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Am I ready for Calculus 1?

HSKid22HSKid22 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Engineering Majors
Ok, so here's a list of Math Courses I've taken at High School:

Freshman - Algebra 1
Sophomore - Geometry
Junior - Algebra 2
Senior - College Algebra (currently taking this class, receiving high marks)

With the math classes I've taken, will I be ready for my first year of engineering (Calculus 1)?

I was thinking of taking Pre-Calc at a community college the summer before the first fall term of my freshman year, but I read that College Algebra and Pre-Calc are both pretty similar, so should I even consider doing this?

Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Post edited by HSKid22 on

Replies to: Am I ready for Calculus 1?

  • youknowme123youknowme123 Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    What you read is true. I took both both Pre-Calc and Algebra in high school. Don't remember the exact topics but I do remember saying I have seen this stuff before. Honestly the only way to prepare for calc is just to take. The topics you see in calc new topics that you most likely haven't been exposed to yet. I would say Calc one would be similar difficulty as the first time you learned Algebra.
  • KamelAkbarKamelAkbar Registered User Posts: 500 Member
    They are similar. Are you learning trig stuff though? You will use a lot of that in Calc. I went from College Alg to Calc I without learning the trig stuff and I had to teach it to myself. It was NOT easy to teach it to myself while having to learn everything else and do work for other classes, but I managed to do it and make an A. I really wouldn't recommend that for anyone though. There is a lot of trig in Calc.
  • HSKid22HSKid22 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    We've just completed the first quarter at school, and haven't done trig yet, but here's what we've done in College Algebra:
    -Geometric and arithmetic sequences
    -Domain/ranges of graphs / functions
    EX:[2,5] [2, infinity)
    -Sigma notation
    -Differential quotient
    -Calculating the min/max of a graph
    -Intervals of increase and decrease on a graph
  • KamelAkbarKamelAkbar Registered User Posts: 500 Member
    If you don't do the trig (ask your teacher if you don't know), I think you'd be fine if you study it seriously in the summer before school. Make sure you know the unit circle and what the information on it represents, how that ties into a function, how it applies to a triangle, what inverse trig is (sin^-1 etc) and how that is different from cosecant, etc. As for the algebra stuff, I think the most important thing you should pay attention to is finding the zeros of functions and asymptotes. You're going to be seeing that stuff a lot.
  • hesdjjimhesdjjim Registered User Posts: 561 Member
    It might be best to talk with your college algebra teacher on whether your current math course will provide you with the tools you need to make it through a calculus curriculum -- especially in the area of trigonometry. You don't want to be weak in anything, going into a calculus course.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,907 Senior Member
    Try the placement test linked from this page:
    Choosing the First Math Course at UC Berkeley - UC Berkeley Department of Mathematics

    It says that if you score green in most topics, you are ready for the freshman calculus course for math and engineering majors (Math 1A).
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Registered User Posts: 11,788 Senior Member
    My son got an A ( I think. Maybe he got a B) in pre calc, and had to retake it after the college placement test. And it wasn't at Cal.
  • TomDubTomDub Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    I got an A in every single math course with ease (algebra, Trig, precalc) and got owned in calculus. Had to drop to keep from failing. I would suggest being a god at hardcore factoring, manipulating exponents, simplifying tedius equations, Trig, Trig, and Trig.
  • markladenmarkladen Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    95% of the actual "work" in calculus is algebra/trig. Perfect example would be arc length, where you're messing around with this problem for an entire page & then finally just integrate it in one step. Strong algebra & trig are essential. Calculus will also sharpen your algebra skills considerably, which is good because you'll need them in top form once you reach calculus II.
  • NikStudentNikStudent Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Calculus will probably take a lot of ur free time away,but anyway you are READY for it.Trust me.
    Calculus 1 is actually nothing more than limits,functions,new functions from old,families of functions and stuff,maybe things you already know.

    So dont worry about Calculus 1 worry about Calculus 2 :D
    And Enjoy the Math that is the only way of having fun and doing a great job that leads to good results :)
  • MechETerpMechETerp Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    If you're going to take math at a Community College during the summer, take Calc. Seriously, if you haven't taken Calc before freshmen year you will be struggling. I know: it happened to me. It's better to screw up in the community college and then it take again at your four-year college than to struggle and have to dig yourself out halfway through the semester and/or fail and have to take it twice anyway.
This discussion has been closed.