The key steps that students sometimes miss when learning a new subject are:

**Building a strong base.****Multiple exposures to each new concept.****Using the homework to help you learn instead of just trying to get it done.**

It is often said that the most difficult thing about calculus is the algebra. Calculus builds heavily off of algebra and it is important that you have these skills mastered so that you can succeed in calculus. Some key algebra topics include:

- Manipulation of fractions including multiplying by a conjugate
- Factoring
- Long division with polynomials
- The unit circle and trig function properties
- Solving absolute value inequalities
- Solving rational inequalities

Your goal is to put each calculus concept to memory so that you can recall it on quizzes/exams/final/life as need be. To do this successfully it is recommended that you get multiple exposures to each concept to really help them stick. For each section you please consider trying:

- Try a WeBWorK problem or two to get motivated to learn the material. Having a problem in mind that you want to be able to solve helps to see purpose behind what you are about to learn.
- Watch a video or two provided on the resource page to see the material once before going to class.
- Go to class to gain a more in depth understanding of the material.
- Try the rest of you WeBWorK problems.
- Go to the Math Learning Center or your professor's office hours if you get stuck.

Too often students are focus on getting the homework done when in reality it is meant to be a learning tool. Try to take away something from each problem. If you solve the problem correctly try to summerize what you learned from it. If you can't solve a problem try to pin point exactly where you get stuck so you can study that topic more. For instance:

**Example:** Suppose I have the problem:
.

- I try plugging in on top and bottom but that just gives me .
- A question I could write down is:
*How can I cancel the 0's on top and bottom to get a real number answer?* - After seeing some more problems and reading in the book I find out the
**factoring is the key**.

In addition, the deparment in conjunction with the Math Learning Center recently sponsered a 50 minute seminar on the topic which can be viewed below. The seminar also has an accompanying PDF to go along with it that can be downloaded HERE.

(This video is a media alternative to the pdf above)

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