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Hey, I was wondering what the easiest math to take in Western for someone in biomed 1st year is. I've taken advanced functions and calculus, but not data. Since math is one of my weaker courses, I'm trying to decide between stats 1024, math 1225, math 1228, and math 1229. From what I can find in the course calendar, it should still satisfy all prerequisites for future specializations. From your experience/from what you hear, which course is the easiest?

Thanks!

Thanks!

11
replies

I'm a full time math tutor at UWO and I've helped hundreds of students. I also teach review sessions around the exam period for 1225, 1228 and 1229. So, that's what this post is based on. Here's how I would rank the courses you mentioned from easiest to hardest:

Math 1229

Stats 1024

Math 1225

Math 1228

I personally think 1228 and 1225 are on par with each other. But, my students tend to do better in 1225. Anyways, in 1024, you get a formula sheet and it's mostly learning how to use a bunch of formulas. I have more experience with 1229, 1228 and 1225. 1229 is usually offered first term. There are a few tricky sections, but overall, it's the easiest of 1225/1228/1229.

I've written a bit about this exact question on my website:

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/first-year-courses/

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/relative-difficulty-of-topics-in-1225-1228-and-1229/

There's also a page on the UWO Math website:

http://www.math.uwo.ca/undergraduate/first-year-courses/

Do NOT take Calc 1000 as JNBirDy suggests. It's harder than any of the courses you mentioned and you'll regret it.

Math 1229

Stats 1024

Math 1225

Math 1228

I personally think 1228 and 1225 are on par with each other. But, my students tend to do better in 1225. Anyways, in 1024, you get a formula sheet and it's mostly learning how to use a bunch of formulas. I have more experience with 1229, 1228 and 1225. 1229 is usually offered first term. There are a few tricky sections, but overall, it's the easiest of 1225/1228/1229.

I've written a bit about this exact question on my website:

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/first-year-courses/

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/relative-difficulty-of-topics-in-1225-1228-and-1229/

There's also a page on the UWO Math website:

http://www.math.uwo.ca/undergraduate/first-year-courses/

Do NOT take Calc 1000 as JNBirDy suggests. It's harder than any of the courses you mentioned and you'll regret it.

@jplank wrote

I'm a full time math tutor at UWO and I've helped hundreds of students. I also teach review sessions around the exam period for 1225, 1228 and 1229. So, that's what this post is based on. Here's how I would rank the courses you mentioned from easiest to hardest:

Math 1229

Stats 1024

Math 1225

Math 1228

I personally think 1228 and 1225 are on par with each other. But, my students tend to do better in 1225. Anyways, in 1024, you get a formula sheet and it's mostly learning how to use a bunch of formulas. I have more experience with 1229, 1228 and 1225. 1229 is usually offered first term. There are a few tricky sections, but overall, it's the easiest of 1225/1228/1229.

I've written a bit about this exact question on my website:

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/first-year-courses/

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/relative-difficulty-of-topics-in-1225-1228-and-1229/

There's also a page on the UWO Math website:

http://www.math.uwo.ca/undergraduate/first-year-courses/

Do NOT take Calc 1000 as JNBirDy suggests. It's harder than any of the courses you mentioned and you'll regret it.

+1

I was just going to suggest Math 1229 and Math 1225 if you want to stick to concepts you are slightly familiar with. If you've taken high school calculus + vectors, you already know half the course content of Math 1229, as it focuses on Vectors and Matrices.

From what I've heard, Math 1225 isn't too bad, it's probably harder than stats, like jplank stated. I took Calculus 1000 and regretted not taking Math 1225.. 1225 requires considerably less work. What I learned in Calculus 1000 will probably never be used in my life again.

Stats and Math 1228 are more like your high school data courses. They're more hit/miss courses.. you either do really well or you struggle, which is why I might advise against it. I had many friends who weren't very strong in math that did poorly/average in stats.. but then again, there were also students who did very well.

Do your homework in time and you should do well in either Math 1225, 1228, 1229 and/or Stats. Just don't take Calculus 1000, 1301 or 1501.. JNBirDy suggests it because he's a physic's student, haha!

