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CALC II, is it as bad as I'm hearing?

laraleilaralei Registered User Posts: 576 Member
DS just returned from orientation. Didn't get a lot of the classes he originally tried for, but he did get a working schedule that he is OK with, for now.

He did take AP exams but did not get results yet. So w/ AP credit for Calc I a possibility, he signed up for CALC II. I have been reading this is a tough class and a "weeder" course. Would he have been better off starting w/ CALC I? As of now, there are no CALC I classes available, but he can certainly look to change it, should he?

He is taking ECE 121, ENGR 103, and CHEM 101. I think he needs to add a humanities course yet, as I think he should take more than 12 credits, as that is just hitting full time status.

Any advice?
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Replies to: CALC II, is it as bad as I'm hearing?

  • momreadsmomreads Registered User Posts: 3,232 Senior Member
    I would definitely encourage him to take 15 hours. The reason is this: If he struggles in a class, he has the option of dropping it. With 12, he cannot, because he will no longer be a full-time student.

    As for Calculus II, it does not build off Calculus I. If he wants to retake Calculus I if his AP score is not want he wants it to be, go ahead. As for Calculus II, it could be deemed a weed out class. My younger son, who is at UAH, says it is. Fortunately, he had a 5 on the BC exam and went straight to Calculus III. My older son, who is a Bama grad, is glad that he had a 5 on the BC exam and never had to take it. At the U. of Virginia, one of my former students said it is one of the most failed classes, although he got an A without any problem.
  • aeromomaeromom Registered User Posts: 2,709 Senior Member
    There is tutoring available for most, if not all, of the courses you mentioned he is taking.
  • kjcphmomkjcphmom Registered User Posts: 1,091 Senior Member
    My son took regular Calc II last year in his fall freshman year and ended up with an A+. He's good at math, but I thought he would struggle a little bit from the information we got at BB. He said the class was easy because of the professor (she was easy to understand, taught the material well, and offered a lot of extra credit). I don't remember the professor's name. He ended up taking Calc III in the Spring with another professor and did as well, although this class wasn't the as "easy" as the first. Although in the honors department, he decided to take both of these non-honors and was glad he did.
  • SpaceCoastMomSpaceCoastMom Registered User Posts: 383 Member
    Our student began in Calc 2 and was glad he did. If student is disciplined with homework, it will go fine. Use the summer to refine schedule using rate my professor feedback. If his AP score supports skipping Calc 1 definitely skip it.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,545 Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    Cal II does not build on Cal I, so retaking Cal I will not help. My kids didn't find Cal II difficult, but maybe they had great profs. Who does your son have?

    I would encourage him to sign up for 16 credits because if he has to drop Cal II, then he'll still have 12 credits

    Is he doing AA or OA? he should...it's a great ice-breaker for OOS students. That can be an easy 1 credit.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,545 Senior Member
    My kids' fave math profs were: Trace, Halpern, Hadji, Gleason, Evans, Hsia, Corson, and a few others that I'm not remembering right now.
  • springy179springy179 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    edited June 2015
    I'm a sophomore math major and I took Calc II fall semester. I came in with a 5 on the AB Calc exam and took the class with Martin Evans. I would highly recommend him. He seems to be teaching two sections this fall.

    He does a few things which I think are very helpful for a first college math course. Homework is mandatory, and while a small portion of the grade, these Webassign assignments are great prep for the test and good for accountability. He explains concepts very clearly and has generally engaging lectures. Most importantly, though, his tests are "choose (some number) from (some larger number)". So he may give an 8 question exam, but you only do 6 questions. This way if there are a couple questions that are more confusing or difficult, it won't hurt your grade. The lowest exam score is also dropped.

    Dr. Evans is a skilled algebraist, and although your son seems to be an EE major (that's what ECE is for, right?) he can be a great mentor and advisor.

    Best of luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.
  • laraleilaralei Registered User Posts: 576 Member
    edited June 2015
    I believe the teacher for the CALC II class is Song, Song. She doesn't seem to have the best rating on RateMyProfessor. The ECE class, that is Electrical & Computer Engineering, set the tone for his entire schedule. There was only one class available to take.

    Then there were only 2 sessions open for CALC 2, one during the same time as ECE, so he could only take the CALC 2 w/ Song, Song.

    Lots of schedule conflicts w/ the other courses after that. So really the schedule builder options he went in with did not pan out at all. Lots of sessions were closed.

    After getting home, he found that the Honors CALC would work for his current schedule & the teacher is better rated, I believe the last name was Kwon?

