Is calculus hard to learn? It doesn't have to be | Comp Science Center (2023)

Math can be challenging. You may have noticed that it is harder for some people than others. This is especially true for Calculus and other advanced math classes. Before taking Calculus, it seemed like the hardest thing I'd ever done. However, Calculus doesn't have to be the monster we imagine it to be in our heads. In fact, I asked more than 200 calculus students:Is it difficult to learn calculus?This is what they said.

Is calculus hard to learn? It doesn't have to be | Comp Science Center (1)

“It depends on who is teaching and what the student is interested in.”

-Liam Slivka

"It's when you don't know algebra."

-Jon C. Whelpley

(Video) why you NEED math for programming

Is the calculation difficult?

In a survey of 222 calculus students, the majority of them, around 68.9%, said that calculus is not difficult to learn. However, as Liam Slivka states: “[it depends] on who is teaching and what interests the student”. In accordance withCalculation Survival Guide, students must dedicate 12 hours a week to study. Students who fail Calculus are those who don't take the time to learn it.

Many students, myself included, have struggled with calculus because they lack the basics. However, if you lack skills in algebra and trigonometry, don't be discouraged. Most students have gaps in their knowledge that need to be filled. You may have to work at it, but you can improve your weaknesses. Ideally, before doing Calculus.

Math is sequential, which means that the things you learned in the last class are used to help you learn things in the next class. You wouldn't learn to multiply before you could add, would you? If you decided to give it a try, you'd probably feel like half the students in my class who didn't master the fundamentals.

If this sounds like you or sounds like it could be you after doing Calculus,don't worry. There's a lot you can do to prepare for what's to come. If you want to know how to prepare for calculus,scroll to the bottom of this article.

Is calculus more difficult than algebra?

Calculus is harder than algebra.They're pretty much the same in terms of difficulty, but calculus is more complex and requires you to use everything you've learned in geometry, trigonometry, and algebra. Calculus builds on these previous courses, so without a solid foundation around you, you're doomed to fail calculus.

If you did well in algebra and trigonometry, you'll do well in calculus. These concepts are used and extended in Calculus. Everything from graphing, factoring, and solving for a variable will be used. The challenges you faced in previous courses will be the same challenges you faced in previous courses because you grew and expanded your math ability.

Think of it like climbing a ladder. If you wanted to climb 100 steps, you wouldn't try to go directly from the ground to step 100. Instead, take each step one step at a time, making each one as challenging as the last.

How many students fail calculus?

According to the Mathematical Association of America, an average of 25% of students in the United States do not score high enough in Calculus 1 to move on to the next course.A 2015 study from Western Michigan University showed a failure rate of up to 40% in Calculus 1 in the spring semester of the same year. To read more about the WMU study or to learn more about MAA, see below.

(Video) Understand Calculus in 10 Minutes

Joshua Ayerdi: Relative Rates of Student Success in Calculus I

Mathematical Association of America: About

From this information, you can easily assume that Calculus is certainly not easy, but it is not that simple. These numbers do not necessarily speak of the difficulties or facilities of Calculation. They talk about the myriad of other reasons why students fail Calculus.

Why do students fail calculus?

Is calculus hard to learn? It doesn't have to be | Comp Science Center (2)

The reasons why students fail calculus are numerous.However, I don't want anyone to be discouraged by seeing this list. My intention is to prevent you from making any of these mistakes or at least minimize them. I have already spoken about how the lack of fundamental mathematics education can be harmful. It is the main reason why students fail. Also, here are the other reasons:

– Not spending enough time studying.
– Not practicing enough and problems with homework.
– Not paying attention in class and taking quality notes.
- Thinking that you do not need it, then there is no point in learning.
– Think Calculus is not important.

As you can see from the list, the reasons people fail Calculus stem from not just people not doing the work or not knowing the fundamentals. It also reduces tohave the right mindsetIf you knew that calculus was important to your future, you would have no trouble paying attention in class, taking notes, and solving practical problems.

If you want to pass, you will be willing to work for it. And if you work at it, you will pass.

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Why is calculus important?

Calculus is important because of all the real world applications it has.Calculus makes many things possible and much easier. For example, in business, Calculus is used to maximize revenue and minimize production costs.

If you want to know more about the uses of Calculation, see my article:

What is the calculation for? (Real life applications)

If you think you don't need to learn Calculus because you'll never really use it, you may be right. At least about the part where you never use it. However, there is actually a good chance that you can use it if you plan to work in any field of science. Also, why would you want to put limitations on yourself or your potential? What if you change your mind about your future plans? This happens all the time.

Derivative vs. full

The difference between the two is that the derivative shows the instantaneous rate of change of a function, while the integral shows the area under the function with respect to the x-axis.These are somewhat opposite, since the integral of a function is also known as an "antiderivative". Differentiation is learned in Calculus 1 and Integration is learned in Calculus 2.