@BusterBaxter wrote

@jplank wrote

I'm a full time math tutor at UWO and I've helped hundreds of students. I also teach review sessions around the exam period for 1225, 1228 and 1229. So, that's what this post is based on. Here's how I would rank the courses you mentioned from easiest to hardest:

Math 1229

Stats 1024

Math 1225

Math 1228

I personally think 1228 and 1225 are on par with each other. But, my students tend to do better in 1225. Anyways, in 1024, you get a formula sheet and it's mostly learning how to use a bunch of formulas. I have more experience with 1229, 1228 and 1225. 1229 is usually offered first term. There are a few tricky sections, but overall, it's the easiest of 1225/1228/1229.

I've written a bit about this exact question on my website:

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/first-year-courses/

http://www.londonmathtutor.com/relative-difficulty-of-topics-in-1225-1228-and-1229/

There's also a page on the UWO Math website:

http://www.math.uwo.ca/undergraduate/first-year-courses/

Do NOT take Calc 1000 as JNBirDy suggests. It's harder than any of the courses you mentioned and you'll regret it.

+1

I was just going to suggest Math 1229 and Math 1225 if you want to stick to concepts you are slightly familiar with. If you've taken high school calculus + vectors, you already know half the course content of Math 1229, as it focuses on Vectors and Matrices.

From what I've heard, Math 1225 isn't too bad, it's probably harder than stats, like jplank stated. I took Calculus 1000 and regretted not taking Math 1225.. 1225 requires considerably less work. What I learned in Calculus 1000 will probably never be used in my life again.

Stats and Math 1228 are more like your high school data courses. They're more hit/miss courses.. you either do really well or you struggle, which is why I might advise against it. I had many friends who weren't very strong in math that did poorly/average in stats.. but then again, there were also students who did very well.

Do your homework in time and you should do well in either Math 1225, 1228, 1229 and/or Stats. Just don't take Calculus 1000, 1301 or 1501.. JNBirDy suggests it because he's a physic's student, haha!

Actually I suggested it cause I thought you had to take it for biomed - just checked and you don't. And honestly, it isn't hard and no one who took it on my floor thought it was difficult, the first half of it is entirely grade 12 review, and the midterms are essentially the exact same every year.

Not to mention if you look at the course evaluations most people who take calc 1000 expect to get over 80%.

Also I was a biomed student when I enrolled at Western and only recently decided to go into physics.

Actually I suggested it cause I thought you had to take it for biomed - just checked and you don't. And honestly, it isn't hard and no one who took it on my floor thought it was difficult, the first half of it is entirely grade 12 review, and the midterms are essentially the exact same every year.

Not to mention if you look at the course evaluations most people who take calc 1000 expect to get over 80%.

Also I was a biomed student when I enrolled at Western and only recently decided to go into physics.

I think you might be surprised at how much variation there is between what's taught (and retained by students) in grade 12 calculus at one school versus another. Some students learn trig derivatives and other don't, for example. Some school discuss integration and other don't.

There are definite patterns to the midterms (and finals) in both Calc 1000 and Math 1225. However, in recent years, there's been a new course coordinate for Calc 1000. The result has been that both midterms and finals have been less predictable and more difficult than in the past.

It may be that most people taking Calc 1000 said they were expecting to get over 80%, but I think students overall have high expectations of themselves. I proctered several exams for the Department of Mathematics, including a midterm and final. At least half of the students were there until the very end of the alotted time. And most looked pretty paniced/depressed. Overall, the class average is typically around the 70% mark.

And now, let me elaborate a bit more on the differences between the courses. One of the main differences between Calc 100 and Math 1225 is the depth of understanding that is expected. In Math 1225, there's a lot of memorization, but students only need a very shallow understanding of each concept (there's a few exceptions). So, a student can get by just memorizing things and "going through the motions". In Calc 1000, you need a deeper understanding to do well. Questions can have more 'tricks" in Calc 1000 and often there will be questions testing whether you truely understand the material.

