Click on the links to the left to get answers to our most frequently asked questions.  If you don't find your question, don't hesitate to email your instructor, your advisor, or the general email address below. 

Frequently Asked Questions - My Math Lab

Q: Must I install all the plug-ins?

A: Yes... and maybe no.  Some of the plug-ins may already exist on your computer.  You would not have to reinstall these.  If you are having difficulty with the website and you have not installed ALL the plug-ins, this is the first thing to try.  Install or update all suggested plug-ins by click on the button "Installation Wizard".

Q: How do I "check my system" to see if it's compatible with My Math Lab?

A:  If you ever start having trouble with your system and My Math Lab, you should return to the Installation Wizard and update all your plug-ins.

Q: Some
of the problems don't load all the way. I see the text of the question, but the input area simply has a small red "x" in the upper left-hand corner. What's wrong?

A: Sometimes if you simply move forward to the next question in the exercise, and then move back, it will load correctly. Don't forget, "stop" and "refresh" is also often helpful when your connection seems slow or glitchy.

Q: If I buy a used textbook (or purchase the text separately via the internet), how can I get the My Math Lab "Student Access Kit" with the access code?

A: Students can purchase stand-alone My Math Lab access code on 
this website or in SMCC's College Store.

Q: This i
s a retake of this course for me.  I still have my book and my old log-in and I can't seem to figure out how to switch to the new section and teacher.  How do I do this?

A:  Do you have the new course ID code from your new instructor?  Get that, and enroll in the new course using your original log in access.  If it's the same book and it hasn't been too long, you should be able to enroll without additional charge.  If it asks for payment, you will have to pay again for access; your original access has expired.

Q: What is the technical support number for My Math Lab?
A: 1-800-677-6337

Q: I can't see the navigation buttons on the left side- where are they?

A: Your browser is probably set to block pop-ups. If you have a yellow bar near the top of the window, right - click and select Always Allow Pop-ups From This Site or check your browser configuration and set it to allow pop-ups.


  • Audience - Keep your audience in mind for all email. Your professor is closer to a boss than a friend.


  • Subject lines - Include a descriptive subject line. Specific subject line requirements vary by professor but always include your name and the class you're taking. Blank subject lines or those with one word topics like "Hello" will generally be deleted unread.


  • Your Name - Include your full name, either in the subject line or in the message.


  • Word Choice - Avoid abbreviations, slang, obscenities, or overly familiar language. Check your spelling, and use complete sentences with normal capitalization. ALL CAPITALS is considered yelling. No capitals is too informal: it's I, not I, United States, not united states. E-mails to professors are letters, not text messages



  • Length - For general inquiries, keep it short. State the question or problem, being as specific as possible.


  • Attachments - If your professor accepts attachments, keep them as small as possible. If the file is too large, the professor may not be able to download it. Also be sure than any software you use is compatible with the one used by the college.


  • Sending Isn't Receiving - Check your own e-mail before asking your professor if your message was received.




  • Topics - Don't ask your professor to join on-line groups, forward a chain letter, become a friend on Facebook, ete. Keep it professional.


  • Response Time - Don't send numerous e-mails over a short time and expect a quicker reply, particularly if it is non-business hours (example: Saturday at 2 a.m.).


  • High Priority - Submitting routine assignments does not qualify as an urgent message.


  • Tone - E-mail has no body language, voice inflection, etc., so be very careful when trying to make a joke. It may not come across.


  • Flaming - Personal attacks on other students or the instructor are never acceptable and may cause you to be dropped from the class.
Q: What calculator should I buy?

A: You should check with your instructor for the calculator requirements for your particular class.  If there are none, we have two suggestions:

  • The Texas Instruments TI30XIIS is a good all around device that inexpensive and easy to use. Click to access the online guide book.
  • If you need (or want) a graphing calculator, the TI84 is a good one. Click to access the online guide book.

Q: How can I completely reset my TI 84 Plus back to the factory default settings?

A: Be careful with this as it will remove any programs that you may have stored in the calculator. With that disclaimer stated, here's how to reset it:

1. Press 2nd MEM (that is the second function of the + key)
2. Choose 7 (Reset)
3. Scroll right so that ALL is selected
4. Press 1
5. Press 2 (Reset, and read the warnings)

Q:  Do SMCC's online math classes use Blackboard?

