Why I Struggled with Business Math – QMS 110

As a first-year student, the first semester was a struggle for me. The main reason was because I was not coming directly from high school. My first degree was in English Literature, so I needed to work on my math skills. University life in Canada was also completely new to me, so I had to learn to manage work and school. All of this made me fall behind and struggle.  I wanted to share with you some tips on how to be successful in the Business Math – QMS 110 course by sharing my story.

The course content was similar to high school math (algebra, systems, quadratic, factoring, rational expressions and inverse functions), along with elements of MS Excel. I knew what I was being asked to complete for the semester, but it had been awhile since I had taken math and I was faced with a few challenges. Here is how I succeeded in QMS 110.

Getting Help

I first went to the Academic Success Centre (ASC) to get some help with my time management skills. Madelyn Steed, the Manager of Academic Support, gave me some tips, links to time management videos, resources and a weekly planner. The ASC also set one-on-one appointments to talk about my schedule and ways I could manage it. Madelyn was the most significant help during my first semester. She was the one who talked to me at the beginning and gave me tips, listened patiently and offered me support. She also followed up with me during the semester.

The tips from ASC were great, but I needed some time to learn them and adjust myself. For the first mid-term, I did not study efficiently, so I was still behind and trying to catch up.  I just went through some example questions on D2L, the site that Ryerson uses to host course information. Still, the questions provided were elementary, so I thought the test would be the same. That made me put less effort into studying for the mid-term. I didn’t even do the exam practice questions because I thought they would be as straightforward as the D2L questions. All of that resulted in me failing my first mid-term.

How I Succeeded in the Course

After the mid-term, I put more effort into studying because I didn’t want to drop the course, and I wanted to pass it with a good grade. I started doing the practices on the lecture slides and examples in the book. I also took advantage of tutoring provided by the Math Support. The tutorials were very beneficial.  In addition, I used the weekly and monthly planner provided by ASC, which was a great help for my time management problems.

For the second mid-term and the final exam, I made sure that I went through all the example questions. I used all the resources available to me before and during the test. This helped me succeed and feel confident heading into the test.

Using the university resources (Academic Success Centre, Math Support), working hard and making sure that I’ve covered all the material and practices helped me pass the course with B+.

Please visit the Math Kickstarter webpage to gain access to math support for students entering the Ted Rogers School this Fall. There are two courses to support your transition into university math.

Posted by Mahsa Hadianfard

Mahsa is a 2nd year student majoring in Human Resources and minoring in Marketing Management. One of the essential aspects of management for her is inclusion and diversity. As one of the members of Ted Rogers Pride Alliance, she has learned how to make the Ted Rogers School and Ryerson community more comfortable for everyone. She also likes to help others by using her own experiences and what she has learned from her mistakes or failures.