I started my college career back in late 2015. I felt so lost at first, I only took one class per semester and I didn’t expect my college days to last very long. But once I got use to college, I realized that college isn’t that bad except for one major problem... Mandatory math courses.
From K-12, math has always been my weakness. I always struggled with math, no matter how much effort I put into math, I could only get “C’s” and very rarely an A. But I never stressed too much about math back in K-12 because there were always alternative classes for students who struggled in Math. College is different, math is forced onto you. there’s no way around it, no alternatives. You either pass all your required math courses or you might as well drop out of college.
So far I’ve barely managed hang on to my College phase. I have 2 more math courses to go(3 if I fail my current math course) it’s been no easy journey, I’ve only been able to get “C’s” in my previous math courses, which is still passing but obviously not the best grade out there.
My main issue with math is the cramming of lessons into one semester. In my opinion 5 months isn’t really enough to become an expert on 9 chapters which also happen to be divided into smaller sections(9.1, 9.2, 9.3 etc).
I also hate that finals are basically an overview of every single chapter including the newest chapters instead of it just being the final chapters. This is the biggest obstacle for college students due to the fact that you have to memorize everything from the beginning
Math is different than other subjects because it’s similar to working out(if you don’t use it, you lose it) or a skill that can get rusty without practice.
The high math course drop rates in my college is further indication of college math needing a makeover. In my math courses alone, only around 15 out of the 50 students make it through the semester without dropping the course.
There have even been attempts at decreasing the math prerequisite requirements for college students which you can read here.
How many people actually retain what they learn in math? Sure you can retain the basics but about the higher levels? Many graduates that I know can’t even remember what they learned in intermediate algebra because it’s a bunch of mumbo jumbo that can only be understood by those few who actually like math.
Even to get an Associate in Arts degree, you still need math, either college algebra or statistics depending on your major. It’s pathetic.
It’s funny how much emphasis our society puts on getting a college degree, when people fail to understand that mandatory Math is the biggest obstacle for college students and it’s not always the student’s fault for failing a math course. Math shouldn’t be treated like any other course, it should be treated in the same way physical fitness is treated. In which you don’t overwork it, you follow a routine and make moderated increments to improve. Or only basic math should be mandatory for non math based majors.
I currently have 2 more math classes that I need to take in order to get an Associate in arts degree. While I can get good grades in other classes without much difficulty, it’s these two remaining math courses that have me worried. If all goes according to plan, then I should have my AA degree by next year. If I can’t complete the two math courses, I’ll just settle for my certificates and focus on starting my career.