How to Unlock Your Goals with Online College Math Courses Part 2

General Guidelines to Taking a Math Class Online:

1 - Assess Your Current Math and Study Skill Situation

It’s hard to know how you are going to get where you want to be academically if you don’t have a true sense of where you are. If you sense more than just shaky math skills standing between you and your college degree, you might want to invest in taking an online class like Student Success . A class like this will help you develop a game plan and the study skills necessary to bring your best academic self into your first college math course.

2 - Repeat to Yourself: “No one is born knowing how to solve quadratic equations.”

Math skills are a learned skill. They are acquired. They accumulate. They build on top of each other. Remember this as you go forward. Give yourself the permission and the space to learn one math skill at a time and repeat.2

3 - Start Online Math Classes Where You Are

This tip can be taken both figuratively and literally. Literally speaking, the best place to take a math course will be the place you best study. With online college classes, this could be anywhere. If the place you best study is the place you are at when you have the time, that works too. If it’s in your bedroom, at the library, or on the bus – shut the door, get your library card, or flag down a ride. Where you are is where your classroom is.

Figuratively speaking, you will want to assess where you may have gaps in your math education. This is where you will need to begin taking online math courses like College Algebra or Precalculus to start filling in those holes.

4 - Do Your Math Homework

When you study online, anywhere is home and everywhere is the classroom. So in a way, there really is no such thing as homework, but there will be assignments. Stay on top of the required (and even some not required) math problems. If you get stuck at any point or on any concept, ask for help immediately. Don’t wait. Math builds one concept on top of the other. Anything you avoid to today will cause problems further down the road.3

5 - Ask for Help the Moment You Need It

This is worth repeating. It’s almost impossible to fake math knowledge. Don’t procrastinate. With online education, you don’t have to. You can ask for help when and how you need it. Online, you don’t have to worry about how others perceive where you are at. Online, you don’t have to be concerned with the pace of other students. All you really have to care about is mastering the math skills necessary to move on to your next college course.

6 - Enlist the Help of the Math Super Hero That Is YouTube

Can’t quite remember how to simplify rational expressions or are you stuck on the difference between mean, median, and mode? Are you the type of learner who needs to see a math problem demonstrated once, and then again? And again. And again. Ask YouTube – it doesn’t care how many times you ask the same question. Play, pause, and repeat. A great resource for step-by-step math help is the StraighterLine YouTube Online Math Videos channel. It’s always on and available for any student who needs to walk through a math set, whether it’s Precalculus , Business Statistics , or College Algebra on a skill-by-skill basis.

Remember, the best way to acquire the math skills you’ll need to succeed in college is to approach it like a mission-that’s-possible. Do the homework, seek help when you need it, move on when you don’t, and enjoy the flexibility that taking math online can offer even the most reluctant of math students.

2 Saltzman, Matthew and Coffin, Marie, Clemson University, How to Survive Your College Math Class, 8/98, p.1

3 IBID, p.5

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