right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

Precalculus during the summer

bcherobchero 8 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
edited January 2010 in Summer Programs
Hey guys! I'm in a tight situation here because of my academic courses in high school. The fact of the matter is that I moved to another town in New York state and I couldn't accelerate whatsoever in any courses. So I was forced to take Algebra I and Algebra II Trig (which I am taking this year) since I was new and the state just changed the mathematic curriculum.

So the main question is whether I could take Precalculus during the summer in order to take AP Calc AB (the highest math course in my high school besides IB Math HL)? If yes, what should I expect at the community college for precalculus during the summer?
edited January 2010
14 replies
Post edited by bchero on
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Precalculus during the summer

  • bcherobchero 8 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    bump................................
    · Reply · Share
  • analogousanalogous 154 replies44 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'm in Calc BC now and i can truthfully say you rarely use any precalculus.

    All you really need to know from pre-calc is your trig functions and what common inputs will equal (sin(pi/4), cos(pi/2), etc).

    If you can, just skip to Calc AB; they cover a lot of the pre-calc course within the first month of class and it's definitely easy if you're into math.
    · Reply · Share
  • BostonDad2BostonDad2 24 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    It would be hard for anyone to comment on what you might or might not need to learn.

    One option might be to enroll in a web-based program. An example is ALEKS and a coupon for a free month is on this page: Homeschool Curriculum Sampler

    An advantage of ALEKS is that it allows you to focus on the topics you don't know - the preassesment results are used to skip over topics that you have demonstrated mastery of. Another plus is that you can do a review of prior math class topics before and/or after taking precalc.

    A disadvantage is that ALEKS focses on topics within the class learning expectations - you will not get the breadth that a good teacher and/or class discussion might provide.
    · Reply · Share
  • nemomnemom 1563 replies44 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ALEKS is a nice program that does let individuals learn a lot of math online, without a live teacher or any sort of schedule. It's fairly obscure, so I won't expect to get much in the way of credit - make sure that your school will let you test into the class you want.
    · Reply · Share
  • raideraderaiderade 2319 replies180 threads- Senior Member
    Try CTYOnline or Stanford EPGY. Both are expensive but have really highly qualified instructors teaching. If you can go through the course in 3 months I think it's about 600$.
    · Reply · Share
  • fbendanafbendana 23 replies12 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Im doing Stanford EPGY right now, and it sucks...
    · Reply · Share
  • raideraderaiderade 2319 replies180 threads- Senior Member
    I've never done EPGY but I've done CTY and it was fantastic, but incredibly hard.
    · Reply · Share
  • LonghaulLonghaul 2616 replies137 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My family doesn't have direct experience with BYU on-line courses, but I've heard wonderful things about it. It is much cheaper than CTY.
    · Reply · Share
  • bcherobchero 8 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    That's interesting. Thank you for the info regarding this. However, do you think that it's worth doing ap calculus senior year? I am very good in math but have no clue what to do when I get to college. (I do have extremely high grades in everything)
    · Reply · Share
  • nemomnemom 1563 replies44 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Calc is probably something that elite schools will look well on, since they tend to like to see that students are challenging themselves, within the limits of what is available. DOing pre-calc in the summer would certainly show some initiative too. That being said, be very sure that whatever you do in the summer will be accepted by your high school.
    · Reply · Share
  • musicallylatinmusicallylatin 3593 replies221 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I used ALEKS for Precalculus this past summer with my class I took through Idaho Digital Learning Academy. I learned more from ALEKS then the teacher, or actual course work. The issue I'd see with it, is recieving creidt. ALEKS can be highly annoying, but I learned a lot, and where ALEKS failed at explaining a bit of reading around online always cleared things up well enough.
    · Reply · Share
  • AristocratAristocrat 103 replies8 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Skipping pre-calc is a lot more difficult than skipping Algebra II/Geometry/etc. You learn a lot of trigonometry that will be indispensable in Calc BC. If you want, try the Art of Problem Solving Precalc book for self-study, or use the individually-paced CTY summer program.

    Calculus AP is a joke. Everything in AB/BC is learned in a month at any college calculus course.

    AB goes something like this:

    3 months of review and limits
    3 months of derivatives
    3 months of integrals

    and BC...

    3 months of integrals
    3 months of sequences/series/taylor
    3 months of ad-lib teaching
    · Reply · Share
  • bandgeek05bandgeek05 239 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I disagree with Aristocrat, at least with respect to the importance of Precalc and the content of Calc AB. The only things you need to understand coming into Calculus are how to calculate slope, basic trig identities such as sin0, point slope form and a few geometry principles that you've been doing since grade school. If your school does allow you to place into classes or your guidance counselor can be convinced that you're ready for Calculus, I would definitely take AP Calc AB.
    I'm on a break from an AB problem set now. While I don't have first hand experience with BC, my school teaches it in a single semester(about 4.5 months) and gives those of us that aren't bored with basic math the option of taking Calc III at the Community College level.
    I'm about 4 months into Calc AB and here's what my class has accomplished.
    Month 1: WTH did you do during Precalc? Also, Limits and IVT.
    Month 2: Bulk of Derivatives Unit, including implicit and explicit, as well as introductions to Particle Motion and related rates.
    Month 3: Applications of Derivatives(or the engineering majors asking physics related questions and being forced to work them out), MVT, Rolle's Theorem, Riemann Sums, geometrical analysis of Integrals and Area under a Curve.
    Since this year: Seminar on properly using Nspires and 84s on Calculator Active questions, First and Second Fundamental Theorems of Calculus, and more particle motion.
    · Reply · Share
  • bcherobchero 8 replies5 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for the information Aristocrat and bandgeek. I agree with the self study option but I have chosen another route to Calculus. I signed up for a Precalculus class in my local community college because my school needs proof that I can handle calculus. Either way, I'm thankful that the college community here has showed me certain paths.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity