our everyday life

How to Study for Calculus

by Jen Saunders, studioD

Calculus is a an advanced branch of mathematics that provides a way for people to construct models with the goal to predict various outcomes. People who are especially gifted in calculus can use calculus as a took to produce a model that predicts specific answers they are looking for -- a task engineers often do in their careers. By utilizing good study methods and resources, you can better comprehend calculus and eventually master its properties.

In-Class Studying

Studying isn't something reserved for the home or library; you can study in class and help improve your comprehension of calculus. Under the supervision of University of South Florida math professors, a group of students published some tips for in-class study methods specific to calculus. Their university-approved content advises other students to review the section prior to class. This will keep the material fresh in your mind and better enable you to ask questions in class -- another thing advised to help improve studying results. Taking good notes is another in-class study ritual that can help you understand calculus. Good notes should be concise and highlight the main points. You can even ask your teacher for a photocopy of his lecture notes to use as a resource.

Study with a Tutor

Utilizing a calculus tutor will help your study methods and habits. In some cases your teacher may be able to refer you to another student who can provide extra guidance and instruction. If your school has a tutorial center, you may be able to work with one of their calculus tutors. Another option would be to pay for private tutoring sessions through a company that ensures quality. WyzAnt Tutoring, for instance, has a variety of proven calculus tutors including educators with a doctorate in mathematics and more than 15 years of teaching experience. An expert tutor not only can help you better comprehend calculus, but can also teach you better study habits and methods.

Study Books

There are a number of books you can buy to assist you in studying calculus. "Calculus (College Review)" by Elliot C. Gootman is a study aid that helps students learn equations, functions and graphs. It also helps students understand limits, derivatives, integrals, antiderivatives and word problems, and it gives vivid explanations that walk students through the various equations. Once you have a firmer grasp of calculus you can invest in some books that come with practice tests to help you gauge whether or not your studying has been effective. "Barron's AP Calculus, 12th Edition" by Shirley O. Hockett and David Bock provides students with practice tests as well as the answers with detailed explanations. The book even offers advice and study tips on how to effectively use a graphing calculator.

Memorize Immediately

According to University of California-Davis professor D.A. Kouba, efficient calculus studying comes from the immediate memorization of newly learned definitions, formulas and theorems. Kouba explains that postponing memorization until the exam approaches will impede your speed at solving problems and interfere with a better comprehension of calculus. Kouba also advises students to spend two to four hours on every homework assignment because it grants you additional time to work on harder homework problems that aid in organizing your ideas and thoughts. Kouba states that the more time you spend on homework the better your chance of asking questions about calculus concepts in class.

About the Author

Jen Saunders is an entrepreneur and veteran journalist who covers a wide range of topics. She made the transition to writing after having spent 12 years in England where she studied and taught English literature.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images