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In summary, @jedishrfu recommends focusing on practicing all of the material in "College Algebra" in order to improve one's skills for AP Calculus. This will help to catch mistakes and retain the concepts more easily.

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Have him show you the ones that tripped him up. Check his steps, check is check and carefully identify where he messes up.

I had to do this with my brother, he'd do the problems then the check would indicate it was wrong so he'd go back and "fix" the problem only to later see it was the check that was wrong. He was very consistent there making mistakes in his check likely due to rushing it. Once he saw the pattern, his math got markedly better.

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I never took Calc in school, just Robert Ghrist’d MOOC, and it always seemed to be the algebra that tripped me up, even though I had no trouble w algebra and pre Calc in HS and college

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"College Algebra And Trigonometry" is called "Pre-Calculus" for a reason. Big problem is in keeping the skills and concepts fresh, and that is the reason for "practice, practice, practice" which @jedishrfu tells to do.

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To the actual question of "Which algebra skills to practice"? ALL OF IT! Students should study and review all of what's in College Algebra, at least. Not exactly remember if all of it was needed for use in Calc 1&2, but most of "College Algebra" was either necessary or useful. Do not try to discount any of it. Attention needs to also be given to Inequalities and Absolute Values.

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I don't recall anything being terribly tricky. Being able to do basic algebra quickly and accurately is most important. Also, being able to connect a function with its graph is a skill many students could improve on.BWV said:Thanks, what are the more tricky algebra techniques that come up the most in AP or undergrad Calc?

I find trig identities are often a weak point for students. A lot of my students seem to have the mindset that they can always just look up an identity when they need one, but from a practical standpoint, that extra step slows them down doing homework and distracts from the point of a problem.

After losing a bunch of points on a midterm for just dumb algebra mistakes, I made an effort to improve my algebra skills. Every time I wrote down a line of math, I'd redo the calculation from scratch. This way I generally caught mistakes right away instead of having to wade through a bunch of work looking for errors.BWV said:I never took Calc in school, just Robert Ghrist’d MOOC, and it always seemed to be the algebra that tripped me up, even though I had no trouble w algebra and pre Calc in HS and college

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What exactly did the part shown inBWV said:

I never took Calc in school,just Robert Ghrist’d MOOC, and it always seemed to be the algebra that tripped me up, even though I had no trouble w algebra and pre Calc in HS and college

ADDING: This was a bad question. BWV plainly said, he is asking for the benefit of his son. Why I did not remember what was clearly written in the fairly short, post #1 I don't know.

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I assume that he's not (but could be wrong). He's asking on behalf of his son.symbolipoint said:Are you an undergraduate student currently?

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Yes , that’s correctMark44 said:I assume that he's not (but could be wrong). He's asking on behalf of his son.

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Right. I forgot what was written in post #1.Mark44 said:I assume that he's not (but could be wrong). He's asking on behalf of his son.

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