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Calculus II, what should I watch out for?

  1. Jan 2, 2010 #1
    Hi, I'm taking Calculus II in the Spring and I'm wondering what you guys did to succeed in that class. I know it's different for each school, but in general, I've heard calc 2 was integration hell. Anyways, here are some topics that was listed in the Fall Calc 2 final review, what should I look out for?

    L'Hopitals Rule
    Partial Fractions
    Powers of trig functions
    trig substitutions
    improper integrals

    infinite sequences convergence/divergence
    limit of convergent sequence
    geometric series
    teloscopic series
    harmonic series
    alternation series
    power series
    taylor series
    series and tests

    parametric and polar equations
    converting between cartesian and parametric equations
    derivatives of parametric and polar equations
    area using polar coordinates
    surface area from revolution and polar curves

    dot products
    cross products
    equation of a plane
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2010 #2
    There's a whole thread about this only 8 topics down, with a nearly identical title, and it goes into all of this pretty well.
  4. Jan 2, 2010 #3
    alternation series
    power series
    taylor series
    series and tests
  5. Jan 2, 2010 #4
    The yhing I found most difficult in Calculus II was convergence/divergence of infinite series. Everything else was actually quite interesting.
  6. Jan 2, 2010 #5
    wait, what about series makes it the hardest?
  7. Jan 3, 2010 #6
    The integration gets way more fun and you learn a whole lotta new tools to solve problems. You should be fine overall, but most people in my class struggled with the concept of series. Series is a bit abstract, especially establishing convergence/divergence of infinite series; also, Taylor/MacLaurin's may be a bit weird to comprehend. Once you enter into infinite series ground, you won't see the regular calculus but you will work a bit with limits. A lot of students claim calc 2 to be a beast but it was an overall easy class.

    About series...well, you have to comprehend/memorize about 8 different "tests".
  8. Jan 3, 2010 #7
    It is a totally different concept from what you have been studying so far. It get more important as you go to more advance calculus like ODE and PDE. Get good at it. I made a mistake thinking that is not so important and just get by. I ended up have to re-study the series just a few months ago.....even I got the first in the ODE class before!!!! You might want to start reading it ahead of time. My experience is after you go through the material, you'll understand it and get A's, BUT you might not "get it"!!! Took me the third time around to get it, to become natural to you. AND A's do not imply at all you "get it"!!!!

    Method of integration are in line with and is a logical progression of the course, it is not hard. Polar coordinate is a little different by it's ok. Only the series, not only it is different, it is not easy and you better be good at it if you want to study higher math.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
  9. Jan 4, 2010 #8
    I've actually just finished calc II recently and I can give some honest advice...

    1. Approach Calc II with as much interest as you possibly can muster. By this, I mean take an interest in what you're learning and how it can be applied. This helped me not only get through the course, but made me totally love it. By the end of the semester, I had not only had a good understanding of Calculus, but I had read some books about it's origin (which is quite interesting in itself) and it's applications.

    2. Read the book. Simple right? Maybe not. A lot of my peers refused to read the book and received failing grades because of it.

    3. Practice. Another seemingly simple concept, but again, a lot of my peers struggled through the whole course because they simply weren't practicing enough problems. I did literally about 3 hours of calculus a day. I may have done a little more than most because I really loved it, but you should be practicing at least every day.

    4. Try an work through some of the "applications or real world problems" in the back of the book or chapters. They're hard, no doubt, but they really helped me get kind of a grasp on the subject.

    Have fun, and study and you'll be fine. Good luck.
  10. Jan 4, 2010 #9
    One thing I found with calculus II which differed from calculus I was that the route in which to take to obtain the desired answer was not always obvious.

    Often I found myself having to poke at the problem a few times before finding a logical route to the answer. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) In calculus I, I was able to determine how to handle the situation almost immeadiately.

    Just my two cents.
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