Frequently Asked Questions

The Mathematics Assistance Center has moved to a new link: http://www.niu.edu/mac/faq.shtml.  

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions and responses, relating to MAC policy and operation. These questions were contributed by the MAC staff of tutors in an effort to enlighten the NIU student-body regarding the day-to-day function of the MAC. If you have a question or concern which is not presented below, please email your question to us.

How can a Tutor help me?

  1. You will be able to ask the questions you did not ask in class.
  2. You work one on one with a tutor. You also have the option of working in groups with other students.
  3. You will gain a better understanding of the material from tutors who have mastered the coursework.
  4. You will be able to test your knowledge with a tutor that knows the material well.
  5. You will be better prepared to participate in class.
  6. You will be better prepared for exams, assignments, and projects

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How much does it cost to use the MLC?

Absolutely nothing.  All of our services are free to all NIU students.

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Do I need to make an appointment?

No. It is not necessary to make an appointment to use the MAC services.  Most of our business is done on a walk-in basis.  Come on in and begin to look over your assignments and a tutor will be around to help you. 

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What courses can I get help with at the MLC?

The MLC provides tutoring for Math 101, 155, 210, 211, 229, and 230. 

Math 110 students will find information about tutoring at www.math.niu.edu/courses/math110

Math 101 students should visit their instructor, TA, or SI Leader. Math 101 is a specialized course and you should seek assistance from the faculty and staff who work with this course. There is a math 101 tutor available during certain times.  Refer to the tutoring schedule

Refer to the Staff Schedule to see when tutors for your specific course are available. As long as a tutor is not working with a student from their specific assigned course, they are available to help everyone.

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Will the tutor help me with my homework?

Yes and No. The tutors will generally choose similiar problems so that you can still try the homework problems. Other times they may watch you do the homework at the board and offer guidence. It is unlikely that the tutor will show you how to do a problem with a homework question.

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Will the tutor help me we for as long as I need help?

Yes and no.  The MAC tutors will usually help you for 5-10 minutes and then move on to help someone else.  They will return to you over and over, however, for as long as you need help.

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Do I need to bring anything with me when I come for help?

You should always bring your text book, notes and any homework that you are working on. Bring your NIU OneCard with you too.  You will need that to check in.

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Why do I need to bring my NIU OneCard with me, when I come for math help?

We scan your OneCard for attendance purposes.  When we do this we are recording your name, and the current date and time.   This information is only used for statistical purposes.  This way we know how many students are using our services, when demand is the greatest and the least, and how frequently we tutor each math course.

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What other resources are available?

  • NIU has free general tutoring centers around campus. Click here to find out more information.
  • Peer tutoring is a free service offered to NIU students. You receive 1-1 tutoring from an undergraduate who previously passed the math course (usually a math major). Click here for more infromation.
  • You will find countless math tutorials on YouTube.
    • KhanAcademy: Online videos from basic algebra to calculus and statistics
    • PatrickJMT: Online math videos from arithmetic to calculus
    • Math TV: A collection of 3-5 minute video lectures on most topics from algebra to caclulus.
    • Wolfram Alpha: An online search engine that includes information on math and statistics.
    • Wolfram Demonstrations Project: Interactive applet that lets you dynamically explore concepts. You must download their free mathematica player.
    These are not a substitute for classroom instruction.

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Where is the MAC located?

Dusable (DU) 326.

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When is the MAC open?

The MAC usually opens during the 2nd week of each semester. Current hours are:

Monday - Friday: 9-4pm

Please click here for the current schedule.

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