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Trouble with basic algebra in Calculus 1.

  1. Sep 23, 2015 #1
    It's rather strange, isn't it? I did just fine in Algebra I, and even better in Algebra II, but now that i'm in Calculus I i'm finding that my algebra skills aren't as sharp as I thought they were. Often times i'll get the calculus portions of problems correct, but when it comes down to multiplying things out or simplifying, i'll choke and be unable to finish the problem because there's so much stuff everywhere and i'm just not entirely sure how to distribute things properly or how to simplify expressions. What would you suggest I do at this point? (Given that backing out of calculus is not an option.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2015 #2


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    Practice, practice, practice. The more problems you work, the more it will become second nature.
  4. Sep 23, 2015 #3
    It could come down to school curriculum. I took Precalculus 11 over the summer and am taking Precalculus 12 right now, and I can tell from the outline of the course that our school curriculum here in Alberta leaves students vastly underprepared for calculus and linear algebra. So yeah, as the above poster mentioned, get your hands on a algebra/trigonometry book from the library, and practice the areas where you think you are weak or underprepared.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 24, 2015
  5. Sep 25, 2015 #4


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    it is actually fairly natural to learn math n-1 while taking math n, i.e. as you need it. it seems to be hopeless to learn in math n-1 all the math you will need in math n. so hang in there.
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