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Best way to prepare for Calculus 1?

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by Skyrising, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Skyrising

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    I've taken HS Algebra and College Algebra (basically the same thing though) before but I've since then forgotten basically all of it. I learned for the exams, not for retention because I never intended on taking another math course again. Now here I sit, dreaming of becoming a dentist and now face Calculus 1/2 and Physics 1/2 in the near future. Based on research, it would appear that my success or failure in Calculus 1 will depend heavily on my mastery of Algebra and Trigonometry.

    I have one semester before I transfer to a 4 year university to take Calculus 1 so that's how much time I have to prepare. I was just wondering what's the best way for me to master Algebra and Trigonometry on my own in one semester.

    - Is Khan Academy's Algebra 1/2 and Trigonometry sufficient preparation for Calculus 1?
    - Are there any other online resources you'd recommend?
    - And just out of curiosity, what was your experience like in trying to ace Calculus 1. Did you have a good foundation in Algebra/Trigonometry before going into it? How did you do? What factors do you think played into your success or failure?

    I'm going to study my butt off, I'm definitely willing to put in the man hours and hard work, but I'm worried that Calculus will be one of those courses where hours of studying won't do much if you just don't have the solid foundations in math that took years to build.

    Sorry for the wall of text, thanks for any replies!
     
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  3. Typical Average Student

    Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

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    Calculus is easier than pre cal if you've taken it. Calculus is like its own type of math that you have never encountered before. I never took cal in high school and didn't take a math class since my junior year of high school leading up to calculus and never took trig. So I didnt know what to expect, you really dont need to be restudying everything, if you had a solid foundation of algebra and know some trig and your unit circle, you should be fine. Calculus isnt even a dental school prereq (yet) so don't stress out too much about it.
     
    Pearl E. White likes this.
  4. predent_mathlete

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    I agree, you probably don't need to prepare. However, once the course starts don't get left behind.

    Aannddd get stoked for calc 2, that's the class that made me switch to a math major :love:
     
  5. O Gaúcho

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    Why are you planning to take calc 1/2? I am assuming that the physics offered at your university calculus based?
     
  6. MRZ8

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    I was a math nerd in algebra but sucked at calc. Calculus I can be fun, but it was difficult to learn the language. If you're not feeling confident, you will be after reading any high school calc book or learning from youtube videos (aka Khan academy).
     
  7. Pearl E. White

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    I completely agree with Typical Average Student. Know your algebra. You will use it to simplify complicated functions. Know trig functions and unit circle. If you have a good professor they will explain anything you don't understand anyway. I was a little rusty on the algebra, but my professor always made time to help me. Got an A in the course and will be taking Calc II in the fall. I found the course to be very straightforward. Nothing too tricky. You'll do great!
     
    pulltheleverkronk likes this.
  8. Skyrising

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    I'm planning on doing a Biology major which requires calculus 1/2. I don't think the physics will be calculus based which is good, but I was never strong in math to begin with. I got D's in my high school algebra 1/2 and pre-calculus classes (although I was a lazy bum at the time, did not study or do homework). My freshman year at community college, I got a B in college algebra with a little bit of studying but again did not do much homework because the teacher did not check them. I didn't care at the time because I had planned on being a criminal justice major and that would have been my last math course. Now I don't remember any of the algebra I took in that class.
     

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