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High School Math Career Guidence

  1. Jul 31, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for helping me in this dangerous conquest :eek:

    First, let me tell you a little backround on my Math skills. I was brought up in your "average" Math school, and up until 8th grade, I took all regular classes. Basically, in my old, tiny, rural school, one had no "advanced" math topics. Not even a teacher for each subject. However, I moved into a better city and it thankfully had a school that offered Algebra 1 in 8th grade. I took it, but I failed at it. After analyzing why and reading some course books, I narrowed it down to the fact that the pre requisite was to take 8th grade Math in 6th and 7th years, in "accelerated" courses, in order to take Algebra. I never took the pre-req, so naturally I dropped out. Now I sit here in the summer before high-school and regret my mistake.

    I plan on becoming a doctor, but have an inherent interest in math and would like to hear any theories/suggestions on getting into more advanced courses in order to compensate for my mistake.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2010 #2


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    I'm guessing you'll have to take it again in ninth grade, correct?

    Well the good news is, it will be easier. If you can try to isolate the gaps in your understanding, you could learn that material before school starts (you still have time).

    But I advise you to stay on top of things. When a subject comes up that you don't quite understand, go talk to the teacher for extra help. Now that you've experienced failing a class, you know that once it starts getting hard, it just gets harder after that if you don't learn it.

    I think sometimes students get into a rough spot in a math class, and they think "I just have to get through this tough stuff, then maybe we'll get into easier material." But in math it doesn't usually work that way, since you're always building on the stuff you learned last week.

    So acquaint yourself with your teacher's office hours, or the tutor center (if your school has one). Good luck!
  4. Jul 31, 2010 #3
    Thank you for your very prompt response! However, I seem to have forgotten about a crucial detail; I didn't actually fail it; I dropped out and took advanced math (that had basic algebra 1) instead. I ended up with an A+ in that class so I am reasonably good at math. Yes you guessed correctly that I will take algebra 1 in freshman year. Nontheless, I am hoping to gain some advice on future plans to advance further in high school math. Such as; whether math courses ( like geometry or algebra 2) in the summer are good, whether taking calculus in high school is good, whether dual courses are overload or not etc. Thanks for your help forgive English I am not too good in it :/

    Thanks for your excellence,

  5. Aug 1, 2010 #4
    It looks good on a college application, but in my opinion, if you end up going into physics or mathematics you should retake it at the university level (AP calculus isn't exactly rigorous). Don't think of it as wasted time. Think of it as giving you time to adjust to university life. Good luck!
  6. Aug 1, 2010 #5
    Calculus in high school is not necessary, but it will lay down some nice fundamentals for university level calculus. In addition, if you enjoy math you could find it very enjoyable class.
  7. Aug 1, 2010 #6
    You're in 8th grade man! You're honestly going to change your career and lifestyle ALOT at t hat age. DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT THOSE THINGS. Man i remember when i was your age, i wanted to be a video game designer or a chef. Then in 10th grade, i wanted to be an actor. Then in 11th grade, i wanted to be a stone mason. I actually tried out the stone mason thing. Didn't like it so i went back to school and took math courses and physics courses. I liked math more so now i'm trying to get into a math program. Any math program~! I don't care where because alot of people say it doesn't matter where you go for your undergrad.
  8. Aug 1, 2010 #7
    I wanted to be an aerospace engineer in 6th grade. I'm in college now, majoring in aerospace engineering. The closest I might deviate from that is to go into nuclear engineering, but I'd most likely end up designing power sources for space vehicles.

    The point: Just because you had career ADHD doesn't mean we all did.
  9. Aug 1, 2010 #8
    Thanks again for making this thread living longer! I have a nasty habit of planning way ahead and my career choice is doctor. No other choice is allowable (my indian parents force me in this filed, similar to uncle who is currently neurologist.) I have profound interest in computers and support of technical problems.

    Thanks a many for cleaing up the calculus issue. I may just take it; however the issue is how do I get there. I could take algebra 2 and geometry in sopho year or take a course at summer. I would also love to listen to experience of you guys going to high school cause dad is saying that it is very tough.

    My teacher old remind me that being proficient in algebra and geometry (and trig too) is critical to calculus as most mistakes lie in basic maths error.
  10. Aug 1, 2010 #9
    Whoa whoa whoa. You mean you have absolutely no say in the matter? That's messed up.
  11. Aug 1, 2010 #10
    Lol haha I know. I originally aspired to work as integrate chip engineer but parents are repeating same trial with uncle Saab. I just may overthrow dictator and take engineering; but unlikely it will be. Can you elaboration on genetic engeneering? Since it's in health I can choose it. Or anything similar.

    Thanks again for your logical response!'s
  12. Aug 1, 2010 #11
    Dude, it's not only me. Take a survey and ask everybody what they wanted to be in the 6th grade. THEN ASK THE SAME PEOPLE WHAT THEY ARE NOW AND WHAT THEY WANT TO BE! We all go through changes. You were just more focused and ahead of us i guess. You're just the rare kind.

    It's your life man. I didn't give a crap when my mom said i should do this or that. I have chinese parents so they were pretty dam authoritative. So i just said "eff you" one day and i did my own thing. I don't give a dam because i just do my own thing. My parents realized this and they couldn't do anything about it. Your parents can only do so much in your life. But hwen you wake up and realize you're YOU and your own self. Nobody can take that away. So MAN UP AND DO IT.
  13. Aug 1, 2010 #12
    :( I tried to get into comp sci. But my parents called it a "dead' field. There not going down without fight. What did you say to severing ties to parents wills?
  14. Aug 1, 2010 #13
    comp sci is definitely not a dead field. There are many people I see at my university who suffer from similar family pressure, and it is just wrong. People should never be forced into an area of study or career choice. Ultimately it is your education and your career. Of course I realize it isn't as easy as just telling your parents and that's that. I have friends who would be completely disowned if they chose against medicine. But you will have to develop independence.
  15. Aug 1, 2010 #14
    Seriously? Canadians? Is that mindset still alive there? I figured such pressure would mostly come from people in developing countries, where poverty is a more wide-spread concern.
  16. Aug 1, 2010 #15
    I have Indian parents as well.
    Where do you and your parents live? I'm guessing in USA?
  17. Aug 1, 2010 #16
    Most of them are from the middle-east or international students. They aren't first generation canadians, and their parents are incredibly strict and controlling. It's not something i see in everyday life here, but in sciences at any large university where you run into lots of international students and "pre-meds", you see it all the time.
  18. Aug 1, 2010 #17
    yes i am live in US and A. please help convincing parents to let me choose my self career!
  19. Aug 1, 2010 #18
    Perhaps looking up some data on employability, salaries, and overall costs of schooling for both tracks (medical doctor and computer engineer) might be helpful in convincing them. The electronics in chip-design might be useful in other industries as well, for example the communications/cell-phone industry. I can see people wanting more and more on their phone in smaller and smaller packages...

    Now obviously math is important to that track as well as the medical route... so take the advice offered earlier on study habits, including taking advantage of office hours and tutoring possibilities.
  20. Aug 1, 2010 #19
    You could always show your parents this:
    http://www.physics.unc.edu/academics/ugrad/mcat2009.pdf [Broken]

    Like I said, you have plenty of time before you're going to college so you should focus your energy on doing as well as possible in high school. Your ticket to "freedom" is doing well in high school so you can get into a good college with scholarship money so your parents can no longer force you to do what they want.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  21. Aug 2, 2010 #20
    Ah, yeah, that's more the picture I had in my head, though I know it's kind of stereotyping.
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