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Difficulty of Calc 2

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1
    People seem to think Calc 2 is a very difficult course. Is it that much more difficult than calc 1?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2007 #2
    Hm, I don't think it really is much more difficult, I think the key issue is that you cover many different topics. It isn't as fluid as calc I is. In calc II, you'll cover more integration, Series, parametric and polar equations, and maybe vectors. A lot of stuff that relates to each other in some degree or another, but at the same time, not really.
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3


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    One reason that Calculus 2 might be difficult is that you did not learn everything well enough from Calculus 1; in which case, you can remedy that problem by restudying Calculus 1. If you do this, you could find that Calculus 2 may actually be no more difficult, possibly a little easier than Calculus 1.
  5. Dec 8, 2007 #4


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    do not worry. the hardest course in the world is calc 1. if you survive that you can survive anything. i.e. hardness is a matter of the difference between previous work and current work. the biggest jump is from precalc to calc. maybe later algebraic topology is also a big jump.
  6. Dec 9, 2007 #5
    My old math teacher kept telling her HL sudents that calc 2 is no more difficult than calc 1, its vector calc that you should worry about according to her at least.
  7. Dec 9, 2007 #6

    For me, calc II was much more difficult. However, where I went to school, they wanted the physics majors to get through calc I-III in a year, which meant taking calc II during a 5 week winter session. I'll tell you, it was an awful lot of material for 5 weeks-- and the instructor moved more quickly.

    OTOH, I thought calc III was not nearly as difficult as either of the first two.
  8. Dec 9, 2007 #7
    I agree with PowerIso. It seems harder because you cover a lot different topics. You go from integrating with the power rule and simple substitution in Calc I, to integrating exponential functions, inverse and hyperbolic trig functions, integration by parts, and trig substitution. You do volumes of revolution, improper integrals, and l'hopital's rule. You study series and sums and all the different tests for convergence and divergence, and McLaurin and Taylor polynomials.

    For me, it wasn't that the material was more difficult (it is, slightly, but not much), it was that it seemed like that semester of calculus would never end. Just grit your teeth and work through and you'll be fine. Before you know it, you'll be on to Calc III and ODE, and that's where the fun begins.
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