Valentina Dang

MAT135Y1

When I first came to University, everything was very overwhelming; there was a lot of new information to digest, especially the information that was given in the core courses I had to take. In high school I was not a very strong math student, and was really worried about taking MAT135. The course itself was not extremely difficult, with hard work it is manageable, but the toughest part was knowing what to study. I heard about James Nguyen through a friend who had discovered TLS earlier in the year, and I wish I had too, because after taking TLS, my study time cut down in half! I was much more efficient in my studies because James told us exactly what we needed to know and exactly what we didn't. His pep talks at the beginning of the class were always inspiring and motivational. You could tell that not only was he really good at doing his job but he really enjoyed doing it too, which genuinely showed in his eagerness to help students achieve their best.

The TLS packages were really helpful, they had so many practice questions, you would never have to touch your textbook, because they were based on the material in the textbook and had the same challenging questions so you wouldn't be missing anything. You would be getting better practice using the study package combined with his seminars rather than the textbook. He was always enthusiastic about his work and always had a lot of energy, which kept you on your feet and attentative in class. It was fast paced, which was perfect speed if you had studied ahead of time, his lectures not only jogged your memory, but taught you more effective ways to approach the question, which again cut your study time in half and taught you to be more time efficient when attempting the questions.

I can guarantee to first year students, and especially students who are not as strong and approachable, because James encourages his students to ask all their questions. I know I don't like to ask questions a lot of the time and try to figure it out myself because sometimes I feel inadequate for asking, but there was never a time that he didn't give enough time for each and every student to ask their questions. No matter how long the line-up was after class, he would always be the last person to leave after the last student has asked their questions or addressed their concerns. I think joining TLS is one of the best decisions I made in University, and I would definitely do it again.