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Taking pre-calc as a senior, will this hurt me as I apply to colleges?

hsgal83846hsgal83846 3 replies2 threads New Member
I took honors Algebra 2 my sophomore year and was on track to be taking calculus by my senior year. But when I changed schools this year (junior year) my new school did not allow me to take pre-calc because I had gotten a C+ in algebra 2. So my junior year I took trig and ended with an A+ (99%) in the class. I will be taking pre-calc in the fall and I am wondering if it will look bad on my transcript since I will not take Calculus in high school.
I am planning to apply to colleges as a business major. Are there any online classes or anything that I can do at this point?
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Replies to: Taking pre-calc as a senior, will this hurt me as I apply to colleges?

  • me29034me29034 2092 replies104 threads Senior Member
    Though you wouldn't know it by reading this site, many kids do not take calculus in high school. Neither of my kids did. You will probably not get into a very selective business school like Wharton, but there will be many options open to you.
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  • cshell2cshell2 1093 replies11 threads Senior Member
    What schools are you thinking of? The vast majority won't care one bit you didn't have Calc in high school. Our most selective state school just requires 4 years of math. Most say three years or through Algebra II.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 2275 replies36 threads Senior Member
    Course rigor is an input in most admissions decisions. In this one area, you would be considered equal to others that have taken pre-Calc and behind those who have taken Calc.

    Depending on the school/major, this will have differing levels of impact. Engineering at MIT - you’d be behind a majority of applicants. Business at a majority of US Universities - you’ll be on par with most applicants.

    In aggregate, about 15% of high school students take Calculus. Among those who plan to apply to college, I’d guess it’s closer to 25%, still a minority.

    So unless you’re looking at T20 schools, you’ll be on par with most others, in this one of many areas of coursework in this one of many admissions criteria.

    IMO, it’s certainly not worth the effort to do any kind of independent/on-line work unless you are just very interested in the topic. Even then, pre-Calc really is a pre-req for Calc, so I don’t know what you’d take.
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  • ilovemybed222ilovemybed222 15 replies2 threads Junior Member
    I agree with the other comments. I graduated HS this year having taken Pre-Calc as a senior and was totally fine, as I was admitted to well over the majority of the selective schools where I sent in applications. Keep in mind that while I applied mostly to LAC's for various non-STEM programs, I do have friends who got into solid engineering programs after finishing HS with Pre-Calc. While colleges want to see you struggle for success, they also completely understand that one class may not fully reflect potential or talent. In your case, I'd suggest that you hone into the significance of your passion for Business on your applications – but only take extra coursework if you truly feel interested and motivated or else you'll just feel stressed.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 7385 replies34 threads Senior Member
    Most colleges want you starting Calc 1 in college. For Business you should be fine. Plus you can't change anything so concentrate on a good application with a great essay. That's where your energy should be not wondering what "if". Good luck.
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 250 replies7 threads Junior Member
    My daughter took Pre-Calc as a junior and had a major scheduling issue as a senior. Calculus only fit in her schedule by giving up an instrument she had been playing for 7 years or level 5 of her foreign language. Her only option for a math class was the easier of the IB math classes but it was worth it because she ended up winning 2 music department awards/scholarships and another one from the world languages department. She had plenty of AP classes to get the “most demanding” designation and was admitted to a T20 LAC.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43234 replies471 threads Senior Member
    Do well in Precalculus - that's the most important part. Getting an A in Precalculus is 100% fine for all but a handful of universities (and even for these, you're okay, just not as competitive as others, but your upward trend will certainly speak well on your behalf).
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 6546 replies1 threads Senior Member
    "Do well in Precalculus"

    That was exactly what I was thinking.

    I think that you want to at a minimum show up at university day 1 being ready to start studying calculus. This means doing well in trigonometry, and precalculus. 99% in trig is very encouraging, and will put you on a good path. Do as well in precalc and I think that you will be fine.
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