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Calculus 3 versus Calculus 2

dale.lebardale.lebar Posts: 1Registered User New Member
edited February 2009 in Engineering Majors
Ello,

I took calculus 2 before the summer and I got a b+/a in the course. Now, at the end of the summer I have to take calc 3. IS calc 3 much harder than calc 2? I was told that Calculus 2 was the hardest, but I don't know. My fear is that in my calc 2 class, we were allowed to have "cheat sheets" on our tests. Essentially an index card with anything we wanted on it. So I had some help there, which I doubt in calc 3. But what do you all think? Is calc 3 harder than calc 2?
Post edited by dale.lebar on
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Replies to: Calculus 3 versus Calculus 2

  • JoeJoe05JoeJoe05 Posts: 660Registered User Member
    I got an A/B in Calc2 and an A in Calc 3 with the same prof. Is Calc 3 really easier? Some people I know think so and some think otherwise. Personally they were pretty much the same difficulty to me but I think I just got used to how the professor tested and how to study.
  • Brown man1987Brown man1987 Posts: 961Registered User Member
    If you are a visual thinker, you will do well in calc 3. You will be required to visualize many three dimensional curves and concepts.

    I got a 5 on the AP calculus BC exam and I received a B at Cornell in Calc 3. In my opinion, Calc 3 is infinitely harder (no pun intended) than calc 2. Maybe it's just me but I found it very difficult to visualize some of the graphs and concepts.
  • OhNoItsHeatherOhNoItsHeather Posts: 399Registered User Member
    I did better in calc 3 than I did in calc 2. For me I think it was mostly the difference between being a 1st semester freshman and a 2nd semester freshman. I had kind of gotten an idea of what study techniques worked best for me. Also, I think though the material in calc 3 was more advanced, it was easier to work at and finally understand whereas I had a really hard time getting series to "click" in calc 2.
  • westsidewolf1989westsidewolf1989 Posts: 1,251Registered User Senior Member
    brown man, did you jump straight into calc 3 first semester freshman year? I got a 5 on BC as well, and am going to Rice this fall. I kinda want to make sure I'm up to speed, even though I felt I understood everything in BC, but i also dont wanna waste an AP credit.
  • gthopefulgthopeful Posts: 1,828Registered User Senior Member
    Calc BC can't really compare with calc 3 since it's so instructor dependent. I knew guys who aced the BC exam (a 5 is around 50%!) but did rather poorly in multivariable calc due to the instructor.

    Definitely use ratemyprofessor (or other service) to see how well liked your instructor is ahead of time.
  • Brown man1987Brown man1987 Posts: 961Registered User Member
    brown man, did you jump straight into calc 3 first semester freshman year? I got a 5 on BC as well, and am going to Rice this fall. I kinda want to make sure I'm up to speed, even though I felt I understood everything in BC, but i also dont wanna waste an AP credit.

    Congrats on Rice. Don't waste the AP credit, there's really no point in repeating Calc II when it doesn't overlap much with Calc III. Just be prepared to work your arse off for calc III.
  • Dauntless9Dauntless9 Posts: 356Registered User Member
    I found Calc III to be substantially easier than Calc I and II (as did just about everyone at my school). I think it really depends on what school you go to and how it's taught there. Ask other people who go to your college and have actually taken those courses what they thought. We can speculate all we want...but we don't actually know if it will be harder for you.

    At my school, a 5 on Calc BC doesn't get you out of Calc I and II, so almost everyone takes them.
  • lil_killer129lil_killer129 Posts: 4,706Registered User Senior Member
    How does OPDE compare to Calc I, II and III?
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    I found Calc 3 to be much, much harder than Calc BC, but that's probably because I had a superb teacher in high school, and my professor in Calc 3 was horrible. He hardly drew one picture the entire semester, which made visualizing concepts next to impossible.
  • mo24mo24 Posts: 329Registered User Member
    I've gotten the impression from talking with people on my campus who have taken Calc II and III that it's fairly split. Half will tell you that Calc II is the hardest, while the other half will say Calc III is hardest. I'm really thinking it boils down to how well different people handle the whole visualization aspect.

    Grade systems can vary too... in my college we have different grading systems for Calc II and Calc III, for god only knows what reason. In Calc II, a grade of 90% or better before the final allows one to skip it. But in Calc III, the final is mandatory and worth 20% of the grade. Needless to say, that Calc III grading system makes it much more difficult straight out of the gate.
  • CoffeeBreak=)CoffeeBreak=) Posts: 530Registered User Member
    Calc 3 was, IMO, easier than Calc2 because you've already seen the stuff before. For example, instead of taking an integral, you take it twice or thrice. With derivatives, you're holding a variable constant while the other is not treated as a variable(e.g derivative of xy with respect to x is y). So its pretty much a rehash. The one part that may be difficult is spacial visualization. You need this a lot when you're trying to determine the limits of integration in 3space.
  • BosqueBosque Posts: 111Registered User Junior Member
    I took Calc II again after getting a 5 on the BC exam after much brow beating by my adviser. Bad idea. You should be fine if you got a 5 on the BC exam, taking it again really is a huge waste of time.

    And Calc III is more interesting anyway.
  • flomatiksflomatiks Posts: 162Registered User Junior Member
    In Calc III, how do you use/obtain a graph when it's not provided? Are you expected to visualize it (which I personally think is impossible)? Are they usually provided for in exams? Can people share their experiences?

    Sorry for reviving a dead thread, but I felt a separate thread was sort of unnecessary :P
  • lil_killer129lil_killer129 Posts: 4,706Registered User Senior Member
    In Calc III, how do you use/obtain a graph when it's not provided? Are you expected to visualize it (which I personally think is impossible)? Are they usually provided for in exams? Can people share their experiences?

    Sorry for reviving a dead thread, but I felt a separate thread was sort of unnecessary :P
    Use traces to graph by hand or to identify graphs.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    Neither my TA or professor could draw anything in 3D, so every graph I saw in that class was just a sheet waving above the x-y plane. It made it a little more confusing. =\
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