Should I skip Calculus 1 in college?

It is the summer before my first semester of University and I am have the choice of taking Calculus 1 or Calculus 2. I received a 5 on my calculus AB test but one teacher and a few students discussed how it could be detrimental to skip introductory courses. I asked my college advisor and said I could sign up for Calculus 2 “if [I] would like”. Do you think I should take Calculus 2 or take Calculus 1 to ensure a strong foundation?

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See if the math department has old calc 1 finals. If you could ace the final, take calc 2.


My D did what Ski recommended - took a couple of calc 1 finals to make sure she knew the material and then started in Calc II. Common place at her university.


My son did the same and started in Calc III.

Get old tests and syllabi. Take them…timed. You don’t have to ace them. You just have to understand solidly what they’re asking. Brush up on Kahn if you’re a little rusty. Repeat if it seems to complex or foreign to you.

There are big advantages to being ahead IF you are ready.


I decided to retake Calc 1 many moons ago and I’m glad I did. I had a much better understanding of the material after the second time. But as the others said, if you’ve really mastered the material, that’s great!


I also did retake of Calc 1 many moons ago. In fact, I was so convinced that I needed better understanding that I did not take the AP Exam. It worked out for me. But I really do see the wisdom of finding the campus exams (easier these days, with internet etc) to help guide the decision.


Are you pre-med?
How confident were you in Calculus?
What would you take instead?
Do you get bored easily?

College curriculums for Engineering always start with Calc 1 so you are not “behind” if you take Calc1.

Now if you get bored easily, will you take Calc1 seriously? Or blow it off and possibly not get a good grade? For pre-med more A’s are better if you can do well.

What else would you take? Would you start off in Calc 2? Just make sure if you have issues you get tutoring/go to professor office hours/form a study group.


I have a senior at a top 10 university majoring in mechanical engineering. He retook calc I his freshman year even though he scored a 5 on the AP exam. At his school, the math department is very theoretical… not his strength. So, he feels it was not a good decision to retake the class… he made a B+. We have his brother starting to look at colleges now and the older brother’s recommendation is to place out of as many math/science courses possible. He did not see a benefit in repeating… did not make Calc II any easier.

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