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Good Pre-Calculus book?

  1. Jul 30, 2011 #1
    Hi everyone.
    I am a bit bored, so i wanted to renew my knowledge of pre-calculus. I am currently in high school so starting in September we will be doing calculus. So can you recommedn me some good pre-calulus book and also what do you think about "Precalculus a Concise Guide"?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2011 #2
    I like Stewart's precalc text, and IMO Swokowski and Larson are also good. I'm not familiar with the one you mentioned, but you might look on Amazon and see if it's reviewed there.
  4. Jul 30, 2011 #3


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    Axler's Precalculus or Axler's Algebra and Trigonometry
  5. Jul 31, 2011 #4
    I am a fan of Axler's Linear Algebra book and wondered what these two more elementary books were like. Have you read them?
  6. Jul 31, 2011 #5


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    I'm just about finished with chapter 1 of the alg/trig book. I can compare it only to a book of the same title written years ago by Rees & Sparks which I worked most of the way through. Axler's book requires a lot more thought than the other one! The odd-numbered exercises are solved by the author, which provides continuity with the text material. After the exercises there are problems, some of which are the 'show that' type; some of these are quite interesting (read challenging for yours truly), none of which have solutions, which is fine with me. At the end of the chapter there are review questions, also with no solutions. The book is about 750 pages, which is quite a bit smaller than some of the other mainstream offerings, especially given the full solutions to the odd exercises. The precalc book is about 600 pages and I did a cross-reference of the tables of contents as best I could and I would say that everything in the precalc book is in the alg/trig book. The alg/trig book seems to have more exercises per each section and it also has a bit more trigonometry and about 60 pages on systems of equations, most of which is not in the other book. Matrices and matrix algebra are there, but I don't see anything on determinants.

    The exercises in chapter 1 introduce the Greek letter epsilon in a problem with absolute values, inequalities, sets, and intervals; seems like precalculus to me!
  7. Aug 1, 2011 #6
    Thanks for the quick review.
    Interesting. I would have thought there would be a bit more in the precalc book. I am sure it is mostly a marketing move to have 2 separate books, though...
  8. Aug 1, 2011 #7
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  9. Dec 1, 2011 #8
    bumping this cuz I am looking for a rigourous precalculus book as well. I'm taking calculus next semester and my math is weak! I want to master pre-calculus concepts and also get familiar with proofs. I have over a month break coming up where I can devote ~8 hours per day to studying so hopefully I can make some serious progress before jumping into calc

    Axler sounds really good but I am wondering if I should get precalculus or algebra and trigonometry?

    Edit: How is this guy's advice?

    that sounds like what I'm looking for but there is no algebra book there...
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  10. Dec 2, 2011 #9
    ^bumping this. Pls help i have asked this question everywhere!
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