The format of the exams is also different. In Calc 1000, exams are part multiple choice and part show-your-work. Time management can be an issue for students in Calc 1000. In Math 1225, exams are entirely multiple choice with one or two show-your-work questions thrown on the end. If you don't fully understand things, then you would have a lot more problems with the Calc 1000 exams.

@jplank wrote

Actually I suggested it cause I thought you had to take it for biomed - just checked and you don't. And honestly, it isn't hard and no one who took it on my floor thought it was difficult, the first half of it is entirely grade 12 review, and the midterms are essentially the exact same every year.

Not to mention if you look at the course evaluations most people who take calc 1000 expect to get over 80%.

Also I was a biomed student when I enrolled at Western and only recently decided to go into physics.

I think you might be surprised at how much variation there is between what's taught (and retained by students) in grade 12 calculus at one school versus another. Some students learn trig derivatives and other don't, for example. Some school discuss integration and other don't.

There are definite patterns to the midterms (and finals) in both Calc 1000 and Math 1225. However, in recent years, there's been a new course coordinate for Calc 1000. The result has been that both midterms and finals have been less predictable and more difficult than in the past.

It may be that most people taking Calc 1000 said they were expecting to get over 80%, but I think students overall have high expectations of themselves. I proctered several exams for the Department of Mathematics, including a midterm and final. At least half of the students were there until the very end of the alotted time. And most looked pretty paniced/depressed. Overall, the class average is typically around the 70% mark.

And now, let me elaborate a bit more on the differences between the courses. One of the main differences between Calc 100 and Math 1225 is the depth of understanding that is expected. In Math 1225, there's a lot of memorization, but students only need a very shallow understanding of each concept (there's a few exceptions). So, a student can get by just memorizing things and "going through the motions". In Calc 1000, you need a deeper understanding to do well. Questions can have more 'tricks" in Calc 1000 and often there will be questions testing whether you truely understand the material.

The format of the exams is also different. In Calc 1000, exams are part multiple choice and part show-your-work. Time management can be an issue for students in Calc 1000. In Math 1225, exams are entirely multiple choice with one or two show-your-work questions thrown on the end. If you don't fully understand things, then you would have a lot more problems with the Calc 1000 exams.

I went to an Ontario high school and only learned basic differentiation in calculus - didn't even know what integration was until this year. I got a 79% in high school calculus and a 95% in calculus 1000. I didn't change my work habit from high school -> university regarding calculus, the only difference is that I had the past midterms/final exams. Yes there are some differences between the exams but ~75% of it was the exact same as previous years. Calculus 1000 barely requires any understanding of the material - all you have to do is the old midterms and memorize how to solve types of problems and you can easily get a ~70%, and if you actually do understand the material you can easily get over 80%.

Also if (s)he only does "easy" courses during first year - the jump to second year is going to be huge. Might as well learn how to deal with slightly challenging courses during first year so you can prepare for second year.

@JNBirDy wrote

Actually I suggested it cause I thought you had to take it for biomed - just checked and you don't. And honestly, it isn't hard and no one who took it on my floor thought it was difficult, the first half of it is entirely grade 12 review, and the midterms are essentially the exact same every year.

Not to mention if you look at the course evaluations most people who take calc 1000 expect to get over 80%.

Also I was a biomed student when I enrolled at Western and only recently decided to go into physics.

But the fact that you ARE in physics entails that you have strong math skills.. (physics modules require 1301 and 1501, I believe?) someone with very strong math skills can sometimes underestimate how much "average" math students struggle.

Truly, it's only people who are very confident in math/calculus that take Calculus 1000. If I recall correctly, course evaluations were done shortly after the Midterm, before we got our marks back, and when your grade was based solely on easier assignments. There were people who had 80s, 90s, and 100s on the assignments and 60s, 70s on the exams. Many people expect to do well, yet many don't end up meeting those expectations.

I agree about learning to deal with challenging courses part, though. They seriously need to revamp Math 1229.. Or at least not let people who did Calculus+Vectors in high school take it.. There is WAY too much overlap. I haven't taken 1228/Stats 1024, but it seems they overlap with Data Management quite a bit as well.

