Calculus is the branch of mathematics that deals with derivatives, limits, functions, and integrals. It is a major part of math because it is usually used in physics and mechanical engineering as well. Many college students have a hard time understanding calculus mainly because they’ve not found the right approach to tackle it.
Calculus, like any other branch of mathematics, is easy if you understanding the fundamentals. According to Mypaperdone experts, the reason why many students struggle with this brunch of mathematics is that they have the basics mixed up.
If you have a love/hate relationship with calculus, it means you need to dig deeper to appreciate its beauty as a discipline. Every college student understands the agony that comes with doing a test that they didn’t study well for. This is how all calculus lectures would feel if you don’t go back to the drawing board.
When you take your time to understand calculus, you realize that the way it relates topics in a brain-bending manner is elegant. Once you understand the basics, you start viewing problems as an opportunity to play with numbers.
Calculus is an enlightening discipline, and here is a step-by-step guide to help you understand it.
1. Start with other parts of basic mathematics
Since calculus is a branch of mathematics, it means to understand it; you first have to understand the basics of math. Some of the other fields of math-related to calculus that you should go through include;
This branch of math deals with arithmetic operations.
Algebra teaches you about groups and sets.
This branch covers everything about the properties of triangles and circles.
Here you’ll learn about the properties of all shapes.
2. Understand the parts of Calculus
Now that you understand all branches of math that relate to calculus, you can now look into the basics of this branch. In this can, you’ll learn about to main sub-groups, i.e., integral calculus and differential calculus.
Calculus, in general, is the study of accumulation, change, and rate of change, which sounds so complex, but it really is simple.
3. Learn calculus formulas
Integral and derivative calculus have basic formulas that help you navigate the complex bits of this discipline. Note that for each formula, you need to learn the proper proof as well. When you do, handling application questions becomes easy because you understand how the formula flows.
4. Learn about the limits
In calculus, a complex function can be solved when you find its limit. Complex function limits make deciphering the function easy because you get to solve all the small parts.
5. Learn Fundamental theorem of calculus
This is quite essential because you can hardly understand complex functions if you don’t know the fundamental theorems of calculus. The fundamental theorems of calculus teach you that differentiation and integration are inverse to each other.
6. Practice calculus problems
Once you go through all the basics, it is time to test your knowledge by solving calculus problems. Make sure you choose a wide variety of problems that allow you to practice all calculus problems.
When you get stuck solving a function, make sure you consult with fellow students. It might not seem like it at the moment, but these little efforts ensure that you get an above-average grade at the end of the semester.
Make sure a day doesn’t pass by without you practicing calculus problems because practice makes perfect.
A Note on Examples
Most of the examples in calculus are based on physics concepts, which is a great thing for anyone who’s doing physics as well. However, it might mean trouble for anyone who’s struggling with physics.
This means that you need to polish up on your physics knowledge to excel in calculus. For instance, do you know the equation for velocity for an object? If you can’t answer this from the top of your head, you need to go back to the drawing board.
It’s actually better, to begin with, physics examples before you dive into calculus. Make sure you use visual examples as they make understanding concepts easier.
7. Double-check your Concepts
This is very important because no one is immune to memory loss. If you’re not 100% sure, make sure you double-check your concepts. This is the difference between thinking a paper is easy and actually getting excellent grades when the results come back.
Once you learn a concept, make sure you double-check to about making costly errors when you’re doing an assignment or a sit-in exam. Ensure you make time to go through your notes, and you make this a habit because calculus is not something to study once a week.
If you want to excel, you have to be intentional about your studying. Never shy away from asking for help from your professors. After all, this is why they’re in school in the first place.
Important Tips to Remember
- Calculus is not one of those subjects that you can understand without an instructor. That is why you need to attend all lectures and pay attention to what the professor is saying.
- Practicing is the key to excellence when it comes to calculus. Make sure that you work out as many examples as you can and seek assistance when you get stuck.
- Always begin with the basics of derivatives each time you’re trying to work out a calculus function.
Calculus might seem like a complex subject at first glance, but when you’re intentional about learning, you realize that it all makes sense. Make sure you practice at least one calculus problem each day to polish your problem-solving skills. Remember that professors are in school to help you when you get stuck, so never feel shy to ask questions. After all, this is how you learn.