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My high school career, theres a bit of a problem .

  1. Jun 16, 2009 #1
    My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    Well, I am learning a bunch of math outside of school, but I don't really fall into the category of a person that likes math. I look like a skater kid. I'm sure you're going to say something like "looks don't matter" or whatever, but people never ever expect me to be smart. He I am for reference, http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr304/schlynn/4284_1062113880523_1456244339_30179.jpg" [Broken]. But the math I took as a sophomore was extremely boring to me, it was geometry, and since I can do math that is far beyond simple sin cos and tan, I wasn't motivated to do it at all, and as a result, I failed the second semester. Then when I was a Junior, this was the school year that just ended, I'm going to be a senior now, my counselor was like "retake the whole year instead of the 1 semester that you need, it's a good idea". She did this instead of me taking Algebra 2 and then just redoing the second semester of geometry. So now I am a year behind in math at school, I'm only going to be in Algebra 2 as a senior. But I absolutely love math, I want to major in math when I get to college. But I think that my chances of getting into college wanting to major in math with only Algebra 2 will look so bad its not even funny. Do they offer pre-cal in college? I'm 100% sure that I can just jump into calculus, but my grades are a poor picture of my intellect. What would you guys suggest? Majoring in math is a dream of mine, I don't want it to be ruined. I have taken Project Lead the Way courses every year though, and I am taking another one this year, I took, IED, POE, and aerospace engineering, and I'm going to take digital electronics, and I'm going to be the lead electronics head this year for my schools robotics team, team 1646. What I'm simply asking is, what should I do to get into a college to major in math even though I will only have taken Algebra 2 in High School? I live 10 minutes away from Ivy Tech, I also live 10 minutes away from Purdue University, I live in Lafayette IN, do you think that I have a good chance of getting into ether of these to major in math?
     
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  3. Jun 16, 2009 #2

    symbolipoint

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    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    Repeat the whole year of Geometry because you are out of shape for Geometry. If you only finish Algebra 2 in high school, at least you learned something useful. You could just continue on to Trigonometry in college. Yes, Pre-Calculus is offered in both community colleges and universities. Be sure at least to study college preparatory Mathematics courses every year in high school.

    Your progress so far does NOT exclude you from studying Mathematics as your major field; it sets you back a step or two, but you will still have time to work hard and increase your skill and knowledge.
     
  4. Jun 16, 2009 #3

    symbolipoint

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    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    Excuse me, I misread your original post a little. So you want to have Algebra 2 in your senior year, but you still have low credit in Geometry. What did you study in Mathematics in your junior year? You should study a Math course every year of high school if you intend to earn a degree in Mathematics or any physical science or Engineering. Why wait until your senior year to take both Geometry and Algebra 2?

    I still believe that your progress up to now does NOT exclude your studying Mathematics as your major field. Just focus more. Never skip a semester of studying a Math course. Geometry is boring for some people, but the course is good for your mathematical learning.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  5. Jun 16, 2009 #4
    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    No no no, I must have not stated my situation clearly. Here is what happened,

    Freshmen year: Algebra 1
    Sophomore year: Geometry, i failed the second semester
    Junior year: retook geometry (because of my counselor)
    Senior year: Going to take algebra 2.
     
  6. Jun 16, 2009 #5

    symbolipoint

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    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    schlynn, this was the sense that I was finding from your description:
    As long as you had Three good years of college prep. mathematics, you may be prepared for a university. One concern is you might lose some skill between high school graduation and start at a university; but that could happen whether you did 3 good math years or 4 good math years in high school.

    Too bad you now could not just continue on in high school, not repeating the Geometry, but instead used your junior year for Algebra 2. You might have been able to do "Math Analysis" or Trigonometry in your senior year. At this point, you cannot afford to do poorly in Algebra 2. Just put in extra daily effort; NEVER FALL BEHIND in Algebra 2 during your last year.
     
  7. Jun 16, 2009 #6
    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    Unfortunately I don't know much about Purdue admissions or how strict they are. But I don't recall Purdue being one of the truly selective schools (at least for undergraduate work), so I'd say you have a chance. If they have entrance essays, you could try explaining your passion for math.

    Almost all schools will offer pre-calculus material, including trigonometry and probably an algebra class for calculus-bound students who lack the necessary background in algebra.

    Of course, entering college with only algebra II is going to put you behind a lot of the other entering freshmen math majors, many of whom will be starting with calculus and a few of whom will be starting with calculus II or higher. But you definitely should not let that discourage you. It's still absolutely within your means to get a math degree without having to take unreasonable course loads at all.

    One possibility would be taking a math course the summer after your senior year at a community college near you (or if you apply to and are accepted to Purdue, for example, you could go there that summer instead of the fall semester and take a summer math class possibly). Beyond algebra II you really should only need one more class before calculus; it'll probably either be called pre-calculus or simply trigonometry.

    At my university, they have a lot of flexibility for people who want to take calculus. If your ACT math score is 26 or higher (it doesn't say anything about the SAT interestingly), it appears they'll let you in regardless of your high school math classes. Otherwise they want either trigonometry or pre-calculus (both offered at the university).
     
  8. Jun 16, 2009 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    Two things you can do:

    1) Get your grades up. If you're as smart as you say you are, you should have no trouble pulling down straight A's from here on it.

    2) Take responsibility (i.e. stop making excuses). I can assure you that the reason you flunked geometry was not how you look.
     
  9. Jun 16, 2009 #8
    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    Well, at least I can still major in math. But my math skills are really good, do you think that I will be able to take pre-cal and calculus at the same time in college? I'll talk to Ivy Tech about the summer classes though, I didn't think of that. Thanks for all the help though guys.
     
  10. Jun 16, 2009 #9
    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    If you think that you can jump right into calculus then why do you need algebra 2? Why not take pre-calc or calculus?
     
  11. Jun 16, 2009 #10

    Moonbear

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    Re: My high school career, theres a bit of a problem.....

    First, you need to decide, are you someone that doesn't fall in the category of liking math, or someone who loves math? I really can't tell from what you've written here.

    Yes, you can get into college with math only up through Algebra II in high school. If you plan to be a math major, though, you may need an extra year to complete the degree if you can't jump straight into the calculus sequence in freshman year. And, given your history with math courses, I think it's best if you start out with a remedial math course (i.e., pre-calculus or trig) before trying to take calculus. I will also suggest that while you're taking that course, you should also take a variety of other elective courses and make sure that math really is the subject you most enjoy, since your description here makes me question that.
     
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