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Other Help, did I make the right choice?

  1. Mar 2, 2017 #1
    Did I make the right choice? I dropped my Physics course which was equivalent to PHY211 at Penn State. I dropped it because I had never taken a physics course in high school. I did a poor choice when scheduling my class for spring 2017. My college currently teaches General Physics 1 (algebra based physics) or Engineering physics (calc based physics). My goal was to take General Physics for one semester and then take Engineering physics so I can get a feel of what physics is about. I didn't take that path so I immediately scheduled and took Engineering physics. When Spring semester began The first chapter was okay, but then chapter 2,3 and 4 started to get hard. I didn't find it hard but I was struggling with the concept. The math was okay but when I tried doing the homework I couldn't get it so I fell behind.

    I'm planning on auditing Calculus 2 and General Physics 1 over the summer. I'm auditing calculus 2 because I heard is the hardest out of the calculus sequence. I know the advantage for me doing this will be really beneficial. With Physics, my goal is to just sit in and take notes while trying to complete the homework and seek help. I don't know where I will end up going to transfer. Although, It will be the happiest day in my life if I got accepted to Penn State and attend in Fall 2017.

    So the question: Did I make the right choice to drop physics?

    Note: I go to a community college.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2017 #2

    symbolipoint

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    You made the "right" choice but the better choice would have been to enroll in the courses that you are properly qualified for and not into those which you are unqualified for.

    You will/would waste time auditing those listed courses. Study Calculus 1 and 2, properly, and be sure you understand the material well enough for using-as-a-tool purposes. Maybe cost you two semesters to get these two Calculuses done. Once that finished, you are ready for the Engineering-Physics 1 course. The Calculus-based one.

    Worrying about how hard you expect Calc 1 &2, and the Physics 1 (for Engineers & Sci) is not useful. Study well instead and maybe you will benefit enough, as long as you study regularly and thoroughly.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2017 #3

    Student100

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    No. Dropping things when they get hard won't get you far in life. If you want to major in engineering or physics you need to the calculus based series, you aren't going to gain anything but wasted time by taking algebra based mechanics first. Your classes will probably get exponentially harder once you're actually attending Penn State.

    If you want to audit the courses, go for it. I would instead audit the engineering based course. Calculus 2 isn't as hard as people make it out to be. All you cover are more integration techniques and series. That's really it.
     
  5. Mar 3, 2017 #4
    I forgot to add, I'm doing well with calculus 1 right now. I recently got a D last semester and my progression is something I haven't imagine doing. I'm learning and doing more extra problems. Professor said that I getting better and better each day. So hopefully I will get a B in the class. So technically, auditing calculus 2 in the summer will be good for me. Although, will see how everything goes.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2017 #5

    symbolipoint

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    Good idea. Good to know you are on your way toward reaching Calculus 2. Enroll in it in the autumn, AFTER you finish Calc 1 (successfully) and the audit of Calc 2.

    Understand, the summer session will be too short for most students to actually learn Calculus 2, but trying to learn it during the audit may prepare you for the autumn semester, when you will have NORMAL amount of semester time to study and learn while enrolled.
     
  7. Mar 3, 2017 #6
    A lot of folks focus too much on the importance of Calculus and earlier Physics courses. My experience is that most students who drop or fail Calc based physics courses struggle most because of weak algebra skills.

    Pay $20 for a month of ALEKS Pre-Calculus. If you cannot complete 90% of the ALEKS Pre-Calculus Pie in a month of effort 1 hour per day, you do not have the algebra and trig skills for college physics. Getting a D in your first try at Calc 1 suggests significant room for improvement in your Pre-Calc skills. Keep paying $20 a month for ALEKS until you are competent in algebra and trig.
     
  8. Mar 14, 2017 #7
    Update! Got my test back and got a 89 and the test was on derivatives! Last semester I got a 46 on my second test which was on derivatives.
    Since calculus 1 only have four chapters to cover, each chapter we get a test.
     
  9. Mar 14, 2017 #8

    Sorry, but pre-calc is not going to help. Pre-calc doesn't teach you the fundamentals of what calculus is all about.
     
  10. Mar 14, 2017 #9

    symbolipoint

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    But Dr. Courtney reminds us of the importance of Pre-Calculus skills and knowledge in that Physics 1 and Calculus 1 depend on good Algebra skills and some important basic Trigonometry, so the Pre-Calc stuff can help to build-up those areas. See his quote in the previous post.
     
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