    BUT, it is stating he can't take this class, he does not qualify. He needed an override at registration in order to take the CALC 2 as his AP score did not come through yet.

    Also, despite being advised to take Physics fall semester w/ the CALC 2 class, the system wouldn't let any of the students do it, they had to get overrides. There were no openings available for him at that time, but he was told he could always alter it at home.

    HOWEVER, if these classes need overrides, how is he suppose to change his schedule around here at home? Does he need to call someone at the college before trying? I could see that being problematic.




    ( Just wanted to add, thanks to all, this site is always very informative. I actually like it better than the FB page. )
  • dlee1697dlee1697 Registered User Posts: 20 New Member
    laralei - I share your frustration. The course schedule is blocked for incoming BB students and given that the advisors were reachable by email with a commit to respond with 5 days, it makes it so much harder to get an overwrite.
  • CrimsonMomNCCrimsonMomNC Registered User Posts: 403 Member
    Keep checking, they add sections and seats throughout the summer.....your student may not end up keeping any of the classes they registerd for at Bama Bound :)
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,545 Senior Member
    I think there is a time (sometime after noon) on the Day 2 of BBs, that all previous BB students can go in and tweak their schedules.
  • SOSConcernSOSConcern Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    My DD took her courses based on what fit best with her schedule - didn't look at rate my professor. She figured she could do well as a student. She was eligible to skip Calc I due to AP, but decided to take the entire math sequence at UA - in part because her Calc class was as a HS junior, and wanted to get info 'fresh'. She took honors Calc I, then in the spring took regular Calc II. Also wanted to wait to take Calc II along with the Physics with Calc in the spring when she would have more time for the classes and studying.

    The calc II female prof was a good teacher, plus class attendance helped. She did a review just before each exam. DD didn't have to take final because she had a A+ - she said if you did the work.... She also had Physics with Calc and used the calc in the physics class. Those two courses go together. She is taking the Calc III in the fall and the physics in the spring because she will have more time to apply herself to the physics. The physics was difficult for a lot of the students and they had to really work hard for the grade.

    On Calc II, a number of students needed to improved their grade and take the final, in part because they missed some classes. It was a 9 am class, and DD didn't always 'feel' like going but she made herself go. In part, she knows how valuable college and college classes are - what is being spent to attend. Glad she has that 'learned'.

    OP, your DS should not be concerned about the early calc courses if he has the aptitude for engineering. I also agree he should have 1 more class to go over the 12 hours. Look at his 'finish in 4' and see what can be plugged in. If he has a solid fall term, he can see how he wants to do spring classes - where he will have better options. First semester registration is the trickiest. Just make sure in the fall he sees his advisor early so as soon as he can register for spring classes, he can get his best schedule locked in.
  • laraleilaralei Registered User Posts: 576 Member
    Again thanks for the assistance. You are right, if he has the aptitude for engineering he should be able to handle the courses. :)

    He couldn't get into any Honors classes at registration. The CALC honors would work in his schedule but he couldn't change it.

    So does anyone know how he should go about registering for a class when it needs an override? should he contact an advisor or someone else at school? Or should he just stick w/ what he has and just find another course to add for the 15 credits?

    He will have to take all this on himself in the future, but I would like him to get in the best position for his first semester there.
  • momreadsmomreads Registered User Posts: 3,232 Senior Member
    laralei, I would not worry about an override at this time. Wait a few weeks, because there will be some big changes in the numbers enrolled in classes. Kids do not get the AP score they needed, so they drop into a different level. Kids who get the AP score needed so they drop the class and enroll in other classes. Kids who take summer classes and decide they do not need or want to take a class in that subject anymore drop. Even kids who go to the first class, decide it will be over their heads and drop.

    Have him select another class to bring himself to 15 hours. My younger son, who attends UAH, signed up for 15 hours last spring. He was very excited about taking a math class with a particular professor who got rave reviews from his friends. He got to the class and noticed there were nearly 100 people there. One of the math chairs came in and said there were so many people signed up that they had to open another section. Instead of going according to when people enrolled (he was the first to enroll, too), the department kind of split the list down the middle. My son got a different professor who had lousy ratings. He got scared off, and immediately, dropped the class. So he had just 12 hours. He did fine in his four classes, but I think he was a little bored. An extra class probably would have kept him a little busier.

    BTW, he will be taking 15 hours this fall, including that math class. This time, however, he will stick regardless of the professor because he really wants to earn a minor in math.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,545 Senior Member
    I think if you go to the dept webpage, there may be a link to use to ask for an override.
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