Dr. Gregory McColm of University of South Florida advises that beginning calculus students have a strong mathematical background and study for about 10 to 15 hours outside class. He also advises calculus students to take the examples given in class seriously and always read ahead of the lecturer before classes. Students must never miss classes unless they are seriously ill, advises Dr. Mike Sullivan of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Dr. Cal Newport, a computer professor at Georgetown University, advises that calculus students develop insight into calculus concepts for them to pass the unit. He cautions students against just reproducing the class notes and textbook examples and formulas and encourages them to develop a deep understanding of the concepts.
To develop insight, students must ask questions when they get lost in class. They need to ask for clarification from the professor immediately after class and review their notes as soon as possible to cement their insight while the material is fresh in their minds. Newport advises students to keep a record of all the concepts taught in the semester so they can identify the ones that need further study. Practicing before tests is the final step for an excellent grade in calculus.