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Retaking a course for a better grasp on the material

  1. Dec 25, 2014 #1
    I looked somewhat extensively through the threads to see if this question has been asked before, so if it has, I offer my sincerest apologies.

    I'm a second year community college student and only recently decided for certain that I will be majoring in a mathematical subject (Physics or Econ). My first semester I took Pre-Calculus Algebra and it is the only math course I have taken.* At the time I wasn't planning on taking any more math so I didn't take the course seriously, but managed to squeak a B- (shows up as simply 'B' on my transcript). I'm taking Pre-Calculus Trig this semester and will take Cal 1 over the summer.

    My question is this: Will retaking Pre-Cal Algebra alongside Pre-Cal Trig (my school allows this) next semester look terrible on my grad school application? I don't want grad schools to think i'm retaking the course to inflate my GPA -- I am not at all worried about that. I just feel that retaking the course and actually paying attention will benefit me greatly for the maths I will be taking in the future. I don't want to get to Cal 1 and struggle just because I didn't pay attention in Pre-Cal Algebra.

    I suppose Christmas isn't best day to choose my first post on here, but oh well. Merry Christmas to anyone who reads this tomorrow!

    *I realize this puts me way behind on the math courses I need for either or those subjects, but I will take summer courses which should at least partially make up for that.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF and Merry Christmas?

    I don't think taking the course again will reflect badly on your record. The key point are the courses and the grades. Are you auditng the course or actually taking it again? In either case, I don't think it matters.

    Do well, study hard and get a solid math background for Calculus and beyond that's the key to doing well in physics.
  4. Dec 26, 2014 #3
    Is there a chance you can self study by reading a textbook and going over your notes? My recommendation for a pre cal text would be,"Precalculus A Problem Solving Approach, "by David Cohen. The explanations are extremely clear (except his explanation about induction/not really needed until higher math anyways). His explanation of partial fractions was amazingly clear, and I did not have to read that section in my calculus book, because I remembered understanding a year ago from this book.

    The book has harder problems than most typical pre-calculus books. Could be had for under 5 dollars.

    Or are you not great at self learning?
  5. Dec 26, 2014 #4
    jedishrfu -- Presently I am signed up to take the course again, but I may end up auditing it. Thanks for the reply!

    MidgetDwarf -- I have spent these holidays going over a lot of the concepts from my textbook a few semesters back, but I feel the overall benefit of retaking (or auditing) the course again will be substantial. I appreciate the textbook suggestion, though. I will definitely look into it.
  6. Dec 26, 2014 #5
    That is a wide decision. Remember that math and sciences are difficult but not impossible to learn. There is going to be times the material goes over your head, and you may feel like giving up. Remember to work hard and eventually you will understand.
  7. Dec 26, 2014 #6
    Do you live in los angeles by any chance?
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