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I’m FAILING Pre-Calc, please help.

iHatePreCalciHatePreCalc Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I’ll try to keep it to the point. For background info, I am a Junior in high school, and, until recently, have been an A student. I’ve never had problems in math, but this year is different. My teacher hardly teaches, and what he gives us on tests is far more difficult than what we’re given on work sheets. I’ve tried studying- heck, I’ve pulled multiple all nighters for this class, but it never seems to help. The first quarter of school is almost over, and I’m afraid that this grade (an F, more specifically a 54) will bring down my 4.0 GPA. I really need to do better next quarter, as it’s too late to do so this quarter, so how should I go about that? Lastly, I can’t hire a tutor, and my dad, who fricking specializes in math, refuses to help me. Thanks for reading this mess, and thanks in advance for the advice. Best wishes ~

Replies to: I’m FAILING Pre-Calc, please help.

  • BunnyBlueBunnyBlue Registered User Posts: 685 Member
    Does your high school have a peer tutoring program? Sometimes school honor societies offer free tutoring. As a parent I did free tutoring for a few kids. Lots of parents really enjoy this. Any chance a parent of one of your friends would help? Is there someone in your math class who would be willing to help?
  • CaMom13CaMom13 Registered User Posts: 655 Member
    There are tons of self-study tools online so if you have a good solid background in math, you should be able to get by without a tutor for pre-Calc. I understand your teacher sounds unreasonable but he can't be failing everyone (right?) so someone is passing the class. What are they doing differently? Maybe ask one of them for help - you may find that they do have tutors or outside resources or they may just be approaching the class work differently.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 38,829 Senior Member
    Are you in honors precalculus and might be able to switch to regular?
    What about peer tutoring?
  • bjkmombjkmom Registered User Posts: 7,330 Senior Member
    I teach precalc. Let's go through the usual litany first:

    - Have you been to extra help?

    - How are you doing on the homework? Is it at the same level as the test questions? How about the problems at the end of the set? Have you tried them? Many texts get harder at the end of the problem set. Keep in mind: most Precalc books have the answers to the odd numbered questions at the end of the book. Take advantage-- do the harder problems and check your answers

    - How is your attendance? And, in class, how's your attention level? Are you still paying attention or has your mantra of "IHatePreCalc" meant that you tune the teacher out?

    - How is the rest of the class doing? If some are finding success, find out how they're doing it.

    - Have you started a study group? This is a technique you'll use in college. Get a bunch of otherwise decent students together and prepare for tests together. You may very well find that you can fill the oles in each other's knowledge.

    - All nighters are never the answer. All they do is give you bragging rights and deprive you of sleep. You reach a point of Diminishing Returns-- where the payback isn't worth the effort you're putting in. Several nights of short bursts of studying-- say an hour or two a night-- are FAR, far more productive.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,950 Forum Champion

    1) Go to Teacher's office hours early in the semester and Ask this question: "I know this is a really difficult class-- what are some of the common mistakes students make and how can I avoid them?"

    2) If you have problems with the homework, go to Teacher's office hours. If they have any "help sessions" or "study sessions" or any thing extra, go to them.

    3) Form a study group with other kids in your class.

    4) Don't do the minimum...for STEM classes do extra problems. You can buy books that just have problems for calculus or physics or chemistry whatever. Watch online videos (e.g., Khan Academy) about the topic you are studying.

    5) If things still are not going well, get a tutor. Your National Honor Society will have some. Or ask a teacher for a referral.

    6) Read this book: How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport. It helps you with things like time management and how to figure out what to write about for a paper, etc.

    7) For tests that you didn't do well on, can you evaluate what went wrong? Did you never read that topic? Did you not do the homework for it? Do you kind of remember it but forgot what to do? Then next time change the way you study...there may be a study skill center at your guidance office.

    8) How much time outside of class do you spend studying/doing homework? Is it enough?

    9) If you run into any social/health/family troubles (you are sick, your parents are sick, someone died, broke up with boy/girlfriend, suddenly depressed/anxiety etcetc) then immediately go to the guidance counselor and talk to them.

    10) At the beginning of the semester, read the syllabus for each class. It tells you what you will be doing and when tests/HW/papers are due. Put all of that in your calendar. The teacher may remind you of things, but it is all there for you to see so take initiative and look at it.

    11) Make sure you understand how to use your online class system...Login to it, read what there is for your classes, know how to upload assignments (if that is what the teacher wants).

    12) If you get an assignment...make sure to read the instructions and do all the tasks on the assignment. Look at the rubric and make sure you have covered everything.

    13) If you are not sure what to do, go EARLY to the teacher's office hours...not the day before the assignment is due.

    14) Take advantage of any "re-do" tests you may be able to take..your teacher wants you to learn the material. Future material depends on it so you need to have the foundation. By explaining what went wrong you really understand it. Take advantage of this.

    15) If you really think your math teacher is way out of the norm, ask the head of the department to observe the class.
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