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Taking semester off from math

  1. Sep 1, 2015 #1
    Not sure if this the right place to to start a thread.

    I'm in community college I decided to take a semester off from math. How will colleges look at this? I'm planning on taking precalculus spring and calculus in the summer. I'm a prospective meteorology student. My goal is to take calculus 1 in the summer, that way I don't get behind.
    This semester:
    Intro to chem 111/112 (I'm taking this because I never had any background) good thing is that it will prepare for me to take General Chem 1
    Principle of Macroeconomics
    Prince of programming(python)

    Please, anything will be helpful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2015 #2
    Majoring in?

    Caliber of university you aspire to?
  4. Sep 1, 2015 #3
    Right now, I'm a math major.
    My plan is to go to Penn state, and major in Meteorology and math.

    Note: I will be taking the time to review what I need to focus on! Right now, I'm focusing on function notation like f(x+h) and etc
  5. Sep 1, 2015 #4
    You never mentioned, why are you taking a semester off, especially if you're a math major?
  6. Sep 1, 2015 #5
    If you are aspiring to major in math at Penn State, you really need to stay on a good pace in your math courses.
  7. Sep 1, 2015 #6
    I dropped the class to focus on my Intro to chem. I've never taken chem before and it suck not to understand the material. Is it really that bad to just take semester off from math. For transfer at Penn state Meteorology, I only need calc 3. They've said that its Required to take Differential equations before coming to PSU. I've decided to take it at Penn state since they have like an agreement with math and meteorology for students who want to double major.They choose what math courses and meteorology go together.

    Right now this is my tentative path
    Spring 16' precalc and chem
    Summer 16' Only Calculus 1
    Fall 16' Calc 2 with based calc phy 1
    Spring 17' calc 3 with based phy 2
  8. Sep 1, 2015 #7


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    Pre-Calculus in spring semester is good.
    Calculus 1 in the summer is bad because it is too short a time to learn it well (for MOST people).
    Introductory Chemistry 111or112 will be good but maybe not as good as preparation for General Chemistry 1 as you believe - but if you want your Intro Chem, it will not hurt.
  9. Sep 1, 2015 #8
    Learning Calc in a compressed schedule will be a greater challenge. Coursera offers a free online Calculus that some of my students have used before taking an accredited college calculus class so that they have seen some of the important ideas before. I'd get started with the Coursera online calculus when you can to be better prepared.
  10. Sep 1, 2015 #9
    Coursea does offer a precalculus course which you can take at your own phase. But unfortunately, the context is in Spanish :( I understand the language, butt can't read it.
    I'm taking Intro 111 and 112 because I never had any background. when I was in high school I was stuck trying to pass the state test which is the regents. If I took the general chem 1 this semester, I will probably be lost and confused. So my chem prof which is nice, suggest to take it! I'm really liking it, it's much more understandable than biology for me. As for calculus in coursea, DO I need precalculus to understand calculus? if not, I could go straight and take it and get a familiar of what it will be! I got a "B" in trig.
  11. Sep 1, 2015 #10


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    Maybe, but this depends mostly on you. HOW good are you in Trigonometry? Still understand Intermediate level Algebra VERY VERY well? How well do you understand limits of functions?
  12. Sep 1, 2015 #11
    I really need to work on my function notation! I still use some of my intermediate algebra methods in trig. In the end, I'm not 70% sure. So I think I will just work with my advisor since he's really nice to me. I will be doing MyMathLab since I got the code I bought from my textbook because I thought I was going to take precalc this fall. How many hours do you suggest for me? 1 hour or 1h 30m?
  13. Sep 2, 2015 #12
    For on-line pre-calc, I would recommend ALEKS rather than Coursera, but it is not free. It will prepare you very well for Calculus though, as well as for college pre-calc. Odds are, you could start pre-calc now and if you complete the course before the end of December and document it, the registrar/Math dept at your school will allow you to enroll in the Calculus course (1st semester Calc) in the Spring.

    I'd email them now though. The question is simple, "Will ALEKS precalculus fulfill the pre-requisite to enroll in Calc 1?"
  14. Sep 2, 2015 #13
    Calculus over the summer seems a horrible idea.
  15. Sep 2, 2015 #14
    I tried it between first and second year. I dropped out half way through. The pace was blazing fast and it was hard watching my friends out having fun.
  16. Sep 2, 2015 #15


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    I don't think they will really care if you take a semester off math, I can't think of a good reason why it would matter. All it probably does it ensure you're in community college for another year to complete your core classes. You can always speak to a transfer advisor/Penn State's admission department.

    Something that I would "assume" they don't like to see on transfer applications is a student who had no other obligations (work, raising a kid, etc.) taking multiple semesters part time. That might raise some red flags about your committal to making it through their program. Typically transfer students are expected to graduate in two years, at least this was my experience.

    And like everyone has said, don't take calculus in summer sessions. Better yet, don't take math in summer sessions at all. Do the extra year to get your core classes, it'll be worth it in the long run.
  17. Sep 3, 2015 #16


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    I always advise people not to take a class like calculus in the summer. One can certainly do well in it during the summer, but by necessity it's going to be much faster paced. There's considerably less time to devote to deriving equations and proving concepts. Certain methods will be glossed over or skipped entirely due to time. For a student that simply has to take a college level math course as a GenEd requirement and doesn't necessarily 'need' the math for their future studies, this may not be so bad. But for a prospective math major, it's not a good idea.
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