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Calculus

Don't sweep it under the rug

First-year calculus may come with a lot of academic challenges, but we are here to help you successfully complete first-year calculus. Don't forget there are even some things you can do to get ready for calculus!

If you are planning on doing a degree in science, computer science, engineering or mathematics, you are more than likely required to take at least one introductory calculus course. In some cases, you may be taking more advanced calculus courses. Students in non-science programs (BA and BBA) may also be advised to take a calculus course. It is vitally important that all students understand the various 1000 level Math courses at UNB Saint John.

The 1000 level UNB Saint John Math courses include:

1000-level math coursesProgram requirement
MATH 1001 Calculus for Life Sciences BHS and all BSc Biol / Psyc / Biol-Psyc / Env Biol / Marine majors
MATH 1003 Introduction to Calculus I BSC (non-biology), BScCS, BISc BScFM, BSE
MATH 1013 Introduction to Calculus II BSE, BScCS, BISc, BScFM, and some BSc non-biology majors
MATH 1863 Precalculus Mathematics Not usable for any SASE degree, but may be used to improve basic skills
MATH 1503 Introduction to Linear Algebra BSE, BScCS and some BSc non-biology majors
MATH 1853 Math for Business I Required for BBA

Math 1001 vs. Math 1003

Math 1001: calculus for life science

This class is the preferred calculus course for students in:

  • BHS
  • BSc Biology
  • BSc Marine Biology
  • BSc Environmental Biology
  • BSc Psychology,
  • BSc Biology-Psychology.

Math 1003: a traditional introductory university calculus course

Math 1003 can be used as a calculus credit for any BSc degree at UNB Saint John, but it is generally used by students in non-biology BSc majors, BSE, BScCS, BScFM and BISc. 

Math 1001 is not easier than Math 1003

If you plan on taking two or more calculus courses, you should follow the Math 1003, 1013 path. A mark of B or higher in Math 1001 can be used to enter Math 1013. 

How to register for a math class

You can register for a math course once you have met the basic prerequisites, which you'll find in the academic calendar. Most math courses simply require successful completion of grade 12 mathematics.  

Math 1003 and Math 1001 have specific prerequisites and conditions

To register for these classes, you need to:

  • Earn at least 70% on the province-wide Math 122 or Math 120 exam written in your high school in the preceding academic year
  • Your teacher needs to notify UNB
  • Pass UNB's Calculus Challenge Exam
  • Have a passing grade (C or better) in any math course at UNB
  • Your UNB transcript shows that you once failed MATH1003.

Math 1863 — Precalculus Math

In this class, you will review Grade 12 mathematics skills which are critical for the successful completion of any intro calculus course. Some students choose to take this course or it may be part of their BSc Entrance Science plan.

This class is a regular 3ch course - however, those 3ch may not be used towards the total credit hours needed to graduate any SASE related degree (BSc, BSE, BHS, BScCS, BScFM, BISc).

If your math skills are lacking, this class might be a necessary step to properly build the math foundation needed for most science degrees. Taking this class should not put you off a normal four year graduation plan.

Six tips to be ready to succeed in first-year calculus

1. Take it seriously 

The skills involved in calculus are important for the university path you are taking. In many cases, the techniques learned in calculus directly support other topics. 

2. Pace yourself 

University courses proceed at a faster pace than courses in high school. It is easy to fall behind and difficult to catch up, especially if your skills have diminished over the summer.

3. Prepare

Keep up your mathematical knowledge and skills during the summer. During the term at lectures, your instructor will introduce and review details of every aspect of the course material.

4. Be your own time manager

The instructor will only be communicating the main ideas. As a student, you will be expected to do enough work on your own time to make sure you understand the details. Weekly tutorials and office hours visits will provide you with additional help from your instructor. It is recommended that you spend at least three hours to study and review for each hour of class time.

5. You are not in high school anymore 

We will not be checking up on you to see if you are keeping up. You are an adult and you should expect to be treated as such. It is important to develop the discipline and organizational skills for wise time management.

6. How to approach your class

  • Understand, don't memorize
  • Ask why, not how
  • See every problem as a challenge
  • Learn techniques, not results
  • Make sure you understand each topic before going on to the next

More resources

Preparing for University Calculus at Atlantic Canadian Universities - website prepared by APICS (Atlantic Provinces Council on the Sciences) Committee on Mathematics and Statistics.

Math Placement Test (MPT) Sample Questions - prepared by UNB