Wanting to go to Pharmacy school math isnt so great

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by SuziLe, Apr 6, 2012.

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  1. SuziLe


    Apr 5, 2012
    I'm currently a junior.
    When I took geometry and algebra 2, it was really hard for me.
    I think it was because I never got enough time to soak in the material we learned, because it was so fast, we learned a new lesson everyday.

    I have a year from now until i get out of high school.
    What can I think to improve my math skills?
    Summer is starting soon, so I'll have a lot of time to study.
    any books, or anything I can get?
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  3. Pojman

    Pojman Level 99 Alchemist

    Mar 16, 2011
    I used Schaum's outline to self study. That helped a lot. It is much more standard, and to the point, than other books such as the "Dummie" books.
  4. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2009
    Geometry is a different beast from any other class you've taken at that point in your school career. People who normally pull Cs in math can pull As & visa versa (I watched it happen).

    What do you mean by "not that great" in math, if you don't mind me asking?

    One of the biggest tricks with making the transition between high school & college is being able to effectively self-study. In many college courses, the professor will lead the study & introduce the concept, but you will ultimately need to study on your own (beyond any assigned or suggested study questions) to get the depth of understanding required to do well in the course. (Don't worry, it's not as bad as it might sound, you'll get it when you get there.) The skill most people, including myself, constantly struggle to develop is studying in an efficient and effective way.

    College classes will also have a quick pace. Try reading ahead to the next section the night before your class. This means the teacher should never blindside you with completely foreign information. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about concepts you still don't quite get rather than not even knowing what questions you have until the next lesson & having to play catch up. I found it particularly important to use this tactic in math (especially my recent Elements of Statistics class!) because the concepts build on each other from one day to the next. It's cliche, but I really found that the effort I put into preparing for class dictated what I got out of it.

    The most common pharmacy school math requirements are statistics & one semester of calculus. Some schools require 2 semesters of calculus. I'm not sure what the high school prereqs are for a 0-6 program are. I would suggest trying to take algebra 3/4 in high school so you're ready to enter college at least at the precalc or trigonometry level - it makes it a lot easier.

    As for over the summer ideas... identify stuff you're weak on and work those concepts specifically. There are lots of great youtube videos & free websites to help you. If you run out of stuff, try going on yahoo answers & answering questions in the math section. :D

    Fun fact: I never officially passed the 4th grade because I never finished math... :eek:
  5. kcwang

    kcwang 2+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2010
    There is only one way to improve math: do more math. Go back to your textbook, do all of the homework problems again, ask your math teachers to explain the one you have troubles with.

    I have tutored around 40 highschool students on math years ago, and this include students who have never gotten a letter grade higher than B in math. All of the students report back with significant improvement after I gave them hundreds of math practice problems. It is all practice, practice, practice..

    Like xtsukiyox mentioned, Geometry is different. If you suck at Geometry, it doesnt mean you are bad at Math.
  6. Pojman

    Pojman Level 99 Alchemist

    Mar 16, 2011
    I thought that this was worth mentioning.. Being adept at math helps tremendously during your pre-requisite classes. I am in my final pre-req semester right now, and looking back - I have found that because I am sharp at math, I was able to arrive at a correct answer often just based off of my understanding of math.

    When I started college, I was not able to even add fractions. I got A's all the way through to calc II, and I used that math foundation to really take my performance to the next level in the rest of my classes. Be prepared to encounter copious amounts of math in your undergraduate studies. General chemistry and physics have their foundation solely in mathematics. Even some biology, you will need a little bit of math. I remember doing a lot of math in General Chemistry lab also..

    Good luck!
  7. Zekecb

    Zekecb 5+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    Tucson, AZ
    Whatever you do, do not go your senior year of high school without math. My high school only required two or three years of math, so naturally that's what I did. It was a mistake. If you're able to take kcwang's advice, to have the discipline to sit down in your free time and do math problems for a class in which you aren't even enrolled, then you will have no problem in college.
  8. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2009
    It doesn't have to be as onerous as borrowing a dusty precalc book from the library. There are tons of math games on the interwebz these days. I used them recently to get my speed up for the math section on the PCAT. :cool:
  9. pharmerbird

    pharmerbird 2+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2011

    I agree with this statement. When I started at a community college I was placed in remedial math courses because I was so awful. I made an effort to do ALL of the math problems (not just even) and actually read the sections and UNDERSTAND the concepts behind the mechanics. Math is like learning anything else in life. You can't decide you want to be a marathon runner one day and run a marathon. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!
  10. Pearlnecklace

    Pearlnecklace Banned

    Apr 10, 2012
    sAME here and i made my way back up.
  11. Twentytwelve2

    Twentytwelve2 5+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    This coming from a senior biochemistry major- drop everything you learned about geometry. That class disgusted me, BUT you MUST do well in algebra! I cannot stress this enough. Algebra will be the backbone of your future in Applied Calc for the sciences and enzyme kinetics and in pharmacy school you will deal with kinetics!

    Honestly, what was hard about algebra 2? Solving for X and Y is about all you need to know. Calc deals mainly with derivatives and integrals so its not really algebra, but I feel if you cannot grasp algebra, you will not understand calculus.
  12. Pojman

    Pojman Level 99 Alchemist

    Mar 16, 2011
    Weird... I have heard from everyone I know in pharmacy school that calculus is not important in pharmacy school. Can someone else confirm/deny this?
  13. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

    Calculus - no
    Algebra - yes
  14. xtsukiyox

    xtsukiyox Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    May 19, 2009
    What was hard about algebra 2? Just speculation: it was the first class the OP had to do homework in every day to keep up, not just as busy work. It can be a rough transition - you have to learn entirely new study skills. Not everyone makes the change as a freshman.

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