, I forget everything at test time. This is quite unusual for me. I got finals coming up and I guess this could fit into any class... I've never had problems like this before. Never needed mnemonic devices and such and I'm mostly a good test taker. So what kind of advice is out there to help someone dancing on a C get the a or b they're used to?
If you do the home work you'll notice that much of the test looks familiar. Take the C and if that's the worse thing that happens to you you're an extremely lucky individual.
Keep in mind that 90% of the folks would never have gotten past Calc 1. With any amount of luck you're an Engineering student and anything above a 3.0 will get you a good job.
I got a perfect score on the math section of the SAT. Differential equations is what washed me out of engineering. Some people's brains just aren't built to hold that kind of knowledge.
Diff Eq was one of the toughest couple classes I took as an undergrad. Nearly daily hours long group homework sessions with classmates and study parties for tests yielded me a B-. I worked my rear off for that grade. Keep trying.
I am an EE and remember Diffy Q well although I took it a long time ago. My advise is to talk to your prof., get some office time with him/her to go go over areas that you are having trouble with, and if the prof is no good find a mentor. A lot of times grad students will help you, especially if you buy them a beer.
I am a mechanical engineer. I had no problem with engineering applications of integral and differiential calculus. My problem in a strictly "math" class was knowing when to stop massaging the damn things.
Universal math study tip: Grind through the homework problems over and over until you can perform the steps with your eyes closed. Look at the "form" of each problem and see if you can recognize what clues it offers as to the method chosen to solve it. Choose more problems from the same chapters as the homework and grind through those. One reason why this works is that the speed gained on familiar problems will give you a cushion of time on the exam to think about the unfamiliar or "trick" problems. The trick problems often involve manipulating a problem into one of the familiar forms and then solving it.
You have to work the equations and understand how the answers come about. There are certain techniques based on how the equations are presented. You first put them into standard form and then you will know how to form the answer. You gotta work through problems, lots of them. Ther are helper books and if you can get solutions for the end of chapter problems really helps out.
I got my ee and math degrees back in the 90s, and have been teaching math for about 17 years, the past 12 in a middle school. Every once in a while I dig out one of my old notebooks. I know I did the work because it's in my handwriting, but I couldn't do half that stuff now. The advice you got here is what got me through. Practice and definitely see the prof during office hours. Good luck!
Amen to that. If you're able to get ahold of past tests, by all means do them too. They are a big clue as to how your test is going to look like. Knowing is half the battle. Where I study we can get tests from the students union of our respective majors. Some come with answers, some don't, but the important part is to get an idea of what is gonna await you. In my experience, students get to take very similar tests each semester (with different numbers and problems etc but they are structurally very similar) unless you have a change in teachers or lecture material.
Yep. Just grind and grind until it clicks. Sorry +1 on the past papers. Exam questions tend to get recycled a lot.
This is so ridiculously true. This sums up most math, period, as I see it. Not that I got any farther than diffy q before deciding to devote my life entirely to music. More proof of fdeck's brilliance.
I did okay on DE. Then, for more fun I took partial DE because I needed a math elective. Many butts were kicked in that class, mine among them.
With math, as a few others have pointed out, you really need to grind examples. You're not likely to get anywhere by only studying the night before. Repetition until you recognise the pattern and why it works is the only solid way.