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How is math education in the US structured ? Pre algebra , calc etc

  1. Jun 15, 2014 #1
    I wanting to do some papers at university, however I have long been out of high school and never really don math or science at high school.

    As an adult I am now keen to pursue some math papers and was wondering what kind of background I need. I have looked through various web pages and they refer to thing like pre-calc, AB calc, Algebra 1 and 2 etc. I am not in the US but believe these may give me good guidelines as to what I need to know to be able to handle math at university. I don't want to major , just want do some calc, stats, analysis and linear algebra stuff.

    I was wondering in what sequence do things like pre algebra , pre calc, Algebra 1 and etc go ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2014 #2
    I am sorry, are you looking to publish papers on mathematics? I am a bit confused as to what you are asking. For University you can take a placement test to see where you lie in your mathematics ability. You may have to start in an intermediate algebra type class (algebra 1 and 2) and then take courses in trigonometry and precalculus (where I started) before you go on the typical calculus sequence ( single and multivariable) then other courses such as linear algebra and differential equations. All the math courses I have mentioned appear to be essential to any math or physics program you attend. There are typically lower division and then you will have a multitude more classes in the upper division.
  4. Jun 16, 2014 #3


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    That is the kind of sequencing to be expected.
    Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calc&Analytic Geom1, Calc&analytic Geom 2, Calc&Analytic Geom3 (which is "Intermediate" or "Multivariable" Calculus), and some people do an additional introductory combination course of linear algebra and differential equations.
  5. Jun 16, 2014 #4


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    Start with these videos, they are pretty good to get you ready for algebra. See how you go with that for now, and please be honest if you find something there difficult. But if you get through it, you will be ready for some serious algebra.

    Here are some more videos about arithmetic in case you need them.
  6. Jun 16, 2014 #5
    I was trying to establish form high school up to the pint where you are about to start university, in what order are the maths classes taught.

    where I live they are just taught as level 1, 2 and 3. But I left school long before these were introduced so have idea what they refer to.
  7. Jun 16, 2014 #6
    Well most Universities would start their freshman on either calculus 1,2,3 depending if they came in with AP Calculus credit or not. Before Calculus you should have algebra 1 and 2 done as well as trig and a pre calculus class.
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