Emergency Cal I and II question

<p>Hey, gang. I have a quick opinion question for you math guys out there. I know this has been addressed in another post, but for our peace of mind, please chime in if you have an opinion. </p>

<p>Despite a good SAT math score, D2 signed up for Honors Cal I. Of course when she got the AP 5 on the AB cal test, she got the standard e-mail from Bama telling here to move up to Cal II. </p>

<p>She had a couple of questions concerning this move. First, she noticed that there's not an honors section listed for Cal II this fall. Is there much difference between the regular and honors sections?</p>

<p>Second, she was wondering if the Cal II course builds on the UA Cal I class like, say, French II would with French I. She's worried that if Bama's Cal I class covered different material than her HS class, then she might not do as well in Cal II. Or is Cal II sort of a stand alone class that doesn't really rely on the info in Cal I?</p>

<p>IF it matters, she's a psych major and math minor and CBHP. She can change to Cal II tonight and get a section at a good time for her and a teacher that D1 loved, so the pressure is on for a rather quick decision. </p>

<p>As always, thanks so much for your insight. </p>

<p>Bikedad</p>

<p>I know there will be a variety of answers to this question and each person has to decide what makes the most sense for them. My D is an incoming freshman math major. She scored a 5 on AP AB junior year and a 5 on BC this year. Last fall we met with Dr. Wu, head of the math department. He urged her to start with honors Calc I, and that is the path she has chosen. He explained that the AP and high school calc concentrate on "how" and the UA classes concentrate on "why". He said she would have a benefit in upper level classes having the "why" foundation that the department desires. Good luck!
Momofonly1</p>

<p>I was in the same situation. Even though I scored very well on the AP test I decided to stay in Calc I for several reasons.</p>

<p>As a freshman I wanted as smooth of a transition as possible. At BamaBound they seemed to put much emphasis on not overwhelming yourself in the first semester. So having at least one class I was already familiar with would be an advantage.</p>

<p>It would also be a confidence booster to be in a class where I already understood some of the material. In turn if I do as well as I think I will, it will also have a positive effect on my GPA at the end of the semester, which is always good.</p>

<p>Finally, as someone stated before me, I also thought it would be a good idea to start at the foundation class for the Calc series since the material could be taught in a different way at UA.</p>

<p>My son has had a few different advisers tell him that he should forget about his AP credit and retake the classes at Alabama, including classes in his majors. He chose to ignore the advice, because he had a gut feeling that he would be fine at the next level. He was right. His high school teachers did an incredible job of preparing him.</p>

<p>Calc II does build on Calc I, but it is possible to still do well in Calc II without retaking Calc I. Calc II maybe easier if you retake Calc I and it might not. There is also the possibility that a student may decide to retake Calc I and not do well in the class. I got a 5 on the AB test and did not take calculus my first semester. I came back second semester and took Calc II and while I had forgotten some of the formulas and techniques, they gradually came back and I ended up getting an A in the class. That said, there were many times when I did not think I was doing well in class since my grades were lower than I was used to. </p>

<p>It is not an easy decision to retake a class for which one got AP credit. I generally recommend taking the AP credits and starting the next class in the sequence unless the student is very confident that they are not ready for more advanced study in that topic.</p>

<p>I really wish there was a definitive answer for this one!
Incoming freshman DS had originally signed up for Honors Calc. 1, having done reasonably well but not outstanding in AP Cal AB. He says it took him a bit to get everything down, but when all was said and done was confident that he knew the material... was expecting a 3 on the AP test.
Got the results of a 5 on the test, read opinions from everyone on here, and signed up for a small(er) section of CalcII (non-honors, since there is none in the fall). The teacher review looks good. Will never know if this is the absolute right decision because how could you know? The scenario of having the teacher from hell and not having a good result in Hon Calc 1 is a real possibility, just as it could be for Calc 2.
Still a week or so to change his mind again but we could keep playing this out every day and still not make the best decision - right?</p>

