I am thinking about taking Precalculus this summer so I can take Calculus before I graduate from high school. I am currently taking Algebra 2. It's not ridiculously hard for me, but it's not easy either. I made A's the first 2 marking periods and a B the 3rd marking period.
Is it worth taking Precalculus over the summer, or should I just take Precalculus as a year-long course and not have Calculus on my high school transcript? Keep in mind, the Precalculus course in summer school is watered down and the people taking it would probably still be having trouble with basic Algebra 1 concepts, so it obviously won't be the greatest course. The only place I can take this course is at the summer school my county offers because my high school is pretty tough about giving you credits, so I won't be able to take a nicer course at a college. I've heard many types of comments about Precalculus, from people saying it's ridiculously harder than Algebra 2, to people saying it's the same exact thing as Algebra 2 and they've learned nothing new. I don't really know who to listen to.
But.. I have lots of summer plans. I could get 2 internships, do a leadership program, take college courses, etc. I'd have to sacrifice all these things for summer school.
So basically, from reading this, do you think I should take Precalculus in summer school? I am looking at very selective colleges. Thanks for any input.
do you absolutely need a precalc credit at your high school? i mean, could you take precalc at a local college (even if you don't get credit), explain what you did to your guidance counselor (providing proof, of course), and then just go on to calc?
sylviecerisePosts: 129Registered UserJunior Member
A large part of it depends on what you want to major in... if it's science/math, then I say definitely do it.
I'm in the same situation, only luckily my school doesn't really care how I learn the material so long as I can pass a precalculus assessment test. Ask if you can take the course online, that's what my plan is... then you may have time to do some of your other stuff too.
Well where are you in algebra 2? If you're in the logs, conics, trig section, and doing very well (i mean an A) you should be fine. I'm in the same boat as you where I'm probably skipping precalc and going straight to AP Calc. Honestly a lot of my friends told me prcalc isn't worth it and you can self study because it's the same thing as trig except you go a little further doing more challenging problems. The concepts are the same. My school alllows us to skip but only if we have a solid A for two semesters of Alg2 and trig. You shouldn't waste your money taking college courses and the only money you should be spending is getting a good textbook.
Since you said that you're planning to apply to highly selective schools, I'd say go take pre-calc in the summer in order to take AP Calculus. People do get into Ivies without having taken AP Calculus, but having calculus on your transcript does help--other than (arguably) Physics C, it's the most rigorous math/science AP.
I agree with Pinkstarcloud in that you are doing decently well. You might have to struggle a little to get things done, but it will pay off in the long run.
Note, however, that colleges don't penalize you very much for not accelerating if your school doesn't normally advertise it. In my school, probably as many as a fourth of the students take precalc in their junior year, making those of us who do take AP Calculus much less prestigious. In your school, it looks like very few students normally take the class. Did you have a acceleration program in which you could have taken algebra 1 or geometry in middle school?
Well that's not the case actually. I'm currently a sophomore in Algebra 2. I might not have a senior year though. Senior year is when most students take AP Calculus, and yes most students in senior year take some form of Calculus. I guess this really does give me a reason to take Precalculus over the summer.
But does it have to be AP? I don't want to rush in regular, watered down Precalc over the summer and then suddenly go into AP Calculus. It's like WHOA, totally different levels.
pinkstarcloud: We've done logs which I thought were pretty easy but we haven't done trig or conics.
Well my schools retarded and they made us retake algebra 1 freshman year, geometry sophomore year, algebra 2 and advanced alg2/trig junior year. It doesnt have to be AP Calculus but im one of those rare ones in my school willing to take the extra leap. But normally the rest of my classmates would just take a semester of precalc and a semester of calc their senior year. Some of them wanted to just take precalc over the summer (like you) so they can get it out of the way and only have one math senior year but my school said that's not a good enough reason to skip precalc. If you're already taking alg 2 sophomore year you're caught up and in good shape. Why wouldn't you have a senior year? You can explain your situation to your guidance counselor and they may let you take calculus as a junior.
Here's my suggestion: No. It seems you're having a very busy summer---with interns, leadership program, etc.....I wouldn't even dare bugging into taking pre-calculus during the summer. The time in learning the material of pre-calculus is quite short-especially since you have a very busy schedule---you will understand only at least 60%, probably less than 50% of the material if you're taking pre-calculus during the summer. It's better to give your brain and body a bit of slow down and not going into a hypertension-like mode.
my brother took a precalculus class over the summer, and is now in AP calc AB, and is doing fine. he took it at a local summer school. his trick with math (which has worked extremely well) is to always be one chapter ahead of the class.
I don't know. It must be different for everybody. I barely got a c in honor algebra I (8th grade, I got a 82 but only because my final exam was a 100%), a 100% in geometry, algebra 2 was also really easy for me and I took precal last summer and got a 93.... Ap Calc an has been super easy do far (going on the third week with Calc every other day) .....
Replies to: Precalculus over summer
I'm in the same situation, only luckily my school doesn't really care how I learn the material so long as I can pass a precalculus assessment test. Ask if you can take the course online, that's what my plan is... then you may have time to do some of your other stuff too.
I agree with Pinkstarcloud in that you are doing decently well. You might have to struggle a little to get things done, but it will pay off in the long run.
Note, however, that colleges don't penalize you very much for not accelerating if your school doesn't normally advertise it. In my school, probably as many as a fourth of the students take precalc in their junior year, making those of us who do take AP Calculus much less prestigious. In your school, it looks like very few students normally take the class. Did you have a acceleration program in which you could have taken algebra 1 or geometry in middle school?
But does it have to be AP? I don't want to rush in regular, watered down Precalc over the summer and then suddenly go into AP Calculus. It's like WHOA, totally different levels.
pinkstarcloud: We've done logs which I thought were pretty easy but we haven't done trig or conics.