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Precalculus syllabus

  1. Aug 25, 2005 #1
    Hey... I am self-studying Precalc and will be giving my placement exam so as to skip precalc. I would appreciate it if anyone could tell me if the following topics were taught and if they come on the exam so that I could study these topics accordingly:

    1) Polar Coordinates
    2) Parametric equations
    3) Sequences, series, Induction, Binomial theorm
    4) Systems of Equations and Inequalities
    5) Probability ( permutations, combinations,etc )
    6) Product-to-sum, sum-to-product and Half Angle Formulas in trig.
    7) Conics ( Parabolas, Hyperbolas, Ellipses )
    8) Polar Equations of Conics
    9) Vectors ( Dot product, Cross Product, etc )

    Thanks much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 25, 2005 #2


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    I can't say what will be on your exam but that certainly looks like the kind of thing that would be tested for on a "precalculus" test. You might want to include "limits", particularly limits of arithmetic and geometric sequences and series. (Be sure you know the diference betwee a "sequence" and a "series!).
  4. Aug 25, 2005 #3
    Dont have limits of series in my textbook. Only have regular limits. A guy who took the precalculus exam ( in another school ) told me that it was high unlikely that they would ask me Series, Sequences , Parametric Equations & Polar Coordinates for the Precalculus exam. My tutor also seemed to think the same although I dont see why they wouldnt give me questions from these chapters. She says that the sequences, series,etc falls into a seperate course called Discrete Algebra and hence, chances are that they would not ask that in Precalculus exam...
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2005
  5. Aug 25, 2005 #4
    Btw, the abovementioned topics are topics that I have heard which may not be given importance and might not come on the exam.
  6. Aug 25, 2005 #5
    If you plan on continuing in math learning calculus and maybe even further, it can't hurt to learn each of these topics even if there's some uncertain if they will be necessary. More work with sequences and series will be done in calculus. Polar coordinates and parametric equations really aren't that hard (the conversion equations are simple), and will be used extensively in more advanced classes in math and science (I forgot if they're in single variable calculus). It seemed like nearly every problem in my intro mechanics course used polar coordinates.
  7. Aug 25, 2005 #6
    Problem is that I'm short on time ..... I have looked over all these chapters but I havent practiced it thoroughly coz I figured i'd rather spend time on chapters which I know are definately gonna come ( trig ,etc ) ....

    I really dont understand Parametric Equations and the point of it. I tried reading the textbook chapter quite a few times but I still dont get it.
  8. Aug 26, 2005 #7
    My precalc also introduced product and chain rules. All of your items you have listed seems to be just like my precalc class. (long time ago.)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2005
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