Author Topic: College math classes are designed to fail. My theory  (Read 562 times)

Now, I can't speak for all colleges, but mine in particular has to set some sort of example. For one, I am not good at math. I barely understand trig. In fact, I will go on a limb and say I know less than 10% of what the forget I am reading in my math classes. Is it my fault? Sure. But I can't take all the blame.

Every week, I am going through completely different chapters of content. One week I am doing triangle stuff, the next week I am doing radians or something, I have no idea whats going on. Every homework assignment and test is due on 11:59PM on Sunday. This gives me 7 days to learn and master an entire chapters worth of content because the tests are nothing like the homework. So, not only do you have to memorize the terminology, equations, and solutions, but you will also have to understand why it works in order to solve the oddball questions on the tests that the homework doesn't guide you with.

However, the general census is that a large majority of people struggle at math in this college. So much so, that they have a large tutoring program, instructors stay after hours, and there is a math study club thing just so motherforgeters can learn stuff that the class should be teaching in the first place. Now, think of it like this. You're a student, with 4 or 5+ classes to worry about, with a full time job, basically forfeiting any sort of right to relax. Not only are you studying for all of your classes, but now you have to attend some sort of program to further teach you? Why doesn't the class just to a better loving job? I have aced every single one of my classes since I've been enrolled but because of how absolutely stuffty these math classes are, I barely pass. Last semester, I was 0.4 points away from failing.

So, to sum it up,
1, the content is given and expected to understand way too fast (via a stuff learning experience, AKA online classes)
2, the """content""" given is not enough to actually help you progress in the class

Why do colleges do this? Surely student stress is not a variable at play. My hypothesis is because these classes cost money, and the more classes you fail, the more you have to retake, which in turn gives the college more money.

forget. Math. I would 100% retire my dream of becoming a CAD Engineer if it meant that I didn't have to take such advanced courses. Thats how bad to a point it has gotten. I cannot get my degree without this bullstuff.

p sure thats just your college/prof, math is fine where i was at. theres a lot of possible factors at play.

maybe your foundational math required for the class isnt really complete, making it difficult to pick up each week's new stuff.
maybe the course is just unusually fast paced for whatever reason.
maybe the prof is stuff at teaching things in a way you can understand. or is more theoretical. or is intentionally keeping explanations broad so that students are forced to synthesize information to reach further conclusions/handle challenging new problems.
or maybe your college's math department just sucks ass. its not a universal thing of all colleges for sure though.

besides making lots of use of discussion/section time and TA office hours, i suggest getting the books the curriculum is based on (or similar ones) and using those to learn the content instead, as books tend to have complete explanations and you get to control the pacing. as for radians and triangles, they're pretty related so i dont see the same "massive jump in topic" you suggest.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 01:01:46 AM by Conan »

I've had two different professors so far. I don't want to blame them, though. They are required to give out content during a small time frame, so the speed blame can't be put on them. I would gladly take two classes that cover half of the content delivered in one class if that were an option. I'd get my diploma late but at least I'd get it. My current schedule doesn't even give me a full 8 hour sleep like it once did, so I really can't rely on an out-of-class program to assist me

You're a student, with 4 or 5+ classes to worry about, with a full time job, basically forfeiting any sort of right to relax. Not only are you studying for all of your classes, but now you have to attend some sort of program to further teach you? Why doesn't the class just to a better loving job? I have aced every single one of my classes since I've been enrolled but because of how absolutely stuffty these math classes are, I barely pass. Last semester, I was 0.4 points away from failing.
You have a full-time job and you're a full-time student. That's 80 hours per week that you're expected to commit to work and school. you signed up for that and you're surprised you don't have much time to relax? that's an enormous workload that very few people could pull off.

You're not just paying for 2 or 3 lectures per week, you're paying for those after-hours recitations too, so take advantage of them instead of complaining about them. I failed trig my first time taking it because I thought I could just walk into class and sponge up the material. that's not realistic. Math is hard as hell so you're going to need to put a lot of effort into it.

"Why doesn't the class just do a better job?" why don't YOU do a better job? Don't blame the class, chances are the majority of your classmates are passing it, otherwise the professor or the whole department would be placed on probation for failing too many students, investigated, and shut down. Figure out how to pass the class instead of expecting a good grade to fall into your lap.

not only do you have to memorize the terminology, equations, and solutions, but you will also have to understand why it works in order to solve the oddball questions on the tests that the homework doesn't guide you with.
The math you're learning is supposed to be used in your profession. That's why employers hire people with degrees-- because you are supposed to understand how to apply the mathematics in a professional context. If you don't want to do that, then don't pay for the degree. You're paying for the education then complaining about what you signed up for.

Honest advice: Either lessen your course load so that you have more time to learn the material, or cut your work hours so you have more time to learn the material, or switch to a major that only requires algebra and not trig.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 02:55:13 AM by Mega-Bear »

but you will also have to understand why it works in order to solve the oddball questions on the tests that the homework doesn't guide you with.
tutoring is a rly good place to ask these "why do we do what we do" types of questions, in my experience

bruh i've been doing college precalc through dual enrollment and it's ez as hell, don't see what the problem is


first year college courses are literally designed to weed out people who dont want to actually study that subject

so if you are going into engineering/maths/cs its pretty much common knowledge that they teach you waaay too fast and grade you waay to harshly

college in the last two years is a breeze i literally had a 20% gpa increase

bruh i've been doing college precalc through dual enrollment and it's ez as hell, don't see what the problem is
if u doin precalc first year of college imo you arent prepared. precalc at the *very* latest should be junior or senior high school because calc is core to STEM

basically its not that crazy you find precalc manageable as a high school student


Sheepocalypse when Ruby has 8 crayons to share among 4 friends

i'm sorry but if you barely understand trig then you're not going to be able to get through your engineering degree

if u doin precalc first year of college imo you arent prepared. precalc at the *very* latest should be junior or senior high school because calc is core to STEM

basically its not that crazy you find precalc manageable as a high school student
i mean, fair, but that just happened because i was only halfway through high school calc last year. if i finished it up, i woulda took college calc.

plus, i'm technically a freshman so it works out well.

your professor makes a huge difference. i've had great professors that really know how to connect with students and help them succeed, and i've also had professors that meant well but had a really difficult time getting students engaged and on the same page.

this is also a really awful time to go to college to be frank. online learning is just not as engaging even if you have regular virtual meetings, and it also severely inhibits the ability of teachers to utilize collaborative learning techniques. sometimes your peers know how to connect with you better, and i've helped and been helped by my classmates in a ton of my math classes. plus unfortunately a lot of teachers just aren't very good at online teaching lol

if you can, it helps to find a discord with people from your college or something, some way that you can talk with your classmates and figure out what's happening in a class. people that can talk on your level can be your best resources

i'm sure some youtube video out there can explain it like they explain 20000000 other things