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## Replies to: How hard is Math 55?

29New Member17,472How many proofs do you write for your AP calculus BC class? What kinds of things do you prove? Have you proved all the field properties and definitions of operations for the complex number system starting from the Peano axioms?

720MemberNo high school class comes anywhere close to a mid to high-level college course in the subject. Not only is Math 55 harder than BC Calc, but so is Math 25, Math 23, Math 21, Math 20, Math 19... Math 1 is similar, from what I've heard.

The actual workload in college is generally smaller than it is in high school, particularly when you consider how much more free time you have (fewer classes that meet fewer times a week), but the material is much, much harder almost universally. Don't assume that just because you're taking AP courses that you know how difficult a subject can get.

35Junior MemberCollege math better be a lot harder.

21,586Senior Member720MemberCollege math better be a lot harder."

mbaboy- The difficulty of Calculus BC depends largely on the school- some go beyond the material required for the AP test, while others barely prepare their students at all. However, I can guarantee you this- if you want to find a challenging math course in college, you DEFINITELY will find one.

I've been at Harvard almost three months now, and one complaint I've never heard is "This class is too easy"- that's something we left back in high school. (Of course, there are some classes that are pretty easy, mostly a subset of classes meant to fill core requirements for people that don't specialize in the subject, but in general it's very, very easy to construct a challenging courseload.

14,214Senior MemberThat's true -- not because there are no easy classes, but because you know they're easy when you sign up and you've chosen an easy class for a reason (like...you're taking Math 55 the same semester!), so there's nothing to complain about.

96Junior Member380Member124Junior MemberThat testifies to the difficulty of math 55 but doesn't put the class in a good light.

Everybody learns something from a horribly hard situation, like a test that bad, but why is it that you were left "without much notion of what [the symbols] meant" if you were taking a class you were interested in, at a good university, where there must have been good teachers and advisors?

Though the class is paced for talented people, it sounds like you were egged on, not taught, through the material.

336Member17,472380Member* "Algebra" here is groups, rings, etc, not HS algebra.

17,472I have also heard it said that there is a great divide between learners who prefer geometry and learners who prefer algebra. I'm on the geometry side of that divide.

124Junior MemberWhat do you mean? Do you mean the pedagogy was variable, period? Or that it actually worked for some students (who needed teaching and didn’t know the stuff already) but not for you? Or did these bright students not need any pedagogy at all, so their success does not testify to the quality of pedagogy?

I am applying to college to study math, and naturally I am concerned about what the experience is like for math majors…so, seriously, is the most advanced first year math class (math 55) divided into two groups of students who either don’t get anything from the pedagogy because they don’t need it or don’t get anything from the pedagogy and consequently fall behind?