Vincent's Blog

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Advice for new UBC students (worklists)

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21 responses to “Advice for new UBC students (worklists)

  1. jcfs123 August 7, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I took AP Calc AB this year and got a 5. I’m now debating whether or not to retake MATH 102. Most people I know are retaking it, but because I did calculus twice in HS (Calculus 12 and then AP Calculus 12), I’m thinking that it might be worthwhile to skip MATH 102 and do something else in its place. The thing is, I’m slightly worried that taking a 3-month hiatus from math might put me at a disadvantage come January, when I have MATH 103.

    What would be your advice on this? Thanks for replying.

    • vincentlycheng August 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      I suppose it mostly depends on how comfortable you are with the material that you’d learn if you choose not to skip MATH 102. Take a look at some of the assignments/labs assigned in 102 ( and try some past exams (; that should give you an idea of where you stand with the material covered in 102. Even if you think you’re familiar enough with most of the stuff covered in MATH 102, you may wish to take it anyways and consider it as a potential GPA booster. Also, if you’re aiming for a MATH/CPSC/STAT degree, or any other major where a strong grounding in mathematics is expected, I would suggest not skipping your first-year math courses.

      For what it’s worth, I myself also took AP Calc in HS, but still ended up taking MATH 104 (equivalent to 102).

  2. jenshex June 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    hey thank you so much for this post! I am wondering if taking math 104/105 puts you at a disadvantage for 2nd year? I am hoping to go into computer science so i don’t think the extra labs in 102/103 will help me much and i want to have a good GPA if i can :S

  3. Yashu June 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Do you know if I take MATH 180/184 (because I haven’t taken any calculus at school) that I would be at a disadvantage? If so, what should I know?

    • vincentlycheng June 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      The advantage of going into first year calculus with a certain degree of familiarity with the material covered in math 180/184 is that you’d get the opportunity to re-learn and focus on the topics that you didn’t do so well with back in high school calculus, as well as less time spent on math 180/184 learning the basics (and thus more time available for you to spend on your other courses). Yes, this is somewhat disadvantageous for you, but it’s nothing you can’t overcome; you may just need to spend some more time on your 1st year calculus courses than those who’ve taken calculus already.

      Note that math 180 students take the same final exam as math 100 students (ditto for math 184 + 104 students), so theoretically at the end of the term, you should be on equal footing with your peers.

  4. Yashu June 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    oh sweet thanks for the reply. So are you saying that I should take 180 first term and then 184 second term? or should I switch to math 105 second term to keep up on pace with the rest.

    • vincentlycheng June 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm

      No point in taking both math 180 and 184 (they’re considered equivalent to one another, as well as math 100, 102, and 104); just pick one of the above. Also, in second term, your only choices are math 101, 103, or 105 (i.e. there aren’t any math courses designed for students who’ve never taken calculus before), when term 2 rolls along.

  5. Yashu June 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    ahhh, makes so much more sense now! Thanks alot vincent 😛

  6. Yashu June 15, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Hey vincent,

    Is the only math you need to take in UBC for CPSC in the first year courses?

  7. Anon1 June 23, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Thanks a ton for this post!

  8. tom July 6, 2013 at 11:03 am

    what is your opinion on stats 200? i’m a chemistry major and i dont want to be blind sided by a brick wall.

    • vincentlycheng July 6, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      Well, nothing stood out for me when I took STAT 200 myself. Even without taking 1st year calculus, I think that you’d have enough mathematical background to tackle the course, so being a chemistry major won’t put you at a disadvantage. Having a final exam which was mostly multiple choice was nice as well. 🙂

  9. Grade 12 student August 20, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Thanks for your blog. It’s really helpful for prospective ubc students. I haven’t taken biology for years. How hard is biol 111? How is the prof? It seems all science majors must take it.

    • vincentlycheng August 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      Yes, if you haven’t taken either Biol 11 or 12 in high school, Biol 111 at UBC is a requirement for you as a Science student. I don’t really remember anything from my biol 111 classes, but it wasn’t a hard course at all; think of it as the equivalent of Biol 11/12. Nothing particularly noteworthy about that course, although I do recall that there were 2 group assignments (along with midterms and a final, of course).

  10. Kaveh Moein-Taghvi May 22, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Vincent,
    I’m going into engineering next year at UBC and was wondering whether or not I should take Math Honours 120 and 121. I like math and I did get above 95% as my report card grade for math IB HL, but I am not sure if taking math honours will help me with the more advanced engineering math courses I will be taking in the following years or if skipping a year in math with my IB credit will be more beneficial to me. What is your suggestion?

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