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Can I do engineering if Im not naturally good at Math??

AjaxontheTrackAjaxontheTrack Posts: 29Registered User New Member
edited August 2012 in Engineering Majors
I'd like to do chemical engineering and overall I've got shots at some pretty good engineering schools (Georgia Tech, Michigan, U Minnesota). However, my math skills leave a lot to be desired. For example, my SAT math is a 630 but my overall is 2150. Same with ACT- math 32, overall 34. I've never gotten below a B for each semester in math, but it just doesn't come easily to me like it does for most engineers, and this year's AP Calc is starting to look pretty difficult. Despite all this, I really really want to be a chemical engineer. I shadowed someone in a similar field, and it was great. Do I stand a chance in against the naturally gifted kids at Ga Tech and other places? Im willing to work hard, but I need some assurance that hard work is going to be enough to get a 3.0 or better before I go to an engineering school and fail.
Post edited by AjaxontheTrack on

Replies to: Can I do engineering if Im not naturally good at Math??

  • noimaginationnoimagination Posts: 6,999Registered User Senior Member
    If you work smart (not just hard) you should be fine. Your scores aren't bad.

    Performance in AP Calc this year may tell you something. You will use calculus quite a bit as an engineering student.
  • ConfusedMominMAConfusedMominMA Posts: 728Registered User Member
    Have you looked into Engineering Technology at all? From what I understand, they deal more with the practical and less with the theoretical so math is not stressed quite as much.
  • AjaxontheTrackAjaxontheTrack Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    Not really, if I decide I cant handle ChemE I'll just settle for something in the humanities or law... that's what I'm good at anyways
  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium Posts: 1,206Registered User Senior Member
    You should be fine, but expect that you'll have to put in more work than your peers for a given result if you don't have an aptitude for math.
  • AjaxontheTrackAjaxontheTrack Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    Thank you all. One quick question: no imagination, what did you mean when you said "work smart, not just hard?"
  • noimaginationnoimagination Posts: 6,999Registered User Senior Member
    Thank you all. One quick question: no imagination, what did you mean when you said "work smart, not just hard?"
    There isn't a right or wrong way to learn that applies to everyone, but you personally will learn better with some techniques than with others. Hard work alone isn't necessarily enough; you could spend 16 hrs/day memorizing each individual word in your textbook, but you'll probably fail all of your exams.

    Many people find that working lots of practice problems is a good way to study in math and science courses.
  • hall04hall04 Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    Few people are 'naturally good' at math. Those people who you think are gifted, likely worked their behinds off to get good at math. I used to be awful at math but worked hard to get where I am and can now say I am one of the strongest students mathematically in my engineering program.
  • hylyfehylyfe Posts: 150Registered User Junior Member
    dunno most ppl in engineering aren't that great at math. most are ok but usually nothin special. Being good at math always help of course though.
  • VladenschlutteVladenschlutte Posts: 3,166Registered User Senior Member
    I'd like to say that 32 ACT math section is not too low. Maybe it's lower than most at Michigan (I don't have statistics but I'd guess average is around 34) but that difference doesn't indicate someone who can't handle engineering or even someone who will necessarily struggle with the math at all. Having a 32 (or being someone who is only capable of a 32) is perfectly fine. A lot of the hype about engineering being insane hard is just that. All hype. Many can handle it and your imperfect but still decent scores in Math don't indicate otherwise. I don't go to Georgia Tech or U Minnesota so I can't say for them but very few at Michigan Engineering are math geniuses. And if you fall behind the 4 or 5% that are, no one will care.

    Also, if you are especially strong in English, that's gonna be quite an asset. Don't underestimate it's use in every field, including engineering.
  • AjaxontheTrackAjaxontheTrack Posts: 29Registered User New Member
    Thanks for the reassurance. I'll give chemical engineering a shot (:
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