For the record, if you only need to do Calculus 1, consider yourself blessed. Calculus 2 has many more new concepts than the previous one, making it a notoriously difficult class. This is the class where mathematician boys and girls become mathematician men and women.

If you think you need a solid foundation with the first, you'll probably need it with the second. When you don't master the skills in one class and move on to the next, you are left with 'holes' or 'gaps' in your knowledge. These gaps accumulate, and with each consecutive class.

How to prepare for calculation

Is calculus hard to learn? It doesn't have to be | Comp Science Center (3)
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First, fill in any gaps in your math knowledge that may be essential to learning Calculus.That means algebra and trigonometry. Do this before starting your Calculus course. After starting the class, read the program. Do your best to learn the to-do list so that you can start making progress on your task.

Yes, you heard right. It is not enough to simply do your homework on time. At least not if you really want to stand out. Not to mention, if you're a week ahead of all your assignments, what's to stop you from taking a week off right in the middle of the semester? Not much. More importantly, you have some space in case of any type of emergency. Things happen.

Calculation Tools and Functions (Top 10 List)

If you like to brush up on algebra and trigonometry, there are some great resources in my previous article. After reviewing the basics, it would also give you a huge competitive advantage to read #4 on the list below. The good news isIt's a quick and fun read..

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Is calculus harder than computer science? ›

Many folks find calculus more difficult. More folks find computer science way more time consuming for the same number of credits than any calculus class. Like most lab courses, computer science programming homework takes time.

Is calculus really necessary for computer science? ›

Computer science is a broad field, so if you're looking to get your computer science degree, the kind of math you'll need to know will depend on your specific program and career path. But generally speaking, most degree programs require a basic understanding of calculus, algebra, discrete mathematics, and statistics.

Why is Calc so hard in college? ›

Calculus is widely regarded as a very hard math class, and with good reason. The concepts take you far beyond the comfortable realms of algebra and geometry that you've explored in previous courses. Calculus asks you to think in ways that are more abstract, requiring more imagination.

What level of calculus is required for computer science? ›

Students who are interested in studying computer science in college have to pass their first calculus class with a grade of C or better to successfully fulfill the calculus 2 prerequisite.

Is calculus the easiest math? ›

Calculus is a branch of mathematics containing limits, derivatives, integrals and functions. Calculus is a major part of mathematics. Calculus is used in mechanical, physics etc. For most of the students calculus is hardest part of mathematics.

What math is higher than calculus? ›

After completing Calculus I and II, you may continue to Calculus III, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations. These three may be taken in any order that fits your schedule, but the listed order is most common.

Is calculus used in coding? ›

Calculus is the examination of continuous change and the rate change occurs. It is used in an array of computer science areas, including creating graphs or visuals, simulations, problem-solving applications, coding in applications, creating statistic solvers, and the design and analysis of algorithms.

Do software engineers use calculus? ›

Yes. If you look at a list of required coursework for a degree in software engineering, you'll typically see Calculus I-III, Differential Equations, Discrete Mathematics, Linear Algebra, and other advanced math classes.

Is it worth it to learn calculus? ›

As you can see, calculus is not only useful inside the classroom. Instead, it speaks the fundamental logic of the world we live in, from economic theory to design to statistics to medicine. It may be difficult, but it will be well worth your time to learn.

What is the average IQ of calculus students? ›

The mean iq score of students in a particular calculus class is 110 with a standard deviation of...

What is the lowest level of math in college? ›

Entry-level math in college is considered the stepping stone to more advanced math. Algebra 1, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus 1 are the basic math classes. Once you have successfully navigated through these courses, you can trail blazed through more advanced courses.

What's the hardest math? ›

The Riemann Hypothesis, famously called the holy grail of mathematics, is considered to be one of the toughest problems in all of mathematics.

Is computer science the hardest major? ›

The short answer is “yes.” Search any list of majors to study, and you'll likely find that computer science tops the list as one of the most challenging disciplines to learn. Compared to other fields of study, pursuing a career in computer science requires both technical and analytical skill sets.

Is computer science the hardest subject? ›

Earning a computer science degree has been known to entail a more intense workload than you might experience with other majors because there are many foundational concepts about computer software, hardware, and theory to learn. Part of that learning may involve a lot of practice, typically completed on your own time.

Is computer science harder than math major? ›

The answer is: it depends entirely on where you go, and your personal skills and affinities . It really does, as much of a frustrating non-answer as that is. CS is more challenging than Math in one particular form: Math is more of a classical discipline, where CS is more of a lifestyle.

Is calculus the hardest form of math? ›

Calculus is the hardest mathematics subject and only a small percentage of students reach Calculus in high school or anywhere else. Linear algebra is a part of abstract algebra in vector space. However, it is more concrete with matrices, hence less abstract and easier to understand.


1. Is a Computer Science Degree Worth It?
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2. Reimagining Calculus Education | Jan Cannizzo, Ph.D. | TEDxStevensInstituteofTechnology
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