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Math for CS Major --HELP!

heartofzephyrheartofzephyr Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
So I am an incoming freshman for Fall 2012 and I am planning to major in Computer Science.

I took Honors Trig/Pre-Calc in my junior year and AP Stat senior year. (I know I should have taken Calculus because it would have been beneficial for my major, but I only decided on CS near the end of my senior year)

Anyway, I have to take my math placement test, and I am not very good at the Trig section (I did practice problems, and I barely remember anything). I was hoping to get placed in Math 140 because that is necessary for a CS major, but I don't think I will. Will I fall behind if I get placed in something lower? Do most freshman CS majors get placed into Math 140?

And if I were to get into Math 140, is it going to be very hard to pull a good grade, considering I've never taken Calc before?

Post edited by heartofzephyr on

Replies to: Math for CS Major --HELP!

  • umdhopefulumdhopeful Registered User Posts: 30 New Member
    To heartofzephyr,

    This may or may not help you but the whole the placement test was sort of easy. Like you, I took AP Calculus AB in junior year and AP Statistics in my senior year. I did not take the test seriously but during orientation they say it will affect your entire schedule. I took the placement test at midnight two days before the orientation (I do not recommend this). I barely remembered any calculus but ended up getting a perfect score on three parts of the exam (missed one question in the calculus section). Trust me you will get into Math 140. Also do you have AP calculus credit like a 4 or a 5? That was my backup option if I did not get the correct score. They disregard the math placement entirely if you send your AP calculus score (Has to be a four or a five). Before even checking my results, they already placed me into Math 141. There were a lot of angry people who did not take the test seriously and ended up missing the cut off for Math 140.

    I did not read the last part, so you did not take AP Calculus, sorry for the confusion. I hope that it doesn’t put you at a disadvantage against others. That means that the third and the fourth part of the test may be difficult for you but it is definitely doable. I believe that the test does not focus on calculus but what you need to do is focus on the pie chart (cosine, sine, tangent, cotangent and those functions) When will you be taking the test? If you have questions about what is on the exam or what to study, I will try my best to help. You seem like a hard worker and Math 140 (I hear from students) there are people that get it (like really fast or hardworking) and people that study their hearts out and still fail. You will be at a disadvantage to kids that got a 5 on the AP exam. That means studying longer but if you enjoy math you will start to pick it up about a month into the class. It is a steep learning curve but just keep practicing and you will do fine. Sorry for the long post but I want people to do well on the test.

    (I am a math major either double majoring in computer science or biology want)
  • ameliab12ameliab12 Registered User Posts: 310 Member
    I also don't think you'll have any trouble getting into Math140. The easier courses are really just for people whose high school math requirements didn't adequately teach them what they should have for graduation requirements. Calculus I is one of those subjects that can be scary and not make sense at first becaus it's completely new, but if you keep trying it will start to click eventually (it's a great feeling, IMO, when you realize that you can actually do calculus). You'll be in a class mostly comprised of people who haven't taken Calc either, so finding a group of people to study with so you can get through it together is probably a good idea.

    I'm a math major planning on adding a double in CS, so hopefully our paths will cross!
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