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BlueBeat
Registered User Posts: **3** New Member

Is engineering Calculus 3 much harder than Calculus 2? I am currently a senior in high school and am still considering if I should do engineering or not. I am currently taking AP Calculus BC right now and it is not that hard for me. I have a friend who is a engineering major at Purdue and skipped Calculus 2 to Calculus 3 and is having a hard time right now. He was really good at math when he went to my school, but he barely made a C in his Calculus 3 class in college. The only students that got an A in his class were 6 chinese students.

As a result, I'm kind of wondering if I can really do engineering math or not...

As a result, I'm kind of wondering if I can really do engineering math or not...

This discussion has been closed.

## Replies to: Math Courses

7,298Forum ChampionThe real question is how well your high school prepares you. It isn't likely an issue of this person not being very good at math. It probably is more likely that he was good compared to the expectations of your high school but really wasn't as good at it as his grades made it appear. There is a very wide range in quality of high school math instruction, even at the AP level. Some AP courses/teachers do a good job; others don't.

If this sort of thing scares you too much but you still want to do engineering, you can always just take one or more of the calculus courses again when you get to the university. The words case scenario is that you really were good enough to skip ahead and now you have one or two easy A's on your transcript.

4,584Senior Member4,584Senior Member9,286Senior Member4,288Senior MemberTo be honest, AP classes are really teaching to the test, whatever the AP test is at the moment. College classes teach towards being able to apply your skills (with a few exceptions).

4,584Senior MemberThe reason I tell this story is that it could have happened to him in Calc I. There's no guarantee you'll fly through the series at the collegiate level just because you start over. It's really more about the fundamental understanding of the concepts rather than previous grades.

The advantages of skipping ahead however are not small. It opens opportunities to finish early (or on time if your school tends to go past 4 years) and as they say, time is money. Alternatively, it allows one to either take more technical courses or courses not related to engineering simply for interest's sake.

Again, each person's route should be the one that fits them best. There is no right way.

69,853Senior MemberIt may be better for him to try the old calculus 1 and 2 final exams from the college he will attend, so that he can make a more accurate placement decision. Skipping ahead too far can be a problem, but repeating what one already knows well is a waste of time and tuition. Also, starting in calculus 2 or higher (allowing starting the physics sequence a semester earlier) can shorten the longest prerequisite sequence for an engineering major, reducing the schedule pressure and risk of late graduation, and the student will gain one or more free electives later.

9,286Senior Member653MemberThis works both ways however. The format and pacing can be a shock, but if you know the material it's a safer way to get used to it than hopping feet first into calc III.

An alternative if you have a decent CC near the high school is to dual enroll (or just enroll at the CC whenever before switching over to the university).

608MemberI was able to receive an A in the class with a heavy course load and active involvement in extracurriculars.

Also, I don't think reviewing calc 1 or 2 would be extremely beneficial as long. As you know the main concepts of the material, then you will only need to look up a formula here and there.

69,853Senior Member1. Many students had calculus AB, or a two year AB and BC sequence. This is slower paced than an actual college frosh calculus sequence, where all of AB and BC material are covered in two semesters (rather than two years).

2. High school courses, including AP courses, tend to have more hand holding and progress monitoring (daily homework is a part of this), so that a student cannot fall behind easily. College courses require more student self-motivation to stay on top of the course.

3. High school tests tend to be loaded with easy problems so that C students can get 70% (or whatever) correct. College tests may have fewer easy problems and more hard problems, so that a typical median score may be something like 50%, but "graded on a curve" so that such a score is a C+/B- rather than an F. Of course, all of those A/B students in high school find out that not all of them will be A/B students in college.

4,584Senior MemberAdditionally, even though math is math, there is some variation between schools and even between instructors at schools, especially if you are placed into an honors section.

Good luck OP. You'll be fine.