Hi, I'm a junior who's taking AP calc (which I'm currently failing). math was always easy, so I'm unsure why I keep failing calc. I practice a lot every day but when I'm taking the test, it's like whole new concepts are being introduced. I'm unsure what to do and am starting to give up slowly.
if you practice a lot and still mess up on the test it is possible your practice is not in line with the test, you can try khan academy and see if those are different from what you're working with. otherwise you may need to think more creatively to solve the problems, which you can try to improve by solving a greater variety of problems for practice.
Hi! I'm in AP Calc rn and here's what I do to learn the content. Firstly, talk to your teacher!! Explain your concerns that the practice is different from the test, and try to use examples. If you have concrete reasoning, she can't really deny it. Hopefully, she can give you some more resources. Secondly, watching the Organic Chemistry Tutor's calculus videos is basically the easiest and quickest way to learn a subject. He is seriously my favorite YouTuber I would be struggling so much without him. However, my personal favorite thing to do is to find someone else who needs to learn/is willing to learn the topic and teach it to them!!! Like literally teach, from the beginning, how to do the math. Explaining it to someone else will 100% increase your deeper understanding of how it works. Unfortunately, calculus is super abstract, and really hard to understand for most high schoolers (my mathematician aunt says high schoolers actually shouldn't take it), so don't beat yourself up. Some of the smartest math people I know simply can't grasp calc - it has no indicator on your overall intelligence. For me, personally, the math only clicks right before or after the test, and trying to learn the material can be very frustrating. It's important to recognize this about the class so you don't give up on yourself entirely. Finally, Fiveable has the best best AP study guides ever, and though I haven't personally used their calc study guides, I am confident that will help as well. Online practice and study guides should go more in-depth on topics that your teacher might be skipping and then adding to the test. An unfortunate thing about math is that the teacher makes a huge difference :( I wish you the best and hope this helps!
I have yet to take AP Calculus, but my biggest suggestion for any math class is to talk to your teacher. It can often feel intimidating, especially if you've never needed help in math before. Practicing on your own won't help you if you don't fully grasp the concepts. I would suggest emailing your teacher and asking if there's a time before or after school, during lunch, a break, study hall, or a free period for you to meet a talk about any questions you may have. I'm sure they'd love to help you, regardless of if you need help understanding an entire topic/concept or if you simply need to clarify or go over a few practice problems. To supplement classwork and homework, I use Khan Academy and Kuta Software for practice and lessons. There are also some really great, in-depth videos on YouTube for almost every topic in math. If you're still struggling after talking to your teacher, consider starting a study group with a few friends. Chances are, you'll have different strengths and abilities and be able to help each other through the work. You can go over practice problems, review old assessments, or even just take notes together.
To keep this community safe and supportive: