How to Survive: College Algebra

Some people are math geniuses, but I am not. In fact, math has always been a bit of a struggle for me; however, over the years I have become more optimistic towards the topic. Nursing school will not be completely void of math, so I figured I might as well try to accept it now.

I must note that College Algebra is simply a high school pre-calculus course with a mix of Algebra II, so I was already familiar with the material.

At my school students completing their pre-reqs for nursing school must take two math courses (College Math or College Algebra, and a Elementary Statistics course). During the Fall 2016 semester, I enrolled in College Algebra.


What did you bring to lecture with you?

  • My 1″ binder for the course, with a writing utensil of course
  • My Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Silver Edition Color Graphing Calculator

How did you prepare for lecture?

  • I simply completed the appropriate section of the assigned homework, which was due at the end of the week.
  • If I had any questions concerning a problem I would bring it to class for our homework review portion of class.

How did you take notes during lecture?

  • My professor provided us with the lecture PowerPoints, but never really stuck to them.
  • As a result, I would simply copy down any definitions, rules, and EVERY practice problem during lecture.

How did you prepare for exams?

  • As with every other class, I would divide the information for that test into small sections to study every day, one week out from the exam.
  • For my course we used MyMathLab by Pearson, which provided us with the eBook and tons of practice questions and the answers.
  • I would also make sure to read over lecture notes, because our teacher liked to give us definition questions.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

That is how I survived College Algebra, as someone who is not that good at math. I did manage to pass with an A, so I hope some of these may work for you. Mind you everyone studies differently and any other advice is welcome in the comments!

Thanks for reading,



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