The Complication of Math Procrastination

Have you worked with a student who delayed taking math until his last semester at GCC—or someone who hasn’t tested in math, even though she has been a GCC student for several semesters?

Some students arrive at college after having a miserable math experience in K-12. They don’t see themselves enjoying or being successful in math. Other students never took algebra in high school, and the idea of taking it now intimidates them.

You can reassure students who potentially need help that GCC has the most supportive environment for mathematics possible. Here’s how:

  • The Testing Center has a variety of resources to help students prepare for placement testing, including textbooks on reserve in the GCC library and practice test websites.
  • Students can consult with one of the math faculty for a plan of attack.
  • Refer students to the Math Studio for assistance in placement test preparation. There’s even a Math Studio book-borrowing shelf!
  • MyMathTest.com ($12-$15) offers an individualized study plan. o Remind students that they can take the math placement test twice.
  • If a student does not feel that the placement tests reflect his or her level of readiness, the student may discuss the test results with the department chair or dean of that department. In some cases retesting or an alternative test is recommended.
  • Once a student is taking a class, he has access to free tutoring and guidance through peer tutoring, the Math Studio and Smarthinking, an online tutoring program.

Students may not realize the significance of deferring the completion of math requirements. Delaying math can have serious consequences. It can:

  • interfere with successful completion of a GCC program
  • jeopardize graduation
  • delay acceptance to UMass and other transfer institutions

When meeting with advisees, encourage, persuade and advocate for tackling math early on. If a student has concerns about math placement test scores – again, the message for students is…

Don’t delay!