<p>AL34: Your son has more than a week to decide. Look for the numbers in classes to continue to change, as students drop/add until the end of August. My son just dropped a Spanish class, because he wanted a different professor. He switched from one math class to another -- same reason. Some of his friends will do the same. If he goes to the first class and decides it may not be for him, he can change.</p>

<p>Have to say, checking prof. reviews on rate my professor.com has made this decision somewhat easier. Not like you can ever get the whole picture from that kind of site - but one Calc. teacher seems to be getting much better reviews than the rest as far as those DS has to choose between.</p>

<p>My kids have always said that Cal II does NOT build on Cal I. That's because Cal II deals with series and polar equations and also integration techniques that you don't generally use in Cal I.</p>

<p>Both my boys got 5's on AP Cal AB (which is all their school offers), so they did skip Cal I and both got A+ in Honors Cal II.</p>

<p>AL34 - care to share? which teacher(s) are getting the better reviews? i looked at my DD's and the reviews were pretty good. so i didn't look at any others.</p>

<p>Prof. Shan Zhao looks good, some issues with the accent but it looks like his teaching is solid, very helpful if you ask, and tests are 100% based on the homework = no surprises.</p>

<p>Sons recommend...</p>

<p>Shan Zhao
Jim Gleason
Bruce Trace
David Halpern
Paul Allen
Cecelia Laurie (retired :( )
one son liked Hadji</p>

<p>Cal I, II and III curricula are standardized across colleges and the AP program (though some colleges have four-semester calculus sequences). That said, I would tend to agree with those who say you should always try and lessen the stress of your first semester of college by taking as many courses as possible where you are already very familiar with the material.</p>

<p>The only concern that I would have (this is the teacher in me talking) is that if it's too easy, a student can get bored with a class and lose interest. The result could be a lower grade than desired.</p>

<p>I've heard good things about Trace and Allen, though i've never had them myself. If you can, I would recommend taking honors Calc II. I've actually heard that its easier than the regular Calc II class, and that the teachers who teach it actually seem to care more and usually are the better profs. And like momreads says, there is time to evaluate the class and decide whether or not to switch out. People tend to drop a lot those first few days, so there will be room in classes even if they are full now.</p>

<p>*The only concern that I would have (this is the teacher in me talking) is that if it's too easy, a student can get bored with a class and lose interest. The result could be a lower grade than desired. *</p>

<p>Yes, if the student is strong in Calculus, repeating the class could lead to boredom and the desire to skip classes. That could lead to doing poorly on a test because of some missed concept or something. </p>

<p>My kids have never regretted skipping Cal I. However, I have to say that they had an incredible AP Cal teacher.</p>

<p>DS would have like to take Honors Calc2, but since it's only offered in the Spring, feels there's more of a risk forgetting things being out of Calc. for the semester than picking right up from the AP course. I wish there was an Hon. Calc 2 for Fall - I'm sure there are more than enough candidates for it.</p>

<p>Any feedback about Martin Evans for Calc 2? His class is the best fit for S's schedule.</p>

<p>There's no real problem taking regular Cal II as long as you like the prof. My older son skipped fall calculus and took honors cal II in the spring. My younger son took reg Cal II in the fall, and then took honors Cal III in the spring.</p>

<p>If a student takes regular Calc I in the fall, can he take Honors Calc II in the spring?</p>

<p>Thinking of the scenario, son likes his Calc I teacher in the fall, and that teacher teaches Honors Calc II in the spring, would son be eligible to take his class, or do you have to stay in regular Calc for all three sections, I, II, and III?</p>

<p>And I'm so happy to hear the comments about how strong you were in AP Calc and how good your teacher was as to playing into one's decision to skip Calc I or not.</p>

<p>If you had a teacher who basically taught for the AP test, thus allowing you to get the "passing" AP grade, but you were totally lost during the course, not grasping the concepts of calculus, barely getting a B, even if you got a 5 on the AP test, I really don't think you should skip Calc I.</p>

<p>Of course, there's lots of kids who want to take advantage of the credit, and I applaud them. If they feel they can handle it, go for it. I would recommend, though, holding onto your high school calculus book to review topics you were shaky on when they come up in your advanced calculus classes.</p>