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Schools Beginning Math at University

  1. Jun 28, 2011 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I am beginning my freshman year at UC Davis in the fall. I am a double major in Evolutionary Biology and Chinese. I really struggled with math in high school (C- in both precalc/trig and AP stats). However, I am required to take 3 quarters of Calculus (More specifically, Math 17A, 17B, and 17C. http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/ucdwebcatalog/programs/MAT/MATcourses.html [Broken])

    I am planning to take precalculus in the fall quarter, and then begin calculus in the winter. What can I do to prepare myself over the summer? As of right now, I am taking Math D (Intermediate Algebra) at my local Community College. Do I need to know Trig for precalculus and calculus? (Sorry if that is a dumb question, I just really do not know that much about math.)

    Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2011 #2
    I took precalc in high school and it was basically a harder algebra, where they also introduced the basic ideas of calculus. As far as my experience in calculus 1, you were expected to know basic trig (sine, cosine...) and maybe a couple other things, but not much. If a trig identity was needed to solve a problem it was often given or could be looked up. So to answer your question, to prepare just keep working on algebra its a good foundation. Maybe study up on some basic trig though...
  4. Jun 29, 2011 #3
    The only trig identity I've ever been expected to know in the calculus classes I've taken is x2+y2=1 (and those that can be derived from it). All others have been given to me.

    I would suggest you follow online calculus classes to get a rough idea of what the main concepts are about. You don't necessarily need to master them, but being get pre-acquainted will help out later. It will also give you a good idea of what is going to be expected of you. MIT's OCW Calculus is free and covers both calc I and II.
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