Course Exam—Math 265

Introduction to Calculus I

MATH 265 (Introduction to Calculus I) is a three-credit introductory calculus course with no prerequisites, though MATH 30 or an equivalent pre-calculus math course is strongly recommended.  Students should also have a good understanding of basic algebra and trigonometry prior to enrolling into MATH 265.  There is a Mathematics Diagnostic Assessment that contains seventy questions that will help students to assess their mathematical skills.  Based on your score, the test will tell you which math courses are offered at AU that you are likely prepared for.

Introduction to Calculus I is seven units, one assignment weighing five percent, three assignments worth ten percent each, one midterm exam weighing twenty-five percent, and a final exam weighing forty percent.  The seven units within this course cover topics, such as real numbers, functions, continuity, limits, derivatives, curve sketching, integrals, and differentiation.  For math courses, I’ve found it easiest to complete the assignments by hand and then scan your work into a single document prior to submitting.  If this is not the only math course you will be taking I recommend that you purchase a scanner, unless you have easy access to one, as there will be a lot of scanning required for your math courses.

The exams are not cumulative, with the midterm exam covering content from assignments one and two, while the final covers the content from assignments three and four.

Assignment one is to be completed after finishing unit one, has twelve questions, and has one optional bonus question.  Assignment two is to be completed after finishing unit three, has nine questions, and has one optional bonus question.  Assignment three is to be completed after finishing unit four, has twelve questions, and no bonus question.  Assignment four is to be completed after finishing unit seven, has eleven questions, and does not contain a bonus question.  All four course assignments must be submitted and completed to the satisfaction of your tutor, so students cannot pass the course by just doing well on the midterm and final exams.  The most you could receive on an assignment is one hundred percent, though I recommend doing the bonus questions in case you get points deducted from the other questions.  These assignments are time consuming, though they adequately prepare students for the exams.

Both the midterm and final are written (not online), contain ten to fourteen questions, and students are allowed up to three hours.  The midterm exam covers units one to four and the final exam covers units three to seven.  Both exams allow students to bring a simple calculator and one eight and a half by eleven-inch single page “cheat sheet”, which could contain formulas, questions from the assignments, or personal notes on both sides of the page.  If students are concerned about the two exams, there are two sample midterm exams and two sample final exams with their associated solutions to help students know the expectations and for practice.

Overall, Introduction to Calculus I has received positive reviews from the students who have participated in the MATH 265 Course Evaluation Survey.  One student stated that this course “clearly explained what will be on the exam”, which I definitely agree with.  Another student stated “I found a few errors in the textbook and particularly in the study guide; however, I also received countless emails informing me of the course updates and corrections.  The tutor support was excellent, and I received assignment feedback within hours.”

From personally taking this course, I have yet to come across any errors, though I agree that the tutors have marked my assignments and answered my replies extremely quickly!

MATH 265’s assignments can be time consuming and at times it can be a bit hard to stay motivated to finish them (especially the first one) as they are not heavily weighted, though they adequately prepare students for the exams.  The questions are not very difficult, though students must take the time to learn the material and make sure to show all work or points will be deducted.  One resource that I found helped me to visually learn the content was ProfRobBob on YouTube.  This teacher has taught me everything math related since grade nine of high school and I would highly recommend him! He has full playlists teaching students pre-calculus, calculus I, calculus II, algebra, linear algebra, statistics, trigonometry, geometry, and so much more.  I have taken MATH 209 (Finite Mathematics) and MATH 215 (Introduction to Statistics) prior to MATH 265 and he has helped me pass all three and gives students that “learning in a classroom” feel! If you want to learn more about Finite Mathematics or Introduction to Statistics, read my MATH 209 and MATH 215 Course Exam Article’s!

This course is a degree requirement of mine (BSc CIS), though I would recommend this course to anyone who enjoys taking math courses or has an interest in calculus!

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