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Should i take trigonometry during the summer?

  1. Mar 15, 2015 #1
    So im a community college student and I would like to major in something within the stem field. When I arrived at cc in fall of 2014, I took my school's math placement test and scored into intermediate algebra. I wasnt satisfied with this so i went to my school's summer math academy and retook the placement test. I scored into pre calculus. So i enrolled into that class and regretted it. I skipped intermediate algebra and trigonometry even though i failed trigonometry in high school. I ended up gettimg a C in pre calc. I then spoke with my friend who was taking calc amd he said that calc was different than pre calc. So i enrolled in the calc class, and that was a Huge mistake!!!!! It proved to be too challenging for me and i dropped it. So now i have the option of taking trigonometry over the summer and attending summer math academy or taking trigonometry and other general education courses. Math academy would help me understand pre calc but i wouldnt be able to take any general eds over the summer. Should i just focus on math over the summer or try to bring myself up to par in math and take a couple general ed courses?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2015 #2
    I would take some algebra, even if only self taught, just to review and fill in the gaps in your knowledge, then Trig and precalc. From there you'll have a good idea of what to do and whether stem is for you.
  4. Mar 15, 2015 #3


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    Contrary to common perception, there really is no such mathematical area as "pre-calculus." Many schools have a pre-calculus course that is really just elements of both college algebra and trigonometry condensed into one course. Trigonometry is an incredibly important part of mathematics, and it deserves to be learned on its own. It becomes increasingly important as you move through the calculus sequence, and it's incredibly important in physics as well. Having a solid foundation in trig is essential.

    I'd suggest taking trig over the summer, and doing whatever you can to brush up on your algebra skills.
  5. Mar 15, 2015 #4
    Trig is very manageable in a short term like summer if you put in the time to learn it properly. And taking a gen ed with that isn't a bad idea. Echoing Curt, It's also just as important as algebra to understanding Calculus. Taking it should also brush you up on your algebra skills.
  6. Mar 16, 2015 #5
    I know a guy at my CC who took up to precalc in high school but still started at algebra. I think this was the right decision since he now in differential equations is one of the stronger math students at our CC.(he is a tutor here and has been a big help to me in both physics and math) He is going to be going to Berkley in the fall. The foundations are very important and should not be overlooked.

    I think the class quality at CC is also better then most high schools so its a good idea to get the foundations down.
  7. Mar 20, 2015 #6
    Thank you to everyone who replied. I aprreciate your advice! I will be taking trig over the summer!
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