Calculus- Not fair?

<p>I'm getting an 89 in AP Calc AB this quarter, my lowest academic grade, and I'm pretty bummed. I feel like I understand basically everything (except maybe implicit differentation) that we've done in the class so far, and I do fine on all the homework and participate a lot. Now you might say I'm crazy, and that 89 is a perfectly fine grade, but as someone who's consistently gotten 95's on all other H.S. math classes, and has a 780 Math SAT and 770 Math IIC, and has worked just as hard in this damn class as I have in all my previous math classes, I'm kinda upset. Part of the problem is that our teacher gives these crazy tests on which hardly anyone gets full credit for half the problems (on the Ch. 4 test he put something on there which he had never really gone over, but we were "supposed to understand").</p>

<p>So do you think I have a right to complain (and it's not just me, other kids in my same situation are getting much worse grades than me) or should I shut up and be happy with what I got?</p>

<p>Well, look at it this way: at least your teacher is pushing you. On the other hand, my class is moving at a snail's pace. We're only on chapter 2, about page 130, in our book because our teacher spent a MONTH going over the prerequisite precal chapter. There is NO way I'm going to be ready for that exam in May unless I start reading ahead or something.</p>

<p>Plus, his class is really easy. I have a 101 in there...and I'm not terribly gifted in math. I had an 87 average for the year in precal last year, a class where the teacher knew what she was doing and really pushed us hard. I hate to think how admissions officers are going to take that huge jump in grades, lol.</p>

<p>I know it isn't much consolation but at least you'll probably be more prepared for the AP exam than I will.</p>

<p>I think it is fair. You are in an AP class, which is advertised as a college-level class. In college, it doesn't matter how hard you work. What matters is meeting the requirements of each course (in an ethical manner). Furthermore, success in early mathematics and SAT testing doesn't mean you are ready for calculus. It is good that you are working hard; that is a sign of a great student.</p>

<p>"So do you think I have a right to complain?"</p>

<p>Of course you do. The question is should you complain. If you really believe that the teacher gave you an unfair problem on a test, then you need to contest the result.</p>

<p>Nevertheless, good luck with Calculus and the course you are taking to learn it.</p>

<p>Exams: I am a mechanical engineering major and I have experienced exams at two colleges. The first college was very rigorous and the exams were curved. The goal of the profs was to give exams that were much harder than the homework. This weeded out those who were not good enough and pointed out the A students. It was all about competition. I transfered to a less rigorous school where the emphasis is on learning and the exams are not curved. For one of my classes the prof said giving an exam that is harder than the homework wouldn't make any sense. It depends on your point of view. I don't believe that exams should be very difficult when the homework was a walk in the park. My current exams are not meant to separate the smart from the dumb....the purpose of the exams is to test the student on the fundamentals of the problems, not apply the fundamental to some incredibly hard problem.</p>

<p>It's fair. the best place to learn new information is on a test, you actually work at it then. calm down also be that 89 in calc ab isnt going to affect your chances of getting into a college. ever try just being satisfied with understanding it? if your teacher isnt curving tests and doesnt have like the concept of a percentage score in correlation with your school's grading system then maaaybe a talk is in order, but i think you're being a bit out of line. its ap. its supposedt o be like a college course. i think you'll survive.</p>

<p>It's fair but I see your urge to complain. I'm hating Calculus right not because it's hard but I think I deserve the grades that I get. It's frustrating to be doing badly now after doing so well before, but I think everyone (including colleges) understand that AP Calc is hard.</p>

<p>Yeah it's certainly not an easy class, but I just feel like I'm working hard enough to warrant an A. Especially when the average grade for AP classes at my school is supposed to be a 90, and in this class it's around an 80. </p>

<p>I guess I just have high expectations for myself in math classes, and it is my favorite subject. But you are right, we are getting through a lot of the material (Ch. 6 already!) and working hard so that is good. And I'm getting a TI-89 later this week so that's exciting too!</p>

<p>What the hell? You guys are doing trigonometric integrals and l'hopitals already? If im not mistaken that was chapter 6. At this rate you guys are going to finish multivariable and differential.</p>

<p>Ok haithman, different schools have different books with different organization. Some books find it approporiate to introduce that stuff earlier, and some topics later.</p>

<p>We just did trig and l'hospital...meh </p>

<p>"Especially when the average grade for AP classes at my school is supposed to be a 90, and in this class it's around an 80. "</p>

<p>I find something disturbing about that. How is the average in any class supposed to be a 90? That's major grade inflation.</p>

<p>It does not make sense either way. Chapter 6 in any case would deal with advanced topics of integration. It's way too early to get into that by the beginning of november. You cannot do advanced integration without a thorough understanding of differential calculus and basic integration.
Oops Chapter 6 in the Larson book is Applications of Integration. Either way still to early. AB calc is only 7 chapters.</p>

<p>oh oops, I'm in Calc BC, but yea different books are different. We're on chapter 5 and doing l'hospital</p>

<p>Cool. Anyways Calculus is a different kind of subject. Some people find it impossible and some people find that it's a cakewalk while only just memorizing what they are told. It all depends on who you are. Others of us find it elegantly beautiful and try to delve into the actual theories behind the problem solivng techniques and the methods that are used. Yeah it might seem odd but i love math. Anyways, an 89 in Calc is not a bad grade at all, however we know that we are never satisfied with grades..especially if they are B's. I HIGHLY recommend you pick up ARCO's Mastering the AP Calculus AB/BC book. I used this as an aid when going over topics and found it much better than any textbook. It's perfectly plausible to score a 5 on the BC test just by reading this book...i mean it. You must have the ARCO book in you library.
Good Luck and hopefully you find Calculus beautiful and fulfilling.</p>

<p>u should consider urselves lucky, our class average is like a 71... of course, me the crafty student has tricked out a 102 hahaha :), no seriously, take the tests afterschool, when u know what's on them jk</p>

<p>Thanks everyone, things seem to be going better in the class now. Especially since I got a 97 on the last test. Except now Integral Applications is the next chapter and that's gonna be tough I can tell...</p>

<p>Congrats on the 97..awesome job! Don't worry, you should do well on integral applications. It's really alot more interesting than the things you have been doing now. Shell method, disk method, etc..good stuff.</p>

<p>haha..we're starting integrals just this week -_-....i hate implicit differentiation!! and also..y''....O.o</p>