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I know more calculus than precalc (entering univ. in the fall)

  1. May 20, 2010 #1
    Here's the deal...I had a really bad precalc teacher in high school. She had a baby a week into the course and we had a generic watch-movies, do crossword puzzles sub for the rest of the year. The class made me unmotivated for math, so I didn't try to learn anything on my own.

    This year in ap calculus, I had a good teacher, but a slow class. We only spent about 2 weeks on integrals. I plan to self-study Calculus this summer. I don't know much trig other than what I've had to use in calculus.

    So far it's been okay just picking up on the trig that I need to know as I'm learning in Calculus. Is it fine to continue like this, or should I spend a week or two reviewing solely trig?

    I'm also going to self-study physics some this summer because I've never taken a class (scheduling issues...) I was given a textbook for scientists and engineers. :)

    I'm going to school for engineering (chemical, most likely). I really enjoy calculus. I got a 710 on the Math IIC sat subject test a few weeks ago. I am most positive that I got all of the alegbra questions right and only missed trig. I also expect to get a 4 on the AB calc test, to give you some idea of comparison to others.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2010 #2


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    I'm in the same boat, and I haven't had any trouble yet. I just finished learning real analysis and some group theory this semester. If I need some pre-calc stuff I just go back to the book and figure out what I'm missing.
  4. May 21, 2010 #3
    You'll definitely want to get to know your trig functions inside and out (however you decide to do this is up to you, do it the way in which you'll learn best). The only other thing that screwed me up because of my absence of pre-calc knowledge was conic sections (we briefly covered these again in Calc II), but if you know your trig well you should be just fine for beginning calculus.
  5. May 21, 2010 #4
    the main things would be your units circle and all of the trigometric identities which you probably have been exposed to. I would try to have the basics memorized though. You'll find it useful later on.
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