Get a Good Start!

Suggestions for Succeeding in Your Mathematics Courses


Attendance and Participation.

  • Come to class every day and be on time.
  • Bring your textbook, notebook and calculator to class every day.
  • Sitting in class and listening is usually not enough to be actively participating. Take notes, copy examples from the board, ask relevant questions. Remember.... mathematics is not a spectator sport.
  • Please be considerate to your classmates and me during class. I will ask you to leave class if I feel you are distracting others or me by talking, laughing, or displaying any disruptive or rude behavior.
  • Class time is reserved for teaching and learning.
  • Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions that require a short response, otherwise feel free to come to my office during my office hours for help, or stop by the Math Lab for more intense tutoring.


  • Place the Chapter and Section Number of the assignment in the upper right-hand corner of each page (i.e. Section 1.1, Section 1.2, etc.). That way, when you staple your work (usually in the upper left-hand corner) to turn it in, I will be able to determine the section number of the assignment.
  • Doing your homework in class is wasting your tuition dollars.
  • Your work should be complete and done neatly. Number each problem and leave space so you can add a note later if you wish. Circle or box your final result.
  • If you look at one of your assignments a week or two later and can't remember how you did a particular problem, then you probably are not showing enough work.
  • If you make errors and have difficulty finding them, then you probably are not showing enough work.
  • Your work is a reflection of your effort, so make your work show that you are trying to be successful.


  • Keep a notebook for your class and bring it each day. It should contain class notes, homework, handouts, old tests and quizzes.
  • If your notebook is in good order, it will be a valuable study guide at test and exam time.

Study Methods

  • Preferably, read and study the upcoming sections of the textbook before they are discussed in class.
  • You should read the textbook with a pencil and a highlighter and mark notes in your book with pencil. Highlight vocabulary, definitions and important facts, then reviewing for your tests and exams will be easier.
  • Spend at least one hour a week working homework problems and assignments from previously assigned sections. By constantly reviewing past material and assignments, you will greatly reduce your overall effort throughout the term.
  • The best time to start the homework is soon after class ends when the lecture material is fresh in your mind. Waiting until the last minute to do your homework will allow you to forget more. In the end, you will have to spend more time learning the material and doing the assignments if you procrastinate.
  • Don't fall behind in your reading or assignments. Catching up is a lot harder than staying a little ahead!


  • Cramming for mathematics tests usually does not work as well as it does for some other disciplines. The last few days before a test or exam should be devoted mostly to reviewing previously learned topics, not reading and learning massive amounts of new material. Crammed knowledge is usually poorly understood and easily forgotten.
  • Do not look around the room during any quiz, test or exam. Looking at another persons paper or desk during a test or exam could be considered cheating and your test/exam could be given a zero grade.