Should I learn Calculus while taking Pre-Cal in College?

In summary, it seems that continuing to learn calculus on one's own is a good idea. Doing so will help one understand the concepts better and be able to solve problems more easily.
  • #1
Ivan92
201
3
Hey guys. Whats up? I am currently taking Pre-Calculus in college. However, over the summer I was teaching myself some Calculus and was getting the hang of it. Though since school started, I really did not have the time to continue teaching myself Calculus. I already took Pre-Calculus in high school and my pre-cal textbook really sucks! Besides that, I am having an easy time with Pre-Calc and I miss Calculus. I am given homework for pre-calc but the only reason I do it is for points. I am very bored in Pre-calc because its things I already know and have gone over. I feel trapped in having to take Pre-Cal again, I feel like I am not moving anywhere else. Do you guys think I should start to continue to learn Calculus on my spare time? I really cannot decide. Thanks for your opinions guys. :D
 
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  • #2
It's doesn't hurt to get familiar with the concepts now, so that later you will be comfortable with them. Try to do as many problems as possible, since you can't fully understand the math unless you can solve the problems. A good way to go about it, in my opinion, would be to supplement Schaum's Outline Of Calculus with online lectures. Schaum's presents the topic in an accessible way and the problems at the end of the chapters range from easy to moderately hard. If you're looking for more to grasp after that, pick up a book on proofs(if that's your fancy). You really can't go wrong as long as you work out most problems and set realistic goals.





-F
 
  • #3
I don't see anything wrong with you putting in some of your spare time on independent study of calculus, as long as it's not at the expense of what you're doing in the pre-calculus class. Many times, when students have trouble working through calculus problems, it's not the calculus concepts that cause problems, but their weak skills in factoring, graphing, trig, etc. - the concepts taught in their precalculus class.
 
  • #4
If you can find the time, and it won't affect your grades, you should definintely do calculus on your own. I was in a similar situation last year. Last year I was taking college pre-calculus in high school, but ended up learning some calculus on my own. My favorite website was khanacademy.org. It actually has video lectures that shows you how to do the different concepts of calculus. Just so you are aware, you will need a pretty good understanding of both algebra and trigonometry to do very well in calculus. So although you can learn some of the basics, you won't be able to truley appreciate it without that.

But definitely start learning calculus on your own. It really helped me out now that I am taking calculus now. Not only that, but it can be fun too ha ha!
 
  • #5
I agree with those whom have said to do so only if it doesn't take away from your precalc studies.

I have classmates who still have trouble factoring. They are not doing very well. They might do fine with factoring out expressions with integer powers, but what about when they need to pull [tex](x+1)^\frac{-1}{2}[/tex] out of something? Some of them didn't even know that it was acceptable to do so, much less that it was necessary for the problem on which they were working.
 

Related to Should I learn Calculus while taking Pre-Cal in College?

1. What is the benefit of learning Calculus while taking Pre-Cal in college?

Learning Calculus while taking Pre-Cal in college can provide a smooth transition into more advanced math courses. It also allows students to have a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and applications, which can be beneficial for future courses or careers in fields such as engineering, physics, and economics.

2. Is it necessary to learn Calculus while taking Pre-Cal in college?

It depends on your academic goals and the requirements of your degree program. If you plan on pursuing a career or further education in a math-intensive field, then it is highly recommended to learn Calculus while taking Pre-Cal. However, if your degree program or career goals do not require advanced math skills, then it may not be necessary.

3. Will learning Calculus while taking Pre-Cal be too difficult?

Learning Calculus while taking Pre-Cal can be challenging, but it is definitely achievable with dedication and hard work. It is important to have a solid foundation in Pre-Cal concepts before diving into Calculus. Professors and tutors are also available to provide extra support and guidance when needed.

4. Can I learn Calculus on my own while taking Pre-Cal in college?

It is not recommended to learn Calculus on your own while taking Pre-Cal in college. Calculus is a complex subject that requires a strong understanding of Pre-Cal concepts and a lot of practice. It is better to attend lectures and work through problems with a professor or tutor to ensure a thorough understanding of the material.

5. How will learning Calculus while taking Pre-Cal in college affect my GPA?

If you are able to successfully learn Calculus while taking Pre-Cal in college, it can have a positive impact on your GPA. However, if you struggle with the material and do not perform well on exams, it can negatively affect your GPA. It is important to prioritize understanding the material rather than solely focusing on grades.

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