Preparing for Calculus-Based Physics

  • Thread starter Amrator
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In summary, the individual is a freshman in college taking a summer calculus 1 course for the second time. They are planning on majoring in physics and need to take a calculus-based physics course in the fall. However, they did not take physics in high school and are unsure how to prepare for the course during the summer. Despite watching Khan Academy videos and taking an online physics course, they feel unprepared and own the Feynman Lectures but have not started reading them. They are advised to study calculus 1 during a regular semester and focus on strengthening their algebra skills. The individual is currently comfortable with the content of calculus 1 but needs to work on problem-solving skills and be prepared for the higher level of calculus-based physics.
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Amrator
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So I'm a starting freshman in college now, and I'm currently taking a summer calculus 1 course. This is my second time taking calculus 1. The reason for this is I did not feel AP Calculus AB was a good enough introduction to calculus even though I did very well. I'm going to be taking Physics for Scientists and Engineers 1 (calculus-based physics) in the fall since I want to major in physics; calculus 1 is a prerequisite. The problem is I never took physics in high school. I've watched Khan Academy videos and I took a mediocre, self-paced online physics course that used trigonometry and algebra; however, I never took a formal high school physics course. How can I prepare for the fall calculus-based physics course during the summer? I own the first volume of the Feynman Lectures but I never started reading it because I felt I wasn't ready.

Thank you.
 
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Amrator said:
So I'm a starting freshman in college now, and I'm currently taking a summer calculus 1 course. This is my second time taking calculus 1. The reason for this is I did not feel AP Calculus AB was a good enough introduction to calculus even though I did very well. I'm going to be taking Physics for Scientists and Engineers 1 (calculus-based physics) in the fall since I want to major in physics; calculus 1 is a prerequisite. The problem is I never took physics in high school. I've watched Khan Academy videos and I took a mediocre, self-paced online physics course that used trigonometry and algebra; however, I never took a formal high school physics course. How can I prepare for the fall calculus-based physics course during the summer? I own the first volume of the Feynman Lectures but I never started reading it because I felt I wasn't ready.

Thank you.
The only way to prepare any better than you currently are, is to study your Calculus 1 during a regular lengthed semester. Trying to do so during the summer session is too short a time to learn it well unless you are exceptionally strong in the content.
 
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Eh, I took physics in high school but didn't learn anything. I couldn't have answered any physics problems after taking that class.

You should be fine if you're comfortable with the calculus I material and you work plenty of example problems and study hard. Of course, the most important thing for both courses is to be strong with your algebra.
 
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I am quite comfortable with calculus so far. I already understand derivatives and integrals fairly well and I know how to solve problems involving them. At the calculus 1 level of course.
 

Related to Preparing for Calculus-Based Physics

1. What math skills do I need to have before starting Calculus-Based Physics?

The most important math skills to have before starting Calculus-Based Physics are algebra, trigonometry, and basic calculus. You should be comfortable with solving equations, understanding graphs, and working with trigonometric functions. It is also helpful to have a solid foundation in geometry and basic calculus concepts such as derivatives and integrals.

2. How can I improve my problem-solving skills in Calculus-Based Physics?

The best way to improve your problem-solving skills in Calculus-Based Physics is to practice regularly. Start by understanding the fundamental concepts and principles, then work through a variety of practice problems. It is also helpful to work in study groups or seek help from your instructor or a tutor when needed.

3. Do I need to have a strong physics background to succeed in Calculus-Based Physics?

Having a strong physics background is certainly helpful, but it is not necessary to succeed in Calculus-Based Physics. The course is designed to teach you the necessary physics concepts and principles, and having a strong foundation in math is more important. As long as you are willing to work hard and seek help when needed, you can succeed in this course.

4. How should I prepare for exams in Calculus-Based Physics?

Preparing for exams in Calculus-Based Physics involves reviewing your notes, practice problems, and previous assignments. It is also helpful to attend review sessions and ask your instructor or classmates for clarification on any concepts you are struggling with. Additionally, make sure to get enough rest and eat a healthy meal before the exam to help you stay focused.

5. Is it necessary to have a strong understanding of calculus before taking Calculus-Based Physics?

While having a strong understanding of calculus will definitely make the course easier, it is not necessary to have a complete understanding of calculus before taking Calculus-Based Physics. The course will cover all necessary calculus concepts as they relate to physics, so as long as you have a basic understanding, you should be able to succeed in the course.

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