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Calculus vs Precalculus?

motivate14motivate14 Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
edited August 2012 in High School Life
Hello, so I took Precalculus and trigonometry at a local community college this summer, and ended up with an A in both subjects. They were relatively easy to understand for me, and I consider myself to be *pretty* strong at math, though not the best.

So before I signed up for precalc at the community college, my math teacher as well as my counselor stated that I would end up struggling at AP Calculus (which I am taking right now).

But on the other hand, I know a few people who attended/attends some very prestigious and rigorous schools, and they stated that calculus and precalc are very different maths, and that I would not have much trouble with it.

I was just wondering, which side of the argument is more correct?
Post edited by motivate14 on

Replies to: Calculus vs Precalculus?

  • MuffinMan17MuffinMan17 Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    I also took precalculus at a local college the summer of 2011. I took AP Calculus this past year. I will tell you that the people who said that calculus and precalculus are different subject are very correct. I didn't learn THAT much in my precalculus class, but I made the highest grade in my calculus class and a 5 on the AP test. The only thing that you really need to know from precalculus is the unit circle and a couple of trig identities. You should be absolutely fine. Just know the trig!
  • motivate14motivate14 Registered User Posts: 49 Junior Member
    oh thank god what a relief! thank you!
  • ptontiger16ptontiger16 - Posts: 580 Member
    You need a solid understanding of precalculus to understand calculus. But you don't need to understand calculus that well to get a 5 on the AB exam. That's because AB is mostly about differentiation and almost anybody can differentiate with enough practice. The difficult part arises in integration (mostly in Calc BC). Integration is an art and you really need to have your algebra/precalc stuff down to "get" it. But it sounds like you already have that foundation in precalculus.
This discussion has been closed.