1. Lack of foundational skills in algebra. What you learn in one class really is key to other classes. Pay attention. If you are behind, take the time to ask questions, watch youtube videos, come to tutoring, etc.
2. Lack of confidence integrating abilities. Education is a progression. You build on what you already know, and you have to commit to applying your knowledge and being comfortable doing so.
3. Lack of exposure to scientific inquiry. This one takes experience, so there are few shortcuts, but one easy trick is to find a scientific topic that interests you and read about it. You'll see a lot of scientific inquiry in practice. It doesn't even have to be a nerdy topic. There was science used to develop cars. There's a scientific reason the NFL has used different designs of football. There's a science in how hair extensions stay put. Just find something you like and learn why we do things that way.
Three Simple Tips to Help Students Start the Year Strong
1. Practice working algebraic equations. If you need help, see Khan Academy's videos.