A:  Yes, Online Math Courses use a combination of Blackboard and MyMathLab. You will access your online Math course via Blackboard which links to MyMathlab.
Access to the online resources in MyMathLab is included with your new book from the SMCC College Store.  If you purchase your book used or from another vendor, you will have to purchase access to the online resources separately (see the FAQs for the specific publisher for directions).

Q:  I have no clue.  How do I get started?
A:  Have you emailed your instructor?  That is always the best first step.  You will hear from your instructor by the first day of classes IF the school has your proper email address.  If you haven't heard, perhaps the professor's email is in your junk mailbox or they have been trying to reach you at an old/incorrect email address.   Email them now.  They are sure to respond with the instructions you need to get started. 

Q: What's this about take tests on campus?  I thought this was an online course!  What if I don't have time to come to campus or I live too far away?
A: Nearly all SMCC instructors teaching online math courses have decided to use the services of the on-campus proctor.   We do this for many reasons include the following and more: a proctored exam is a traditional, tried-and-true measure of your knowledge; online testing would likely require multiple choice testing since typing math is so difficult -  these allow no way for you to show your work; testing, this most important element of your course grade, is not subject to the vagaries of the internet if it's taken in person on paper.
Testing hours include some mornings, afternoons, and evenings to hopefully accomodate all schedules.  Click on the link below to see the proctoring schedule.  Remember though, your particular course will likely not use ALL the hours list.  Be sure to check with your instructor for your specific testing deadlines.
Can't ever come to campus?  Enlist the help of a facilitator (click on the link below).


Frequently Asked Questions - Other
Q: Is SMCC accredited?

A: SMCC is fully accredited as a post-secondary educational institution by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Q: Is an online class a good choice for me?

A: Take this self-test and see for yourself.

Q:  I can't open the worksheets posted on the website.  What's wrong?

A:  Be sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer.  You can download a free copy at their website.  If you still can't open the worksheets directly, you should try to save the document to your computer first, then open it.  This should do the trick.  If you continue to have difficulties, please contact your instructor . 

Another option is to try a different browser.  Firefox seems to handle .pdf files more easily that Internet Explorer, at least on this author's home machine.

Q: Is there a campus map I can have?

A: Click on this link to open a file containing the map of campus.  You can then print or save it to your computer for future reference!

Q: I'm having trouble getting my CDs to run on Quick Time.  What can I do?

A: Below is information on how to resolve that Error 50 or Error 2000 message you receive when using some CD's.  Essentially, you need to uninstall your current version of Quicktime and install a bit older one, in order to make the CD's work.  Please read the four paragraphs below so you have an understanding of how this process will go since it is different on different versions of Windows. 

You must uninstall the newer version of Quicktime from your computer before you try to install this 7.1.6 version of Quicktime. You do this from the Add/Remove Programs in Windows XP or Programs & Features option in Windows Vista. These options are in the Control Panel.  If you are using Windows XP click on the Start Button, click Control Panel then click Add/Remove Programs. If you are using Windows Vista click on the Start Button, Click Control Panel, then Programs and Features. Note: If you do not see Add/Remove Programs icon or Programs & Features icon you may need to click on "Switch to Classic View" on the left side of the Control Panel. Then the icon for Add/Remove Programs or Programs & Features should appear in the list.  You should now be looking at a list of programs installed on your computer. From the list of installed programs you should see Quicktime. Double click it and you should be prompted if you want to remove or uninstall the application. Remove or uninstall is what you what you want to do. If you do not see an entry for Quicktime in the program list you probably don't have Quicktime installed at all. In that case go to the link below to download Quicktime.

To download the recommended version of Quicktime click the link below. If you can't click the link, copy the address below into the address bar of your Internet Explorer browser.

There is a download link that says 19.1mb and that is the file you will need to download the slightly older version of Quicktime.  Click Run if prompted to Save or Run a file. Follow the onscreen installation instructions to install Quicktime. If asked at the end to upgrade to Quicktime Pro click No Thanks. Quicktime Pro is not required to use the CD's. 

Once you uninstall the newer version of Quicktime and get the 7.1.6 version installed see if you videos will play from the CD (or local hard drive.) If they do then all is ok and you should be set. If videos do not play follow the instructions below for recommended changes to the settings of your Quicktime.  At any point in the future if you are asked to upgrade your version of Quicktime to a newer version please don't upgrade. Upgrading to the newest version will generally give you the same problems playing videos that you had before. You can turn off the automatic check for updates by clicking on the Update tab in Quicktime.


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