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Testing into calculus

  • Testing
  • Thread starter polymetric
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  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I took a year off after high school and I have decided to go to college this fall.

So... I need some self study material for everything before calculus. I have found a few pdf's online and this site has been a great help as well. I found some recommendations for books in the archives here, one book in particular https://www.amazon.com/dp/0321159357/?tag=pfamazon01-20 Does the edition of a book matter for my purposes? There are also 3rd and 4th editions but cost 6 or 7 times as much as the 2nd... Can you recommend any other books or materials for reviewing pre calculus math? Is there anything else I should try to learn before calculus like writing proofs?

Thanks for any help.
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Gold Member
If you know trig and know how to manipulate functions inside and out you'll do fine.

I suggest taking a precalculus class first, esp after taking a year off.
  • #3
I'm in sort of the same boat. Though I took 7 years off, rather than one. I tested into Calc I as well, and am taking it this summer. For my prep, I got ahold of the University's precalc book and sylabus, and am sort of just putting myself through it, focusing on the stuff I don't remember as well, along with strong focuses on the Trig part of it. It's working well so far, though, I won't really know for sure until this summer. I figure though, that the uni has the precalc class in order to prep you for their calc I class, and going through the sylabbus the way they have it set up will give me the best prep. I plan on also getting ahold of the sylabbus for the calc I class to see what sorts of things they will be doing in the first couple weeks, so that I can focus on the prerequisite knowledge for those subjects.
Hope this helps
  • #5
If you are self-studying the edition of the book does not matter (the content will not change much from edition to edition, just the exercises). You probably won't need to worry about proof writing techniques for calculus.
  • #6
You should have a clear understanding of algebra and trigonometry (and some geometry) before you take calculus. People who do poorly in calculus are usually the ones who don't have the good mastery of those subjects (based on my experience with tutoring calculus students). The textbook you have seems like a good one. Proof-writing one is optional unless if you're going to take honors calculus.
  • #7
Algebra & Pre-Calculus.

Understand polynomials and transcendental functions (power and trig) through equations, tables, graphs, and words. Also, get a feel for what a limit is - something most pre-calc classes cover towards the end as a pre-cursor for calculus I.

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