@BusterBaxter wrote

But the fact that you ARE in physics entails that you have strong math skills.. (physics modules require 1301 and 1501, I believe?) someone with very strong math skills can sometimes underestimate how much "average" math students struggle.

Truly, it's only people who are very confident in math/calculus that take Calculus 1000. If I recall correctly, course evaluations were done shortly after the Midterm, before we got our marks back, and when your grade was based solely on easier assignments. There were people who had 80s, 90s, and 100s on the assignments and 60s, 70s on the exams. Many people expect to do well, yet many don't end up meeting those expectations.

I agree about learning to deal with challenging courses part, though. They seriously need to revamp Math 1229.. Or at least not let people who did Calculus+Vectors in high school take it.. There is WAY too much overlap. I haven't taken 1228/Stats 1024, but it seems they overlap with Data Management quite a bit as well.

Physics modules requires 1000A and 1501B (with 60%+) or 1301 (with 85%+). Yes I do have strong mathematics skills, but even the social sciences students on my floor didn't complain about calculus 1000A, I'm actually really surprised people are saying it's difficult on this forum.

The course evaluations in my classes were done about two weeks before the final exam period - NOT right after the midterm.

Also have you taken calculus 1000?

I agree with JNBirDy; I don't understand how the class averages in first-year calculus classes are so low. The exam questions are a lot like what everyone has seen before by doing previous exams, usually just something as simple as a cos -> sin or a sin5x instead of a sin4x. Perhaps people do the previous exams and rely too heavily on the provided solutions, not actually carrying out the question on their own. I don't know, but my highest mark ever (all years of high school + 6 years of uni) was in calc 1301. While it wasn't a conceptually easy course, I found it very easy to do well in for that previously mentioned reason: the exam I wrote had little to no surprises; I knew exactly what was going to be on it.

Physics modules requires 1000A and 1501B (with 60%+) or 1301 (with 85%+). Yes I do have strong mathematics skills, but even the social sciences students on my floor didn't complain about calculus 1000A, I'm actually really surprised people are saying it's difficult on this forum.

I don't think we're necessarily saying it's difficult. I think we're saying that it's more difficult than 1225. In other words, a student will perform better and receive a higher grade in 1225 than they would in 1000.

Here's a quick example. Both 1225 and 1000 discuss applying integration to problems involving area and volume. In 1225, the volume problems are limited to rotating around the x-axis or the y-axis. In 1000, the problems involve rotating around any arbitrary vertical or horizontal line. That may seem like a minor difference, but to someone who struggles with math, it can complicate things a lot. Additionally, only the "washer/disc" method is taught in 1225. Whereas both the "washer/disc" method and the "cylindrical shell" method is taught in 1000. That means that a student taking 1000 will also have to decide which technique to use (another level of difficulty). It can be difficult to pick the right method without having a proper diagram. Typically there are at least one or two volume questions in 1000 without a diagram given. So, a student will have to be familiar with and graph the functions as well. On top of all this, a student in 1000 is expected to be familiar with more graphs than a student in 1225. Volume questions in 1000 use harder functions than volume questions in 1225. And the pattern continues when you look at the rest of the topics in the two courses.

As for the overlap between 1228 and 1024 (which BusterBaxter mentioned), I'd say there's a significant amount. So, taking the two courses together can work well since you'll be doing a lot of the same content. However, it's probably not enough to make them anti-requisites. Math 1228 covers 21 chapters. Of these, only the last 7 match up really well with what's taught in 1024.

As for 1229, it really should be made harder. 1229 covers chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 from a particular textbook. When Math 30 and Math 31 were around (before the courses were restructured a few years ago) the linear algebra component covered slightly different sections. In Math 31 first semester, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 were covered between September and November. In the last weeks before the Christmas exam, a separate "logic" unit was taught. In Math 30, chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 were covered from February to April. Whichever way you look at it 1229 is much easier than either of these.

Also - if I recall correctly, different sections will have done their course evaluations at different times during the course.