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Calc Vs. Calc II Vs. Calc III

scottj19x89scottj19x89 Registered User Posts: 290 Junior Member
edited July 2012 in Science Majors
So how do students usually do as they go from one to the other? Is there a pattern such as grades lowering as the difficulty becomes higher? (if calc 2 is harder than 1 at a school, and somebody who's studying their balls off got a B in 1... is there any chance of them getting an A in calc 2?)

I'm wondering because I think I may be destined for a B (calc 1) after this last test (they told us it was going to be "****ing" hard, and it was...), but I feel like I still understand the material at a good level... the test was just really complicated and long for the time that they gave us.

I was seriously considering computer science for a major, but I don't want a crap gpa because of math classes...
Post edited by scottj19x89 on

Replies to: Calc Vs. Calc II Vs. Calc III

  • contramundum09contramundum09 Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    Most, but not all, find calc 2 harder than calc 1. Having said that, you should still be able to get an A in calc 2 if you put in enough time to understand the material (which it sounds like you're already doing in calc 1). So you shouldn't have a problem.
  • scottj19x89scottj19x89 Registered User Posts: 290 Junior Member
    Even if I get a B in calc 1?

    I was talking about this to my advisor earlier today and we were thinking that I may actually be on equal ground when I take calc 2 since I never took calc 1 and most of the people (probably all) have taken calc 1 before
  • rentacoprentacop Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    I found calc 2 harder than calc 1. Calc 3 is a review of all the topics of Calc 1 and 2, but in multiple dimensions. So, if you can wrap your mind around the multidimensional muck, calc 3 is the easiest of the three.
  • IntervenientIntervenient Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    I probably don't represent the majority, but I went from a C+ in Calc 1, B in Calc 2, and looking at a B+/A- in DiffEqs.

    It's all about how hard you work at it.
  • scottj19x89scottj19x89 Registered User Posts: 290 Junior Member
    Well I'm putting in as much work as I can, honestly haha...turns out I did better on my last exam than I thought (B+), so I may actually be getting an A- when I factor in hw.

    I think I was just freaking out cause that was the first test I've taken in a whiiiiile that made me leave with thoughts of suicide haha. If anybody else wants to share their grades from calc 1 and 2 feel free to do so please.
  • jdlacejdlace Registered User Posts: 452 Member
    if someone gets a 5 on calc ab and bc in high school, what math should he take in college?
  • tb0mb93tb0mb93 Registered User Posts: 1,320 Senior Member
    ^ BC should skip you out of Calc 1 and 2
  • Mr. BojanglesMr. Bojangles Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    Calc I is tough because you're learning all this stuff for probably the first time, or you took it in high school and it's your first time doing it on a college level.

    Calc II was definitely the hardest for me...out of all three calc II has the least amount to do with any of them with it's series and bs like that. But you do need the linear algebra part for calc III

    Calc III was the easiest for me. Just imagine doing calc I over again, but with 3 variables. Really not as hard as you'd think, especially if you paid attention in the first two and have a good base. Just easy problems and more variables.
  • aGGieENGiNeeRaGGieENGiNeeR Registered User Posts: 961 Member
    I find calc III more difficult than calc I, II, and differential equations. I may be in a minority though.
  • angryelfangryelf - Posts: 506 Member
    I'd doubt it.
    Vector calculus (Green's theorem, Stokes' and Gauss' theorem) is much more challenging fundamentally than taylor/maclaurin series.
    Also didn't exactly enjoy switching between spherical, cylindrical and polar coordinates.
  • RockozRockoz Registered User Posts: 107 Junior Member
    I had the opportunity to take calc 1-3 with the same professor. Calc 2 was more challenging than Calc 1, but I still ended up with a higher A in it than in 1. It was probably based on luck mainly since I made fewer mistakes (little computation/arithmetic mistakes, etc.) on exams. If you can survive calc 1/2 then you should have no problem with 3. A lot of things can depend on your professor though.

    You should be proud that you're coming home from exams that make you want to kill yourself. It shows you're being challenged and really learning something difficult that not many other people are willing to do.

    Good luck with school.
  • illegalSmileillegalSmile Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    For what it's worth, I got a B in calc 1, but I did really well in calc 2 and ended up with a solid A. However, calc 3 was not kind to me and I got a B in that as well. Also, you didn't ask, but I got an A in Diff Eq which has a lot of calc 2 concepts in it.

    That being said, I had heavier course loads when I took calc 1 and 3, so just as others have stated, it comes down to how much time and effort you can commit to the class. Also, it comes down to the professor/instructor and how rigorous they make the course. For instance, my calc 3 instructor was brutal and had little mercy on the class, but it was a good thing as it really challenged me and built character!

    Just keep working at it and I'm sure you will do just fine in your other calc courses. Good luck!
  • crucial bbqcrucial bbq Registered User Posts: 48 Junior Member
    Whether Calc I or Calc II is harder depends on one or two things: how well you know algebra and how well you can grasp derivatives and antiderivatives/integration. Calc I is mostly algebra, probably at least 90%. Depending on the course, you more-than-likely will not do "calculus" until the second half or last quarter of the semester. You definitely need to know the trig identities, and basic rules of algebra (commutative, associative, etc.). You also need to know how to factor well. Sounds corny, but you do a lot of factoring.

    So, if you can factor well and know your trig identities than Calc I should be easy. The few math profs that I talked to all say that the students who have difficulties with Calc I usually stumble over the algebra.

    Calc II is largely about integrals. It is not a difficult topic, but many struggle with it because they've spent so many years doing algebra and here is something that is different. This is the real calculus. Integration, for me, was simple. But I am a non-linear thinker and it is easy for me to visualize the function of f and go back and forth between derivatives/antiderivatives without doing a step-wise process.

    Calc III is mostly just Calc I, but with most variables. Most students find Calc II harder than Calc I and/or III.

    I thought Calc I was ridiculous. So much time was wasted learning limits, then bam, one day we were taught how to derive without limits and wondered why we were even taught limits in the first place. Learning limits has its use; sketching a graph, finding discontinuities, finding asymptotes, and a few others, but it is not something that you will really use unless you are looking for the result of an infinitesimally small denominator or seeing what would happen if a large input was applied. Essentially, you will probably never see another limit again. Same with summation and integrals. Why learn summation if the prof, and textbook, are only going to quickly turn around and show you a different, easier way?

    In my opinion Calc I should be pre-Calc and Calc II should be Calc I.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 54,003 Senior Member
    jdlace wrote:
    if someone gets a 5 on calc ab and bc in high school, what math should he take in college?

    Your profile says Stanford... here is what Stanford says:
    Office of the University Registrar - AP Credit Chart | Student Affairs
    Department of Mathematics - Stanford University
    b. Students who scored a 5 on the AB advanced placement exam or a 4 or 5 on the BCexam:
    These scores earn you 10 units of credit and place you out of Math 41 and 42. You should take Math 51, 52, and 53, or the honors version, Math 51H, 52H, and 53H during your Freshman year. These are integrated courses in Multivariable Mathematics and were designed specifically for students in your situation. After completing these sequences you will have the Mathematics background for most Engineering and Science majors.
  • LAGatorLAGator Registered User Posts: 387 Member
    Difficulty level in any course has a *lot* to do with the instructor. Keep that in mind when you enroll...
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