Calculus—an unknown realm for most, a nightmare to some, but intriguing to a few. While students have the option to take calculus in grade 12, many forgo it completely. Is it worth taking calculus in high school? Should you seek the help of a calculus tutor? What the heck is calculus?! We’ll answer each of these questions and more.
What is Calculus?
Simply put, calculus is a branch of mathematics concerned with calculating rates of change. This could pertain to how a vehicle speeds up and slows down, how a savings account grows over time, or how the shape of the shell to the right changes as it gets closer to the centre.
To study these concepts, mathematicians use complex formulas, graphs, and high-tech software. It’s all very cool, and you just might need to learn it depending on your career path.
Why is Calculus Important?
Besides gifting us with microwave ovens, computers, televisions, GPS technology, airplanes, ultrasounds, and crystal-clear speakers, calculus is mostly useless. Oh, wait…
Calculus plays a vital role in modern life, but most people never see it. To those who wish to explore the inner workings of the world, however, calculus is prominent and invaluable.
Calculus is an essential skill within a variety of fields. Even if you don’t end up using calculus every day, it’s important to have at least a foundational understanding of calculus in order to pursue the following career paths:
- Computer science
- General science (including biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, etc.)
Each of the above fields require you to take calculus in your first year of university. Engineers, computer scientists, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians will need to take further calculus courses as they complete their degrees. The others can get by with only first-year calculus.
With a strong understanding of calculus, you can also go on to become a calculus tutor or even a teacher. We could always use another twisted calculus tutor! 🙂
Difficult math tends to fill us with life lessons, and calculus is no exception. Grinding away at a challenging math problem is a great way to hone your perseverance and patience. Plus, after hours of hard work, there’s nothing more satisfying than finally getting the right answer!
See the World in a New Light
Math is normally seen as a regimented, black-and-white subject, but Sir Isaac Newton, inventor of calculus, would disagree! A thorough exploration of calculus can lead to an expansion of the mind, opening new doorways to creative thinking. If the image to the right (created with calculus) is any indicator, calculus is an art.
Should You Take Calculus in High School?
Grade 12 calculus isn’t a prerequisite for any university-level math courses, so is it even worth taking? It turns out that, yes, calculus is definitely worth taking in high school, and here’s why.
Superior Level of Comfort
There are no two ways about it—calculus is hard. It’s different from the math with which most students are familiar, and it can be difficult to grasp. College and university are unforgiving, and students have enough other things to worry about during their first year. Just go ahead and throw calculus on top and see what happens!
The teaching methods employed in high school are a little more friendly than those utilized in post-secondary settings, and that means students will feel more comfortable. Plus, students can study at home without worrying about rambunctious roommates disturbing them. That is, unless they’re the ones doing the partying…
Higher Chance of Success
There’s a common saying regarding calculus, and it goes something like this: you always take calculus twice; either you pass it in high school and pass it in first-year university, or you fail it in first-year university and have to take it again.
It’s a little harsh, but it’s not entirely inaccurate. Taking calculus in high school can make a huge difference. Grade 12 calculus covers most of the topics explored in first-year university calculus, but it does so at a slower pace. This allows students to spend more time with the material, gaining a deeper understanding of the new concepts.
Students who take grade 12 calculus end up taking the same course again in first-year university, but that’s not a bad thing! It just means students will have an advantage in the class, and it won’t seem so difficult. With a semester filled with challenging courses, to say calculus is the easiest one is a luxury.
More Available Assistance
In university, professors have specific office hours determining when they’re available to answer questions. This is great, but other students want to use those hours to ask questions too! That means it can be tough to get proper assistance when it counts.
In high school, teachers are readily available and open to answering questions. Students are more likely to receive the help they need, and that can make a huge difference. However, sometimes in-class help isn’t enough.
We Have the Calculus Tutor for You
Whether you’re taking calculus in high school or university, we have a calculus tutor available to lend a hand. We would love to be part of your success, whether you want to become an astrophysicist or just get a B on your next test. We can help you make it happen!
When you work with a twisted calculus tutor, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- Higher grades
- A deeper understanding of calculus
- Unique lessons custom made to suit your needs
- A multi-modal approach to learning
- Practical examples and connections to the real world
- An appreciation for (and enjoyment of) math
- And many more!
If you’re ready to conquer calculus with us, we’ll show you there’s no limit to what you can do. One of our twisted calculus tutors will be happy to guide you like the y-axis asymptotically guides -1/x to infinity. If you’re feeling a little differential about the integral details, feel free to contact us. You’ll get the awful calculus jokes in this paragraph once your tutoring is complete!
To help take your understanding of calculus to the next level, try some of our hand-picked education resources.