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Ultimate Guide on Preparing for University Calculus/AP and IB Program Courses

Students in Grade 12 have many options when it comes to math courses in university. If they are interested in taking a Calculus and Vectors course, they will have to first complete the Advanced Functions Course. This opens many doors for students, as they can go on to take calculus and vectors. Perhaps they are interested in taking an Advanced Placement (AP) course, which would allow students the possibility of earning a university credit while still in high school. Another option for students is the International Baccalaureate (IB) stream, which helps students think critically while learning calculus. The IB program helps students stand out on university applications. If you or your child are planning on taking university calculus, or are headed for the AP or IB program, you’ve come to the right place. The guidelines below will help you prepare for the journey ahead!

What is calculus?

Calculus is a branch of mathematics that is often used in many areas of science. It includes concepts such as limits, derivatives, and integrals. Students will learn about how derivatives and integrals can be applied to other notions, such as, the slope, velocity, and acceleration. Calculus is important for learning about processes that include change or variables that interact. Just like all other branches of mathematics, calculus helps students develop their problem-solving skills.

Review course material from Advanced Functions.

In order to understand calculus, you will need to ensure you have a solid foundation in Advanced Functions. Calculus builds on these concepts, therefore you should be comfortable with math skills like arithmetic, algebra, functions, polynomials and more. Without a solid understanding in these concepts, you will likely find calculus to be quite challenging.

Get a sense of what university calculus entails.

There are so many different ideas that will be presented in university calculus, as well as AP and IB calculus. Get your hands on a textbook and read ahead. It will make following along with the lecture and note-taking much easier. When presenting a new idea, make sure you have key examples to help support your understanding. Make sure you are always working on practice problems to refine your knowledge and skills!

Read and learn ahead.

To guarantee your success in calculus, it is so important to be ahead in terms of readings and lecture content. Many teachers and professors will post the course content ahead of the lesson or lecture. Use this opportunity to get a head start! This will allow you to review the content before class and prepare any questions you may have for the instructor. Keeping up with the course content is key to your success!

Work closely with your classmates and instructors.

There are many resources available to help you succeed. Use your textbook to work on extra practice problems. Spend time with your classmates working on these problems. This will help you see the math problem from different perspectives and reflect on questions you never thought of before. Many instructors hold office hours or additional help during lunch or after school. Take advantage of these opportunities! Make a list of questions or concepts you need help with before your visit to ensure you make the most of it.

Get extra help.

If you are still having challenges with calculus after studying closely with classmates and visiting the instructor, you may find more success with a tutor. There are tons of math learning centres available to help students learn calculus. Here at success tutorial school, we have many options for supporting students who are looking to get ahead or refine their knowledge and understanding in calculus.

Prepare to work without a calculator.

This comes to a surprise for many students, but some programs do not allow the use of calculators. Students are welcome to use calculators during lessons and for studying purposes, but may not be permitted calculator use during midterms, tests, and exams. Questions will be designed in a way that they can be solved without a calculator. That being said, make sure your arithmetic skills are sharp! They will be put to the test in your Calculus and Vectors Course.

Practice, practice, practice!

Just like all other courses, the more practice and hard work you put into your learning, the more likely you are to succeed. Work on practice problems in the textbook or problems suggested by the instructor. It’s also important to work on problems that you have seen in earlier courses, such as Functions and Advanced Functions. You will quickly learn that memorizing the content is not the key to success. Instead, you need to actively participate in the learning process and understand the big ideas and underlying patterns of the calculus problems.

Many students find calculus to be quite the challenge. Preparing for university calculus, AP or IB calculus ahead of time is the key to success! Here at Success Tutorial School, we have a number of programs available to help support you or your child with their calculus skills. Contact us today, or visit our program information page to learn more!

February 10, 2023
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