MAC 1105  College Algebra
Frequently Asked Questions
Course Placement and Academic Plan
 I took Calculus in high school, why do I have to take College Algebra?
 I have not had a math class for over 2 years, what can I expect?
 If I took MAT 1033 before this class, do I need to take any more math classes?
 What is the next course I should take after College Algebra?
 I need to take both Calculus and Statistics, which should I take next?
 What is the difference between Business Calculus and Calculus I?
 Should I take PreCalculus with Trigonometry or take them separately?
 Is MAC 1105 a prerequisite for Physics or Chemistry I (CHM 1045)?
 Can my instructor sign a waiver for me to go into Calculus because I already have a degree from my country and I know how to do calculus?
 Should I take my calculus classes here or at the university to which I am transferring?
 I took Calculus in high school, why do I have to take College Algebra?
You are placed into this course based on either your ACT, SAT or CPT (College Placement Test) scores.
 I have not had a math class for over 2 years, what can I expect?
Assuming you have taken the CPT and have been placed correctly, you should review your Intermediate Algebra material prior to entering College Algebra. This will ensure the smoothest transition. Some online resources to review Intermediate Algebra are: http://www.interactmath.com/ and http://www.algebasics.com/
 If I took MAT 1033 before this class, do I need to take any more math classes?
It depends upon your major. See your instructor or advisor for guidance. Whichever math class you are required to take after College Algebra, it is best to take them in consecutive semesters.
 What is the next course I should take after College Algebra?
It depends upon your major. See your instructor or advisor for guidance. Whichever math class you are required to take after College Algebra, it is best to take them in consecutive semesters.
 I need to take both Calculus and Statistics, which should I take next?
Because Calculus is more algebrabased and Statistics is a separate branch of mathematics, you should take business calculus or PreCalculus and Trigonometry on your way to Calculus I (depending on your major.)
 What is the difference between Business Calculus and Calculus I?
Business Calculus is more of an applied calculus course that is designed for business and social science majors. Calculus I requires the prerequisites of PreCalculus and Trigonometry. Completing Calculus I can be subsequently followed by Calculus II and III. It is a more rigorous course designed for natural science, engineering and other such majors.
 Should I take PreCalculus with Trigonometry or take them separately?
If you take them together, it is a five credit hour course. If you are a strong math student and you are taking it with a light load it would be acceptable to complete them in one course, otherwise consider taking them separately.
 Is MAC 1105 a prerequisite for Physics or Chemistry I (CHM 1045)?
For General Physics 1 (PHY 1053) you only need to have completed MAT 1033 or tested in above that level. For Chemistry 1 (CHM 1045) you must have completed CHM 1025 (for which you must have completed MAT 1033 or tested above that level) OR you must have a note from the instructor AND must have completed MAC 1105.
 Can my instructor sign a waiver for me to go into Calculus because I already have a degree from my country and I know how to do calculus?
No. Students are placed into a course based on their CPT, SAT or ACT scores.
 Should I take my calculus classes here or at the university to which I am transferring?
Assuming that the university shares an articulation agreement with HCC, it is best to take the courses here.
Classroom Performance
 I am having trouble grasping some of the concepts. Where can I get help?
 How many hours outside of class should I plan for this course each week?
 I do not test well. What should I do?
 Being in the classroom does not seem to help me learn the material. What are my options?
 I am going to a tutor and I really understand it when I am with my tutor, but then I fail the tests. What is going on?
 I understand everything in class, but when I go home I feel totally lost. Why is that?
 I do all of my homework and it just does not seem to be helping. What am I doing wrong?
 How can a study group help me?
 How can I form a study group?
 I am having trouble grasping some of the concepts. Where can I get help?
Check with your instructor during her/his office hours. If you need additional help, you may benefit from a visit to the tutorial center on your campus. You can go to any campus to get free tutoring help. You can also access live 24/7 help on www.smarthinking.com (which you can access through Hawknet using your student name and id.) A complete list of tutorial resources can be found on: /academics/qep/MAC1105.aspx
 How many hours outside of class should I plan for this course each week?
Depending upon your mathematical foundation, the time required will range from a weekly minimum of 6 hours to 10 or more hours. If your foundation is not strong, you may find yourself spending the hours at the upper range of this scale.
 I do not test well. What should I do?
Speak with your instructor who may offer you some study tips and other ways to enhance your test performance. If you have an unusually high anxiety level, you may want to speak with a counselor on your campus who can provide additional options.
 Being in the classroom does not seem to help me learn the material. What are my options?
Go to /academics/qep/MAC1105.aspx. On this site there are several additional resources including tips on test anxiety and time management. Make use of the CD available in all new texts or through your campus library. There are video lessons and example problems that you can pause and review as many times as necessary.
 I am going to a tutor and I really understand it when I am with my tutor, but then I fail the tests. What is going on?
It may be that you are relying on the thinking process or questioning process of your tutor rather than learning to ask the questions or process the problem on your own. The tutor should be used as a tool AFTER you have completed your homework so you can focus on specific points of difficulty. You should then follow up by making notes, reviewing them, and regularly returning to the type of questions that challenged you.
 I understand everything in class, but when I go home I feel totally lost. Why is that?
Your instructor has done the problems many times and knows how she wants to guide you through it. It is the difference between watching someone drive and then actually getting behind the wheel yourself. Not only do you have to turn the wheel, but you have to think about where you want to go and what potential hazards there are that you need to avoid. You need to make sure you allow plenty of time to practice the skills learned in class.
 I do all of my homework and it just does not seem to be helping. What am I doing wrong?
There are several things that may be happening. One of the best things you can do for yourself it to check your answers with the answers in the back of your text. (But do not make the common mistake of completing your homework with the solutions manual open.) The greatest learning can occur when you make a mistake and sit down to truly understand for yourself what the error was and why you made it. If you are unable to find the cause of the error, seek outside help either from your instructor, a free on campus tutor, smarthinking.com, or a student study group. It is important to know when you have made a mistake and it is equally valuable for you to put forth the effort to discover the solution for yourself. Just completing your homework is not sufficient; you should continually follow up by studying. Please check with your instructor or for more information, go to /academics/qep/MAC1105.aspx and check out the section on study skills and time management.
 How can a study group help me?
Studies have shown that an appropriate group size (no more than four) has the potential to improve your class average by up to two letter grades. You need to have consistent and equal participation for the study group to reach its full potential. A good study group can help you
 How can I form a study group?
You can ask your instructor to help you form a study group, or find classmates with whom you feel comfortable while doing work in class.
Class Tools
 How important is it that I purchase a graphing calculator?
 Do I need to buy a book?
 How important is it that I purchase a graphing calculator?
It is not required in College Algebra; however if you plan to continue on to any type of Calculus or Statistics, many instructors will require you to use one. It is a good idea to learn to navigate the graphing calculator prior to entering these courses, and you will probably find it is an excellent aid in College Algebra as well.
 Do I need to buy a book?
Yes. Your book is an invaluable resource for all of your mathematics courses. All mathematics texts come with additional student tools such as the answers to homework problems, workedout examples, a lecture video series, website addresses for tutorials or a solutions manual. You will also have homework assignments based upon your text book.
Other
 Where can I go if I am just feeling overwhelmed either inside or outside the classroom?
 Where can I go if I am just feeling overwhelmed either inside or outside the classroom?
Try some tips for time management /academics/qep/MAC1105.aspx or seek counseling on your campus. Contact Student Support Services: 8132537507 (Dale Mabry), 8132537629 (Ybor), 8132537810 (Brandon), 8137572212 (Plant City).
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