Preparing for Calculus 1

Gibson_C

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Feb 28, 2020
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Hello everyone! This upcoming spring I will be taking Calculus 1 since it is a prerequisite for my general physics classes and I wanted to prepare for it during the summertime. I was thinking about going on Khan Academy and slowly going through their calc 1 course, anyone else have any suggestions? (I should also note I am a pretty average math student. If I am prepared I will succeed, if I am not then it could be rough.
 

dvanbeur

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Jul 26, 2019
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Is there a particular reason you are not taking algebra-/trig-based physics instead? I'm pretty confident no DPT programs require calc-based physics as a prerequisite. Algebra-/trig-based physics was made for pre-med students and you may already have the prereq courses to take it.
 
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May 26, 2019
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hello everyone! This upcoming spring I will be taking Calculus 1 since it is a prerequisite for my general physics classes and I wanted to prepare for it during the summertime. I was thinking about going on Khan Academy and slowly going through their calc 1 course, anyone else have any suggestions? (I should also note I am a pretty average math student. If I am prepared I will succeed, if I am not then it could be rough.
The best advice I have for you is to skip all the theory and reading and studying, and go right to the problems. You only read and listen to things in order to work a specific problem. This is the way the brain learns the best- period. There's no better way to study, especially in math and physics. As you go, write down the formulas you're using (if there are any), and why you're using them. Write out how you solved the problem and why you solved it that way, if you can, and then mark it if you really struggled so you know to go back and work more problems like it.

That said, dvanbeur is correct that most programs don't require Cal-based physics. Some of them give it preference, but most don't care and an A in algebra-based physics looks better than a C in cal-based. But, in my case, I chose to do cal-based because I wanted to really challenge myself and prove I could do hard things. I loved it, but it wasn't easy and required a LOT of work. My teacher wasn't great, and that made it a lot harder. I go to an Engineering school, though, so that may make a difference in how hard physics is there.

In sum, it's up to you, but no matter what you choose focus on doing problems. Lots of them. That's your ticket to success. The book chapters are means to the end of doing problems, so keep that in mind when studying. Good luck!
 
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ya1

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Hello everyone! This upcoming spring I will be taking Calculus 1 since it is a prerequisite for my general physics classes and I wanted to prepare for it during the summertime. I was thinking about going on Khan Academy and slowly going through their calc 1 course, anyone else have any suggestions? (I should also note I am a pretty average math student. If I am prepared I will succeed, if I am not then it could be rough.
I got a calculus book in a public library and studied off it. No cost and worked just fine.
 

kdubz7w7

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Jun 28, 2017
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Hello everyone! This upcoming spring I will be taking Calculus 1 since it is a prerequisite for my general physics classes and I wanted to prepare for it during the summertime. I was thinking about going on Khan Academy and slowly going through their calc 1 course, anyone else have any suggestions? (I should also note I am a pretty average math student. If I am prepared I will succeed, if I am not then it could be rough.
When I took calc, I didn't prepare for it, but I did get a free tutor through my college very early on - it took me maybe two weeks to realize I was in over my head. That tutor made ALL the difference - I ended with an A. I was also taking calc-based physics the same semester, it was a really fun ride....not. I also had a separate tutor for physics and they were an amazing help, I got a B+ in the physics course. Whatever you do to prepare, I highly recommend a tutor during the course if you find you want things to go in slow motion. Of course, you can always go to the prof's office hours (which I also did sometimes) but I found having an hour per week with a tutor to go though things in slow motion was perfect for me. My prof had a heavy accent and was a mathematical genius (to me, anyway) so generally I just understood the tutor better. If lecture was a bloodbath, I stayed calm because I knew my tutor would help me make sense of it all.

(Why did I torture myself like this? I had transferred in with an AS and my course sequencing was at odds with my new college and calc was required for my BS anyway, so it overall made more sense for me to take physics that particular semester, when algebra-based was not offered. I ended up doing a master's in exercise science with a focus on biomechanics and was extremely glad I had gone the calc physics route........but it is totally not necessary for DPT).
 
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Gibson_C

New Member
Feb 28, 2020
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Is there a particular reason you are not taking algebra-/trig-based physics instead? I'm pretty confident no DPT programs require calc-based physics as a prerequisite. Algebra-/trig-based physics was made for pre-med students and you may already have the prereq courses to take it.
I am not sure why it is a prerequisite at my college but General Physics 1 requires Calculus 1 or higher, therefore, I will need to take Calc 1 before going into the general physics courses lol
 
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Gibson_C

New Member
Feb 28, 2020
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2
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  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
The best advice I have for you is to skip all the theory and reading and studying, and go right to the problems. You only read and listen to things in order to work a specific problem. This is the way the brain learns the best- period. There's no better way to study, especially in math and physics. As you go, write down the formulas you're using (if there are any), and why you're using them. Write out how you solved the problem and why you solved it that way, if you can, and then mark it if you really struggled so you know to go back and work more problems like it.

That said, dvanbeur is correct that most programs don't require Cal-based physics. Some of them give it preference, but most don't care and an A in algebra-based physics looks better than a C in cal-based. But, in my case, I chose to do cal-based because I wanted to really challenge myself and prove I could do hard things. I loved it, but it wasn't easy and required a LOT of work. My teacher wasn't great, and that made it a lot harder. I go to an Engineering school, though, so that may make a difference in how hard physics is there.

In sum, it's up to you, but no matter what you choose focus on doing problems. Lots of them. That's your ticket to success. The book chapters are means to the end of doing problems, so keep that in mind when studying. Good luck!
Thank you! I will definitely keep that stuff in mind!
 

Gibson_C

New Member
Feb 28, 2020
4
2
1
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
When I took calc, I didn't prepare for it, but I did get a free tutor through my college very early on - it took me maybe two weeks to realize I was in over my head. That tutor made ALL the difference - I ended with an A. I was also taking calc-based physics the same semester, it was a really fun ride....not. I also had a separate tutor for physics and they were an amazing help, I got a B+ in the physics course. Whatever you do to prepare, I highly recommend a tutor during the course if you find you want things to go in slow motion. Of course, you can always go to the prof's office hours (which I also did sometimes) but I found having an hour per week with a tutor to go though things in slow motion was perfect for me. My prof had a heavy accent and was a mathematical genius (to me, anyway) so generally I just understood the tutor better. If lecture was a bloodbath, I stayed calm because I knew my tutor would help me make sense of it all.

(Why did I torture myself like this? I had transferred in with an AS and my course sequencing was at odds with my new college and calc was required for my BS anyway, so it overall made more sense for me to take physics that particular semester, when algebra-based was not offered. I ended up doing a master's in exercise science with a focus on biomechanics and was extremely glad I had gone the calc physics route........but it is totally not necessary for DPT).
I have heard good things about tutors in the past. I do find it interesting that calculus-based general physics courses at a college are uncommon since I've been brainwashed this past year thinking it was pretty standard (at least at mine that is how they run it). I will keep this stuff in mind next year when I am formatting my schedule, assuming I am still at the same college.
 
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