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Too much?

  1. Mar 2, 2009 #1
    I'm planning to go in to medical field, so I'm thinking a science major right? Right now im in year 3 highschool. Math isn't my greatest but I must say I'm decent but in science(I've only take chem 11) I think I'm above average. Now year 4 is quite near (after this summer) and these are my courses; English, Chem 12, Physics 12, Bio 12, Advanced Functions (math), Calculus and vectors *adv. function pre. req.*, Philosophy, and Active living (gym.)

    Is the course work too much? In one sem. the easier I can have is English, Philosophy, Math 12, and Gym. Next semester I will pretty much die; Physics, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry! And for one thing I don't know anything about Calculus!! Bio and Chem are required, Physics is recommended.

    In short: What the heck is calculus? Is this too much for one to handle? Tips on time management? And in the future what am I looking at before becoming an MD.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2009 #2
    "Physics, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry" - Is this high school or college? For college it may be much especially if you do not have decent study habbits.

    "In short: What the heck is calculus? Is this too much for one to handle? Tips on time management? And in the future what am I looking at before becoming an MD. "
    For Calculus at high school level it will probably be differentiating and Integration (or atleast that's what it was at my high school).
    For time management, I suggest to set minigoals of things you want to accomplish for any given day/week. This helps me stay on track and to prioritize things I need to do. Try to be realistic.
    For the time before an MD (or DO) you are looking at four years of undergrad, four years of med school and then however long the residency requirement is for your choosen field.
  4. Mar 2, 2009 #3
    Highschool... I have a lot of extracurricular activities, like after school stuff but never mind that. Can you explain what calculus is because the wiki version isn't that friendly.
  5. Mar 2, 2009 #4
    Well, from Wikipedia, "Most basically, calculus is the study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of space." That seems fairly accurate. If you mean something else, please be a little bit more specific.

    My suggestion is, while in high school try to master the art of productive studying.
  6. Mar 3, 2009 #5
    Calculus is the type of math that Newton invented to properly describe his laws of physics.

    It really isn't that bad... It's just a few logical steps.
  7. Mar 3, 2009 #6


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    I can understand that a heavy course load in high school can seem like a lot of work - especially when you have friends that have an easier go of it. The one piece of advice I can offer is that if you plan on going into the sciences or even pursuing medicine, the workload won't get any easier, so it's best to develop the proper habits now, rather than playing catch up when you're in your second year of undergrad and realizing that you can't just read over your notes the night before an exam in order to do well.

    As for calculus, Flat's definition captures it in essence. At the high school level, you'll be introduced to limits, the concept of differentiation (which you can think of as mathematically determining the slope of a tangent to a given curve), and integration (calculating the area under a given curve). Much of how physics is expressed at higher levels requires an understanding of these concepts. They allow you for example to determing the electric field that results from a given distribution of charge, or to relate force to a change in momentum.

    Ultimately, I wouldn't worry too much about not knowing anything about calculus before you've taken an introductory course in it.
  8. Mar 3, 2009 #7
    Physics, calculus, biology, and chemistry? Sounds like heaven to me. At least you don't have any "rhetoric" or "English" classes.
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