Pre-Calculus

<p>A friend of mine is graduating early from high school, and the highest level of math he's taken is Algebra 2. It's probably gonna be hard for him to jump straight to calculus from Algebra 2, so he was thinking of maybe taking precalculus at a community college then starting calculus at his 4 year university.</p>

<p>Is this advisable? Would med schools consider this a weak point in a student's math skills if he/she has to take precalculus? And will it matter whether he takes it at a CC or a 4 year university?</p>

<p>Good question...</p>

<p>Hopefully, those who really know will answer, but my gut tells me that it's ok to take precal at a CC (and maybe even over the summer) and then take Cal at his 4 year.</p>

<p>I don't think it hurts med school admission that he didn't take pre-cal in high school. I'm not even sure that the med schools would know that. I know kids who took pre-cal in high school, but when they took the math placement at college, their score indicated that they needed to take it again before going to Cal. So, they took it at both high school and college. </p>

<p>And, as long as you end up doing well in all of those college math courses (pre-cal and cal), I don't think med schools will care that you "needed" to start with pre-cal. That could just suggest that your high school math program wasn't that great...but you can do well when given the opportunity.</p>

<p>Besides....I don't think this student can just jump into Cal. Don't colleges require some kind of placement testing or some kind of indication that a student is ready to take Cal?</p>

<p>Yeah, he's going to take a placement test, but I think you don't necessarily have to follow the guidance of that test at the school he's going to, so it is ultimately up to him. I think I'll recommend he take a pre-calc class at a CC over the summer before starting in the fall. Thanks!</p>

<p>Actually, you could stop at Algebra II and you would know all the math you would need for medical school. I took three years of Calculus in college and never needed in medical school, residency or practice. When I applied to medical schools in the 1990's I can not recall any medical schools requiring any college math courses, now it seems a lot are requiring Calculus. Unless the material learned in medical school has become much more quantitative in the ten years since I received my MD, it is hard to understand why they require applicants to take something they will never use. It may be a means of making medical school admissions even more competitive and create another screen to further raise the cognitive ability of students admitted to medical school.</p>

<p>^^^One of D1's math professor answered a pre med's question --in class!-- about why future doctors needed to take calculus. His answer: to keep stupid people like you out of med school. </p>

<p>Although harsh, I do think there's a measure of truth to it. Calc is another screening tool.</p>

<p>Yeah I keep hearing calculus is pointless as well, but it's still a pre-req, so you have to do as well as you can on it :/</p>