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A weird situation. Need advice

  1. Apr 20, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone!
    A little background story here. I am 19 in jc. Had many health problems my junior and senior year in high school (4 surgeries) and this caused me to be very lazy with my school work. I basically bs'd my way through algebra 2, had a terrible chemistry teacher, and bs'd my way through physics because i was on home studies half the year. I am seriously regretting spending all the time in the hospital haha. I started junior college in the fall took mostly English and general ed classes, but i did take a astronomy course. This course was amazing the professor was great and i have now found a passion for geology and astronomy. So now i have my heart set on earning my B.S in geology and being a geologist. I am incredibly motivated about this.
    This is where my problems start. Since I am done with my general ed my counselor has set up my schedule to be done with jc by next spring and be ready to transfer into a geology program at either San Jose state or San Francisco state. (3.6 gpa)
    Next fall I will be taking Calc 1 and general physics (calculus). In order to get into the physics class i either had to have already taken calc or be in calc while I take the course. So she cleared me through pre calc and just put me in calc 1.
    Now I need to refresh my math, physics and chemistry skills since i haven't taken any of the courses since my junior year in high school (astronomy did refresh my physics a little). My main worry is calculus though. I was average in math and this makes me nervous.
    I was thinking about buying a pre calc or calc 1 text book and just teaching my self over the summer but i don't really know which to buy. For physics and chem i was going to use the Khanacademy.org site since i do not think i need as much help in those two subjects.
    What do you guys think? Any advice or tips about my situation?

    Sorry for the long post just really need to get this situated haha.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2012 #2
    Hey, calculus isn't that bad if you put the time in to do the work. I'm just finishing up calc B and what really helped me learn some tricks was cramster.com. It is a homework help site that explains how to do the problems step by step and it's a good way to get started on the homework. I recommend finding a good book to learn the calc and then buying a year membership for the site. It should help, it did for me at least.
  4. Apr 20, 2012 #3
    Thank you for the site i am checking it out now.
    Another questions guys. Should i grab a precalc/math analysis book instead or just jump into calc
  5. Apr 20, 2012 #4
    Your algebra and trig skills should be pretty solid before going into calculus. I think between khanacademy, patrickJMT and maybe an exercise book, you have all of your learning needs covered.
  6. Apr 22, 2012 #5


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    How you learn best (video or textbook) is something only you know, but you'll definitely need to work problems to get mastery in the material. I suggest getting the Schaum's outline book in calc (and whatever other subjects you need to master), and use it to gage your proficiency. Read or watch a chapter/topic, then work the problems in Schaum's without looking at the solutions. If you can work them all, move to the next chapter, if not then you'll know you need to work harder to master the material.
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