I have been amazed to discover that across the country it is typical that 25 or 30% of students who take their first calculus course in college fail. It seems to be a national expectation that a significant percentage of students will be lost—indeed, should be lost—from a STEM pathway after taking college calculus.

At 21 of the CSU's 23 campuses, at least 20% of students on average in Calculus 1 received D or F grades or withdrew over the past three years, according to an EdSource analysis of data from the schools.

Calculus is a foundational mathematics course that is often seen as a bottleneck for STEM majors. However, it is also a course that is notorious for its high dropout rates. In the United States, for example, the average dropout rate for calculus is 30%.

Roughly 250,000 will retake Calculus I; of these, 60% or 150,000 will earn an A or B, but 40% or 100,000 will receive a grade of C or lower. Around 250,000 will need or choose to take precal- culus, college algebra, or even remedial mathematics as their first college course.

Inadequate study habits, like procrastination or cramming, hinder understanding and retention of calculus material. They result in unpreparedness, ineffective learning, and poor time management. This affects grasping advanced calculus concepts, as students lack practice time.

Why People FAIL Calculus (Fix These 3 Things to Pass)

Is it OK if I fail calculus?

Calculus is frequently the first college mathematics course a student takes, and so many students don't understand what level of performance they will be expected to achieve or how little time they will have for the course. Failure rates of 30%, or higher, are not unusual—though they are by no means desired.

Students who do not have a strong foundation in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry may find themselves struggling with calculus. In fact, many of those who struggle with calculus often struggle with these prerequisite math courses as well.

It is, however, not very easy for most people and takes practice to learn at a more rigorous level. The average person could do calculus at the high school level with some difficulty, but at the collegiate level would struggle more.

What is the Hardest Math Class in High School? In most cases, you'll find that AP Calculus BC or IB Math HL is the most difficult math course your school offers. Note that AP Calculus BC covers the material in AP Calculus AB but also continues the curriculum, addressing more challenging and advanced concepts.

Around 1.8 million students go on to 2-4 year colleges every year, so we can roughly estimate the number of high school graduates taking calculus as around 16%. If 85% of adults graduate high school, and only 16% of those take take calculus, then 13% of adults in the developed world study calculus.

According to Just Equations, “calculus is rarely required for university admission outside of specific majors, such as engineering, physical science, and math."

I'd say 105-110 for understanding college algebra, provided you don't have a learning disability. 115-120 is probably required for a solid understanding of the full calculus sequence. Calculus isn't taught well in high school, and I'd suggest retaking it in college if you're feeling lost.

Much of what goes on in a calculus classroom includes terms like “approximately” or “ignoring smaller terms,” so I can see where you would get that impression. But don't be deceived: the final results are exact despite the approximations involved in their derivations.

High school math, and algebra, in particular, is in crisis. Although some students thrive on the pathway to calculus, most do not. Algebra I is the single most failed course in American high schools.

The Harvard University Department of Mathematics describes Math 55 as "probably the most difficult undergraduate math class in the country." Formerly, students would begin the year in Math 25 (which was created in 1983 as a lower-level Math 55) and, after three weeks of point-set topology and special topics (for ...

Before embarking on perhaps the most consequential career in the history of software, the future Microsoft founder blazed through Harvard's legendarily rigorous Math 55 sequence, only focusing exclusively on computer science because he considered it unlikely that he would become one of the world's greatest ...

The average student will not take calculus in high school, but many students will take it by their senior year. A small percentage will take calculus in their junior (11th grade) year and take some kind of advanced topics course afterward.

Although it may not always be obvious, we actually use calculus quite often in our daily lives. Various fields such as engineering, medicine, biological research, economics, architecture, space science, electronics, statistics, and pharmacology all benefit from the use of calculus.

Since you are applying to the top colleges, a 75%-80% may not be enough. Ideally, you would bring your grade up to an A or B; if that's not feasible, then find another way to show your strength in mathematics.

Calculus is frequently the first college mathematics course a student takes, and so many students don't understand what level of performance they will be expected to achieve or how little time they will have for the course. Failure rates of 30%, or higher, are not unusual—though they are by no means desired.

How much to study: Calculus is a hard subject. It is likely that it will be your most challenging course this semester. You should be spending about 12 hours a week studying calculus; that's 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. If you need to make adjustments in your academic or work schedules, do so now.

Calculus has a bad reputation in American schools, largely because of the triple-D way in which it is taught: dry, dull, and daunting. Trying to defer the pain, schools typically insert two or three years of courses between first-year algebra and calculus: e.g., geometry, second-year algebra, and pre-calculus.