My school won't let me take Pre-Calc over the summer...

Hi, so right now I am a freshman. Right now I am taking Algebra II/Trig AC (not regents, because my school is a relatively prestigous independent day school). The first two quarters I have gotten an A in the class. What I wanted to do was to take pre-calc. But, my teachers say that pre-calc is “too hard” to do over the summer. The main reason that I want to do pre-calc, is so that I can take ap calc ab sophmore year, ap calc BC junior year, and senior year I would take multivariabe calc first semester, and differential equations second semester. Somewhere along the lines I would also take ap stat. Furthermore, since I would be in ap calc ab next year I could take ap physics c next year as well. So what should I do? Any advice is helpful.

You could always take BC sophomore year, unless AB is a pre-req for it at your school. If this is what you truly want to do, then talk to your parents about it some more and see if they’re willing to go up to school and fight the decision.


Where would you take it?

What is wrong with stopping at Calc BC in high school?

I feel this… trust me… Since you’re at a school where teachers will get to know you and are tuned in on your success, they might be right. I think we have the same mindsets :p. I would do it over the summer… I don’t know where but I bet you could figure that out. A local college maybe?

2 options there: learn the material, get straight a’s in the fall course, and ask to be tested out, or do it for credit anyways and hope they accept it… and if they don’t at least you have the knowledge!! Best of luck and keep me updated on what happens! :wink:

Lol at ^^^^ no comment and why are you in such a rush anyway?

@Anish14 why?

I am in the exact track u are in right now with AP Calc AB as a junior, and there are also a couple of kids in my grade who are on year ahead of me. Tbh, being ahead literally does nothing for you. Looking at college acceptances from my school in the last couple of years, students who were in the most advanced math course didn’t necessarily go to a better college. While some kids did get into HYPMS schools, these students were also getting A+s in every other classes and had some amazing ECs. In terms of college admissions, there is no benefit, even if other students in your school are ahead of you.

2/3 students admitted to Harvard had Calculus AB or BC. A fair number only went up to precalculus.
Unless you’re a math prodigy ready to compete in USAMO, stick to the schedule outlined by your teachers.
Although it’s possible to rush through a summer algebra or geometry class, precalculus is so important that it can’t really be taken over the summer and give you a strong enough background to succeed in calculus (unless you’re a math prodigy.)

@UIButton Why I lol’d or why I question your rush? Well, as mentioned above, even top colleges accept students who took AB or BC. I would take speech or health over the summer, not Pre-Calculus. The classroom learning is the best environment you’ll get for math; take it as a whole year course. You might have scored a 35 on the ACT math for all I know, so don’t take this comment as criticism :slight_smile:

There’s an eighth grader I knnow at my district who takes AP Calculus AB lol so I guess that contradicts everything I said

I second this. Health, which some schools offer as a one semester class, can be crammed over the summer to free up room in your schedule. Pre-Calc on the other hand? Cramming this course over summer isn’t a good idea.

Also, why do you have to go AB -> BC? There are a decent number of people who get sent right to BC. It’s not necessary to take both.

Just a note, it is necessary to take both at some schools. In some schools, BC is two semesters of calc, in other schools BC is only second semester. Going to BC without AB at schools like mine is equivalent to skipping any other course (such as algebra 1 to precalc, algebra 2 to calculus, etc).

How much trig is involved in your current class? Precalc is usually a lot of trig, so the trig might be 95% review or it could be pretty difficult.

Do you want to teach yourself or would you take a summer course?

OP, what’s the standard sequence in your school? If they offer those classes, some kids must be taking them… what’s the sequence of courses they take to get into those courses?

There’s some intense pressure on this site (not necessarily this thread in particular, but in general) to crank out as many upper level math courses as possible. As a math teacher, I’m far, FAR more concerned with understanding the material in each course.

If the professionals in your school don’t want you taking it over the summer, perhaps that’s because kids who have attempted to do so in the past didn’t know enough math to go on to the next course?? Remember, the more kids they have who do well, the better it is for them. So you doing well is in their best interests. Yet they don’t want you to do this over the summer. Consider the possibility that they know what they’re doing.

lol this is why people hate college confidential…look, just stick on the path your school wants, as you are still ahead, and take some other math classes such as stats to fill your math interest.