WELCOME to a mathematics course at Ventura College! To help you make this experience a successful one, the members of the mathematics faculty offer the following suggestions: 

  • ATTEND EVERY CLASS. Mathematics is a building process. Absences cause gaps in learning. You are responsible for all work and information—even when absent. (Be careful! You can legally be dropped after two weeks' worth of absences.) 
  • TAKE NOTES. Notes highlight important points. Review notes often. When absent, photocopy the notes of a reliable student. Keep them organized. 
  • KNOW YOUR INSTRUCTOR'S STANDARDS. How many tests? What kind? Curve or set scale? Final exam counts what percentage? (25% for comprehensive final is the departmental minimum.) Credit for homework or attendance? 
  • DO THE ASSIGNMENTS BETWEEN CLASS SESSIONS. Daily practice is important. Expect to invest at least two hours outside class per class hour (more, if studying for an exam). 
  • LEARN FROM YOUR TESTS. BE THERE for test reviews. They reveal your strengths, weaknesses, and what you should know. Re-take tests on your own, working against a timer. 
  • CALCULATORS? Find out when they are permitted and which kinds are allowed. 
  • CLASS GOING TOO FAST? Every class requires a minimum pace to complete the necessary material. You must keep up! 


  1. FIRST, try helping yourself. Did you try doing the homework? Did you work through the examples in the book? Did you review your notes?
  2. SECOND, try help from your instructor. Use office hours to clarify problems.
  3. THIRD, try help from the Math Center. Check hours available for drop-in help from math students and instructors.
  4. FOURTH, try help from the Tutoring Center in the LRC. 


“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” —Colin Powell