Should I be conserved about skipping pre-cal?

  • Thread starter schlynn
  • Start date
In summary, the conversation was about a person who tested out of pre-calculus and is now concerned about whether they should have taken the course or not. Their friend is taking calculus now and says that trigonometry is not important in calculus. However, the expert summarizer advises that understanding trigonometry is crucial for success in calculus and suggests learning the values of sine and cosine at certain angles. They also reassure the person that they will do well in calculus since they have already worked through most of a trigonometry book. Other participants in the conversation also stress the importance of trigonometry and suggest learning Euler's formula.
  • #1
schlynn
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Ok, I tested out of pre-cal into calculus and calculus with analytic geometry. Should I be concerned about stuff I might miss out on in pre-cal? I know everything in pre-cal that I would have learned, except the trig stuff. My friend is taking calculus now and he said that you don't really need any of the trig stuff that you hammered into your head in calculus.
 
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  • #2
You should be most concerned about English class.
 
  • #3
ROFL. I tried to spell concerned, but I can't spell very well, and just clicked the first word that the auto corrector offered me, and didn't ever bother to check it. My bad, but really, should I be concerned?
 
  • #4
schlynn said:
My friend is taking calculus now and he said that you don't really need any of the trig stuff that you hammered into your head in calculus.

:bugeye:

Then he hasn't gone very far with it. Learn the trig - you'll need it.
And make sure you have a thorough understanding of functions.
 
  • #5
Like I said, I learned everything except the trig stuff, but when I say trig stuff I mean that I don't have the values of certain sin and cos memorized or that I don't have the identity's memorized. I have a trig book, I worked 3/4 of the way through it, it was surprisingly easy. I think that I'll be good.
 
  • #6
As long as you know what the trig functions are and some of their properties (like what their graphs look like), you should be good. Don't worry about memorizing tons of trig identities. Most calculus books will have the most important identities listed on the front cover anyway so you can always refer to them quickly when needed.

I would recommend learning the values of sine and cosine at 30, 45, 60, 90...and so on because knowing these values will help you later on.

Overall, the fact that you worked through most of your trig book already and tested out of pre-calc means you will probably do just fine calculus. I wouldn't worry at all.
 
  • #7
Sweet, that's what I wanted to hear. And yeah, the trip book I have went way into detail about the graphs of all the trig functions. Even ones like inverse hyperbolic cotangent. I'll memorize the values of sine and cosine at 30, 45, 60, 90 and so on, like you suggested though, that shouldn't be very hard I think.
 
  • #8
You'll be fine. I also never took pre-calc before i took calculus 1 last semester at my university and I passed with a pretty solid A. Like others have said, the most important thing is a thorough knowledge of trig functions; I wish I had known them a little better.
 
  • #9
mg0stisha said:
You'll be fine. I also never took pre-calc before i took calculus 1 last semester at my university and I passed with a pretty solid A. Like others have said, the most important thing is a thorough knowledge of trig functions; I wish I had known them a little better.

So true.

I haven't taken trig in a while and I would always get stuck whenever a calculus problem came that invovlved that stuff. I think trig functions and log functions are very important. However those aren't too hard to learn on your own. In fact, I re-learned them as I was going along in calculus. Which I was successful in the class, but they are still a HUGE weak point for me.
 
  • #10
Yep. Just take a few days to learn the trig and you will do fine.

No problems.
 
  • #11
The testing is there for a reason. I'm sure you'll be fine.
I never took pre-calc, so I don't know exactly what they cover in it, but I'd imagine that doing well enough to "test out of it" means the people that make the curriculum feel that you will be fine without it.

I have to disagree with your friend's assessment of trig's importance. Every new level of math I take seems to make the trigonometric fundamentals more and more important.
 
  • #12
Is it possible that your friend is taking business calculus (or calculus for social science... however you call it at your institution) instead of standard calculus? Because the former never talks about trigonometry (at least at my institution) whereas the latter talks tons about it.
 
  • #13
Well, he's taking calculus in high school. And apparently they skip a bunch of stuff. Like they never did quadratic approximations, only linear, and things like that. So that could explain why, and he fail calculus horribly, so maybe he just missed it.
 
  • #14
Euler's formula. Just make it a habit, using this identity, and you'll never have any troubles with trigonometry.
 
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  • #15
Your friend might have not seen trig in calculus yet because they may have not gotten to the relevant parts of the subject yet. I know my high school calculus class barely mentioned trig in the first semester, but we used it a *lot* in the second semester. (I remember because I didn't take pre-calc before I took calc, and I had to learn the trig I needed on the fly.) The first semester of my calculus class covered the basics of differentiation and integration, while the second semester focused on various integration techniques and applications, both of which used a lot of trig.
 
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Related to Should I be conserved about skipping pre-cal?

1. Should I be concerned about skipping pre-cal?

No, it is not necessary to be concerned about skipping pre-calculus. Pre-calculus is a challenging course that serves as a foundation for higher level math courses, but it is not a requirement for most college majors or careers. If you have a strong understanding of algebra and trigonometry, you may be able to skip pre-calculus and still succeed in higher level math courses.

2. Will skipping pre-cal put me at a disadvantage in college?

It depends on your college major and the specific courses you plan to take. Some majors, such as engineering or mathematics, may require a strong foundation in pre-calculus. However, if you are not pursuing a math-heavy major, skipping pre-calculus may not put you at a significant disadvantage. It is important to research the math requirements for your intended major and speak with an academic advisor before making a decision.

3. Can I still take pre-calculus if I decide to skip it?

Yes, it is possible to take pre-calculus in college even if you skipped it in high school. Many colleges offer pre-calculus as a course for students who need to strengthen their math skills before moving on to higher level courses. However, keep in mind that taking pre-calculus in college may delay your progress towards graduation.

4. Will skipping pre-calculus affect my SAT/ACT scores?

Skipping pre-calculus may not have a significant impact on your SAT/ACT scores. These standardized tests cover a broad range of math topics, and pre-calculus is just one of them. As long as you have a strong understanding of the other math topics covered on the test, skipping pre-calculus should not significantly impact your scores.

5. What are the potential benefits of skipping pre-calculus?

The main benefit of skipping pre-calculus is that it allows you to save time and potentially move ahead in your math education. This can be particularly beneficial if you are interested in pursuing a math-heavy major, as it can give you a head start on more advanced courses. Additionally, skipping pre-calculus may also give you more flexibility in your schedule to take other courses that interest you.

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