Calc III or Calc II?

<p>I will be entering stern as a freshman next year, and am contemplating the courses that I should take...</p>

<p>I looked at the placement exam that I am required to take to place into calc 3, and it looks manageable... I've learned most of the stuff in there in my HS class. But even though I did well in the class, it's really just in one ear and out the other for me (Lol... well, maybe a tiny bit of recollection -__-). Basically, I could probably pass the placement test if I brushed up during the summer, but even if I do, is it worth it? Does anyone here have any good/bad experiences to share of this Calc III ? (the description is somewhat frightening - I was hoping to get an opinion from someone who took the class). </p>

<p>If I don't, I'll probably take calc II instead...</p>

<p>Thanks</p>

<p>I am a mathematics major in Courant/CAS and I am probably going to start off with Calculus 1. I took BC Calculus in High school, so when I finally get my MAP courses over and done with, I'll get easy A's ( or so I plan to...) in the primary math courses I have to take to fulfill my mathematics major. If I jump into Calc II or Calc III as a freshmen, I'll feel as though I'm rushing to get my requirements done and might finish early at the expense of having a lower major GPA than if I took my time and finished my mathematics courses later as a Senior. </p>

<p>It's kind of like the tortoise and the hare fable.</p>

<p>Also take into account that it'll be first semester of your freshman year of college. You will be adjusting to real college workloads and the curse/blessing of not having a teacher doting over you every single day. If you're already having doubts about Calc III, just take Calc II. You'll already be ahead and you won't be shooting yourself in the foot. You can take Calc III in spring.</p>

<p>Calc 2 is harder than both Calc 1 and Calc 3. I agree and I've never met anyone dispute this fact. I took Calc 2 and as someone who got a 5 on BC Calc I still struggled a lot. It isn't just the material because obviously it's very similar but the classes are very boring and theory based and the profs are confusing and unless you are EXTREMELY confidant in your mathematic abilities, Calc 2 will most likely just hurt your GPA. Calc 2 is doable but don't dare think you're signing up for an "easy A" if you take it. I would not suggest it for your first semester of college.</p>

<p>If you're confident in your Calc 2 skills AND it benefits you in some way (like it's part of your major) take the test and get into Calc 3. Plus by Calc 3 there are actually professors that care about you.</p>

<p>So if i took BC Calc and am pretty sure that i'll get a 5, should i consider linear algebra? i was thinking about taking either Calc II or linear alg, but from what i read above, i feel like Calc II isnt the best option. (thanks csh for your advice!)</p>

<p>or should i just take Calc I for better GPA?</p>

<p>(btw i m probably gonna be a finance+accounting major)</p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>I took Calc AB and BC during high school, and I found that the series in Calc BC were just the surface of the series you were expected to know in Calc II. For people who took Calc AB, I recommend starting with Calc I. For those who did Calc BC, I recommend starting with Calc II.</p>

<p>^Have you taken Calc 3?</p>

<p>I wish I could give more advice about this but I only took Calc 2, neither Calc 1 or 3. I do know however that Calc 1 is very doable. Calc 2 is much more difficult to judge. Three of my other friends have taken it: one and myself got A, one got a C and the other failed it. Another one of my friends is a Math major (and loves Math) and although she owned in all three, she thought Calc 2 was the most difficult.</p>

<p>I will say that what happened to me with Calc 2 is that I was very complacent the first half the class. I thought I knew all of it from BC Calc so I didn't do many practice problems. The prof was going over a lot of theorems which are both difficult to understand and boring (ie. hard to pay attention to and retain). However, at the same time all my skill work came from my BC Calc because the prof was so hard to understand. I had to do hundreds of practice problems to finally remember the material and get the hang out it. And then I additionally needed to go to tutoring the Math department had to offer so it ended up being much more time consuming and difficult than i originally though. The grades are based on homeworks, the midterm and the final and a few quizzes. But from what I gathered, the homeworks and quizzes don't really do anything to your grade (maybe a few extra needed points) but it's the midterm and final that make or break your grade. This is hard because my midterm and final were maybe 6 or 7 long and difficult problems (you miss one or two and that a lot).</p>

<p>I'm not trying to scare and obviously it's doable for a hard worker but this is not going to be an easy A or one I think I could have done my first semester of college. However, Math is difficult, and it doesn't get any easier either I don't think. I suggest Calc 3 just because from what I hear the profs are better (fewer students, profs that actually care and can teach. Oh and under no circumstances would I suggest taking Discrete Math!</p>

<p>Thanks for all the responses everyone. I agree that is probably best not to start off the freshman year with such difficult math courses, but I like to challenge myself - even if it isn't required for my expected major. </p>

<p>That professors in calc 3 pay more attention to their students makes some sense to me actually... since the classes are smaller and the math is more advanced. Some math teachers I've known don't really like to teach lower level math, and it shows... while their higher level math courses are reportedly much better. On the other hand, some teachers may not have the mathematical expertise to teach higher level math courses, and may prefer teaching lower level ones... It's all a gamble in the end, but higher level classes are probably a bit smaller. </p>

<p>I will probably just prepare to take the placement exam. I'm not sure if I will even pass it (need 65%?), but if I do, then at least I have the option...</p>

<p>If you take calc III, you'll have extra time left over to take linear algebra, which is very useful for business. In fact, calc I, III, and linear algebra will be your main mathematical tools in business. The series and integration stuff in calc II is more theoretical, and in the real world, people just type things into mathematica if they need to integrate.
So from that sense, it may be better to jump to calc III if you're up for it. It's certainly more interesting than calc II.</p>