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What are the most important topics to know before precalculus?

  1. May 4, 2012 #1
    Thanks for any replies!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2012 #2
    Precalculus is pretty much a bunch of tools that you'll need in calculus (each chapter is different, seems like just a bunch of random stuff). You'll be doing a lot of graphing, quadratic equations, polynomial equations, trig graphs and inverse graphs to name a few things so make sure you're good with algebra, geometry, and trigonometry.
  4. May 4, 2012 #3
    Trig identities and algebra skills. That's about it from what I can tell.
  5. May 5, 2012 #4
    polynomial-long/synthetic division, finding zero's of a function, have a full understanding of the zero product property and why it works, factoring, you really must be great with factoring. Natural log/exponential equations, the properties of log. I think it's basically that and general algebra/graphing.
  6. May 5, 2012 #5
    Quark, that's more of what you learn actually in precalculus.
  7. May 5, 2012 #6
    We don't have to worry about trig as a prerequisite for pre-calc. At our highschool Trig and Pre-Calc are just kind of combined. So I would say just solidify your knowledge of Alg II and Geometry and you should be fine.
  8. May 5, 2012 #7
    Shouldn't be. If you don't know any of those topics Calculus could really hammer you.
  9. May 5, 2012 #8
    Agreed, what Quark posted was more along the lines of College Algebra and earlier foundational classes. Very useful stuff to master. In my particular pre-calc class, being very comfortable with algebra is essential to success. What's amazing is that some people in my class don't even know how to deal with fractions...absolutely blows my mind that they made it so far. Thankfully it's only one or two students.
  10. May 5, 2012 #9
    Well that's why they're taught in precalc. At least that's what I learned in my precalc class-functions, logarithms, synthetic division, roots of functions. It's possible that a lot of it was review though, I don't know (I never took college algebra and didn't finish algebra 2).
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