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Preparing for calc

  1. Mar 12, 2010 #1
    I was able to graduate from high school early, so now im at a community college, and i need to take calc I for an economics major. I don't want to have to take two classes(trig and precalc) in order to take calc I. So ive decided that ill teach myself both of those subjects so that i can get a higher score on the placement test(as well as actually understanding the math itself) and thus avoid having to spend two semesters in pre-req classes.

    my algebra is alright i probably need to brush up though,never took and trig. I checked out the Trig for dummies book from the library and ive found it to be well written and im considering purchasing it on amazon along with the workbook as well as the algebra II book for dummies and workbook by the same author. However, i thought id see what you guys at this forum have to say about which book i should use.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2010 #2
    Any book would do really. At a high school level most books would be sufficient.

    But just make sure you know what you're doing. I see a lot of people who tell themselves they know the material but in reality don't.

    You can pass a test not mastering the material but it will come back to hurt you when you take calculus if you don't have the proper foundations.

    That's just something you want to watch out for^^
  4. Mar 14, 2010 #3
    I agree maybe brush up on algebra yourself, but i think you should formally take Pre-calc in a classroom setting. If you are strong in Algebra you can take Pre-Calc in one semester oppose to two.

    Good Luck,
  5. Mar 14, 2010 #4
    Precalculus traditionally covers both algebra and trigonometry, usually in a single semester class. I like Trigonometry by Gelfand, but as stated above almost any precalc or trig book will suffice. However, reading the material and knowing the material are very different matters; it's one thing to read a book and do well enough on a placement exam to exempt out of a precalculus class. If you don't really know your trig it will come back to haunt you in a big way. If not in Calc I when looking at derivatives of trig and inverse trig functions then certainly in Calc II (assuming you have to take Calc II?) when you're covering trig integrals and substitutions. I'm not very familiar with econ major requirements, but I agree with the sentiment that it may not be the best idea to try to skip a class with content you haven't seen before.

    Best of luck.
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