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Any advice on taking Calculus III when Calculus II was hard?

  • Thread starter keithb2011
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  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I barely passed Calculus II, I got 50 in the whole course after finals and I had 56 before finals. The class avg was around a high D but I can't remember exactly now but that's besides the point. Calculus II at my college was integral calculus with some application of integrals(volume, surface area). I need Calculus III, and I don't really want to retake Calculus II. I'm ready to put more work into my courses now so is there any advice on what I should do? I thought I should review the entire Calculus II course on my own but that may be impossible? I don't know I need some sound advice any takers?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I personally thought Calc III was much, much easier than Calc II. I've heard that from a lot of people too, depending on what your school is like, it's pretty much extending Calc I into multiple variables with a couple other things included.
 
  • #3
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I agree with mg0stisha. In my experience, Calc3 was much more conceptual. My professor was more concerned with, "do you know what kind of integral to use here, and how you would set it up?" than the "here is a crazy integral: solve it" that you see a lot in Calc2.
 
  • #4
Sounds like good news. Thanks.
 
  • #5
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It's a bad idea to build a house on a shaky foundation. You need to have it down cold. This may not mean retaking it, but it probably means that you need to put about as much work in as if you did retake it.
 
  • #6
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Calc 3 was very much different than Calc 2, but it's still lots of work! Just be prepared to put the effort forth and you should do fine.

p.s. I don't think it was quite as easy as some say here!
 
  • #7
It's a bad idea to build a house on a shaky foundation. You need to have it down cold. This may not mean retaking it, but it probably means that you need to put about as much work in as if you did retake it.
That's exactly what I was thinking too.
 
  • #8
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Calculus III tends to be multivariable calculus, which involves multiple integrals. While many professors I know tend to give simpler integrals in Calculus III than in its precursor, some require students to use all of the techniques of integration from Calculus II in solving multiple integrals. Unless you have an urgent need for Calculus III, it might benefit you a lot to retake Calculus II. Alternatively, you could consider taking them concurrently, but that might get messy.

The good news is, while I found Calculus III a good bit more difficult than Calculus II, the two are rather different, so difficulty with one might not necessary imply difficulty with the other.
 
  • #9
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If you are weak in Calculus II, then study it again. Not enough time now to restudy it on your own before the spring term begins. Best is to retake the whole Calculus II course.

Some people said Calculus III was easier, and some said it was harder. Take no risks. Enroll in the courses separately, not in the same semester. Finish Calculus II well, before beginning Calculus III.
 

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