How To Pass Your Math Classes

White notebook with math written on the cover sitting on a brown desk surrounded by pens

I recently read that engineering is one of the most dropped-out majors. Students typically drop out because of how math-intensive it is. Engineering majors have a math class almost every semester. Learning how to pass your math classes can be the secret to seeing the major through to graduation.

I’ve written about how Engineering is one of the top degrees in the country because they are some of the most sought-after and highest-paid. And According to a study on the educational background of the billionaires on the Forbes World Billionaires List, of, The Richest People In The World, engineering was the most common major.

Here are 3 billionaires who hold Engineering Degrees

  • Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon has Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Net worth: $133 billion.
  • Carlos Slims, a Mexican business mogul has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. Net worth: $85 billion.
  • Larry Page, co-founder, and CEO of Google has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering and a Master’s in Computer Science. Net worth: $98 billion.

So don’t drop out, your major has the potential to turn you into a millionaire or even a billionaire! And even if you’re not filthy rich you will be among the elite and have an excellent degree and career.

Let’s not let a few math classes stand in your way. Below are some strategies to get you through those math classes and on your way to a very lucrative career.

Importance Of A Solid Foundation

In order to pass all your math classes, it is vital to start with a solid foundation. Math builds upon itself. What you learn in each class will apply to subsequent classes. You must understand previous concepts to grasp new ones. Many college students might have two or three math classes that are required, and they can squeak by them. However, this is not the case with engineering and many STEM majors because the following semester you will have another math class.

Don’t Fall Behind In Math

Don’t fall behind. Once you do it is very hard to catch up. The moment you start struggling to catch up is when you begin to lose concepts and your foundation starts crumbling. Your momentum will suffer, and you will struggle for the rest of the semester. Typically, this is why students fail their math classes

If you don’t understand a topic or missed a class, you need to find someone to fill you in. If a classmate can’t help you, reach out to your professor. Be sure to drop in during office hours or reach out via email. Here is The Right Way To Email Your College Professor. If you’re really struggling schedule a meeting with a tutor. Sometimes having someone new teach you is all that is needed for the light to click on and for you to understand a concept or formula. Also, be sure to check out the online resource I have listed. There is a wealth of information in them and many provide in-depth solutions.

Understand What You Are Studying

As I just mentioned, math builds on itself. Whether you are taking calculus, algebra, statistics, or geometry, every lesson you learn and assignment you’re given is connected. Therefore, it’s important to have a strong foundation so you can see those connections. When you understand how those lessons connect, it will help you with a new or hard problem because you can use knowledge of other classes and lessons to solve a problem differently. Understand what you are learning because it not only helps now it will help you later. This is how you pass your math classes.

sea dock surrounded by water with a huge sculpture that is the word understanding. In the distance are boats and a cloudy sky

Do Problems Until You Are Comfortable With Them

Math homework can get long and tedious, the last thing you want to do is spend more time on it. But practice does make perfect. This means grabbing a piece of scratch paper and working out the problem until you fully understand it and are comfortable with it. If it takes you three or four times that’s okay, the point is comprehension not just getting the homework done to get the grade/points.

It is totally worth the time and effort because doing the assigned homework is the best way to learn the concept and what your professor is trying to teach you. And homework problems will most likely resemble what will be on the exam.

Make A Study Guide For Your Math Exam

I always made a study guide before each test. It’s time-consuming but worth it. Now is the time to focus on what you’ve been learning. Carefully go through the topics, concepts, problems, and formulas that will be on the exam. Check your syllabus, notes, and chapters in your textbook. Include any practice questions your professor may have given you. Be sure to write out any definitions or formulas. When you work out problems, do it step by step, showing your work. Take your time with this process because as you write and solve problems you are learning and committing them to memory.

Once you’ve created your study guide, dig out your old homework and a few blank pieces of scratch paper and staple it all together. A few days before the test, carry this little packet with you everywhere. Glance over it, memorize formulas, and rework those problems that you get caught up on. Read and review everything right up until you are handed the exam. You won’t regret the extra effort.

Best Online Resources For Math

Here are some of the best websites to learn math for free. Many of these math websites are detailed and have step-by-step examples. Some provide free online math tools for students.

Find the right calculator for your math class.

  • Professor Brandon Leonard: Professor Leonard’s Youtube Channel is dedicated to quality mathematics education. And it is absolutely FREE. Videos are organized in playlists and are course specific.
  • Khan Academy: Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.
  • Paul’s Online Math Notes: Professor Paul’s website has online math tutorials and notes. His intent is to provide a complete set of free online (and downloadable) notes and/or tutorials. There are cheat sheets for Algebra, Trig, and Calculus. He also has tables for Common Derivatives and Integrals and Laplace Transforms. 
  • WolframAlpha: Compute expert-level answers using Wolfram’s breakthrough algorithms, knowledgebase and AI technology.
  • patrickJMT: PartickJMY has been creating free Mathematics videos since 2007. He has over 1.3 million followers and covers an array of math topics.

You need a lot of motivation to pass your math classes. Here are tips on How Students Can Create The Motivation For Success.