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How to Prepare for College-Level Math

Written by CB Community

Whether you plan to major in non-math-focused humanities or liberal arts programs, you’ll interact with general college-level math in your coursework.

If you’re currently struggling with high school-level math, this may come as an unpleasant surprise to you.

However, planning and studying can help you ace your current tests and prepare for college.

If you worry about passing your math requirements, here are steps you can take to overcome math anxiety, improve your credits and sharpen your mental acuity for higher-level math.

Master The Basics

Growing your confidence and learning advanced principles in math begin with mastering the basics.

If your math foundation is unstable, your anxiety about the subject only grows, blinding you to new concepts.

Furthermore, you lag behind on coursework because lecturers dive straight into college-level math.

Focus in class to grasp as much as possible and ask questions. However, if you need to go back to fundamentals, study beyond the official timetable.

You can study alone by reading books and following textbook and online examples to apply formulas, or you can hire an online math tutor to guide you.

Tutoring provides a human touch to learning, especially if your math classes feel impersonal. With an online tutor, you can have a flexible plan and access to relevant examples for each concept.

Practice is your friend, so set aside as much time as needed. Solve as many math problems about fractions, decimals, indices, trigonometry, and algebra as possible.

Once you understand the formulas, test your knowledge with analogous word questions that require abstract math knowledge.

Get Gritty With Harder Math Problems

Stretch your knowledge by taking harder math problems, such as AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC.

These electives introduce you to the measurement of change and are excellent for application in college-level math. It’s an excellent option if you enjoy math and want to solve harder problems.

However, AP calculus is challenging for most students. Don’t take it to improve your social status. Also, do not sacrifice your GPA for the skills.

Expand your skills, but keep your grades up for college qualifications.

Fortunately, if you excel in AP, you can boost your GPA since AP classes are weighted higher than others.

Also, passing AP classes alongside other subjects displays your academic rigor and impresses colleges.

With a strong transcript and GPA, you’re one step closer to qualifying for merit-based college scholarships.

Furthermore, if you earn a 4 or 5, the highest scores in AP calculus, you may earn credits for college. This means you’ll be further ahead in your freshman year and possibly have room for other courses.

However, credit acceptance varies per college, and you may retake the AP classes in some universities.

Find Out What Level Of Math You’re Likely to Study

If you’re anxious about the type of math you’ll take in college, find out the requirements for your course. Most colleges publish parts of their curriculums online.

For instance, business math may differ greatly from pure math.

Take time to understand the requirements and application.

If you can anticipate what you’ll study, it not only reduces your anxiety about the subject and opens your eyes to the vast applications of math concepts.

You can also consult college students near you to learn about their college experience with math.

Pro Tip!

Practice is the only certain way to improve your math skills and prepare for college-level math.

If you’ve exhausted your current resources or can’t seem to figure out the details, hiring a tutor is in your best interests.

Choose a tutor with at least one free lesson as an example, before committing to payment.

Also, ensure you’re getting regular feedback on your performance and growth.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.