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Solid Pre-Calculus book?

  1. Feb 21, 2010 #1
    Hey, i know this is the sceince section but it's a brief question. Actually, the title contains it all =p

    I'm looking for a good pre-calculus book to brush up on stuff this summer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2010 #2
    I don't think such a thing exists. Precalculus is not actually a subject; it is typically a class that attempts to remedy those who need to brush up on algebra skills. I only found about 50% of the material in the precalculus course I took helpful, and just about all of it was actual calculus.
  4. Feb 22, 2010 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Feb 22, 2010 #4
    www.khanacademy.org If you master all of the material on this site and get some of the practice sheets for reviewing pre-calculus (i.e. from some calculus websites) you'll pretty much be 100% ready for calculus. I used this website last year and in less than a month I was almost ready for calculus after knowing virtually no math. The trigonometry section is weak, but everything else is pre-cal at it's most intuitive. Shouldn't slip out of memory & if it does just re-watch the videos.
    Check out the reviews for the site on physicsforums, Most people recognise how amazing a source this is.
    Btw, there are dozens and dozens of free pre-calculus books offered by university professors on websites ala google.
    This source is great, has a lot of everything but there are only examples and no questions for you to practice on.
    I never copped on to the fact that he has practice tests on the website though :p so they would be very advisable too.
    (Notice I am stressing the fact that you need to practice the problems, but in all honesty you shouldn't spend too long on this material if you work hard and don't lose the forest from the trees).
  6. Feb 22, 2010 #5
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Feb 22, 2010 #6
    I am going to commit a cardinal sin and suggest a book I have not read:
    I recommend it because:
    1) I read Axler's linear algebra book and I think it is amazing (the review says this book is very good too).
    2) It seems to cover everything you need, strarting from the basics.
    3) It claims to be a refresher, as you want.
    4) It is rigorously written.
    5) You can get a cheap copy, for sch a comprehensive book
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Feb 22, 2010 #7
    Thank you all for your responses. Going to go with Axler. Hope i can find a used paperback copy =p looks like a good book
  9. Feb 22, 2010 #8


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    I prefer College Algebra, by Larson and Hostetler. https://www.amazon.com/College-Algebra-Seventh-Ron-Larson/dp/0618643109

    This book is very easy to follow, has a wide variety of examples, and gives solutions from an analytic as well as geometric perspective. It also has good notes for each step of working through a problem.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Feb 22, 2010 #9
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  11. Feb 22, 2010 #10
    Allendorfer & Oakley's "Principles of Mathematics" is the book I'd recommend. It'll teach you essentially everything you'd need to know before calculus, and covers a bit of calc near the end of the book. Some of the terminology is a bit odd, but other than that's it's a great book.

    Also, most copies I've seen for sale are only a few dollars. I picked mine up for $1.99.
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