# What do I need to know to start Calculus?

• Femme_physics
In summary: I found the concepts to be relatively easy to follow once I got the hang of things.In summary, you need to be very good with Algebra to begin with. You will need to know Trigonometric Identities, Exponentials and their manipulation, Complete the Perfect Square Method, and Adding Rational Polynomials in order to proceed to Calculus.
Femme_physics
Gold Member
I know a whole bunch of math, but I don't know if it's enough to start Calculus. Can you give me the run-down of what I need to know?

If you are very good at algebra, that is all you need to start. Some parts of Calculus use the "transcendental" functions, $$\displaystyle e^x$$, ln(x), sin(x), cos(x), etc. but the basic concepts do not require them. It would help if you had some knowledge of infinite sequences and series and limits of sequences and functions but any good Calculus text will at least review those in the first chapters.

Seems like my calc textbook does review it. So far so good, got through finding rate of change over an interval and the basics of limits... doesn't seem complicated...

I teach Calculus I and II.
You need to be very good with Algebra to begin with.
Then you will need ...
Polynomial Long Division
Trigonometric Identities [the basic Pythagoreans]
Familiarity with Exponentials and their manipulation
Complete the Perfect Square Method
Adding rational polynomials [the reverse of Partial Fraction Decomposition]

Cheers

Seems pretty basic, paulfr. :) NP here.

Thanks!

Im an undergrad in my junior year studying mathematics and comp sci. I have finished all calc I-III and I can say that you should know you algebra well and trig. Trig identities become pretty important and when and if you proceed to applied calculus you will find that trig is quite handy. Sidenote - Calc II is going to be the toughest. Not because it is necessarily more difficult, but because it pretty much entails EVERYTHING you will learn in beginning calculus.

Toughest is all relative, I find math and studying in general easy once you see the use of it and grow to like it.

True, I'm just stating what most professors will tell you, and probably most anyone who has taken all the calcs.

## 1. What is Calculus?

Calculus is a branch of mathematics that deals with the study of continuous change and motion. It is used to analyze and model complex systems, such as the motion of planets, the flow of fluids, and the growth of populations.

## 2. Do I need to have a strong foundation in Algebra and Trigonometry to start Calculus?

Yes, a strong understanding of Algebra and Trigonometry is essential for success in Calculus. Many of the concepts and techniques in Calculus are built upon these fundamental branches of mathematics.

## 3. What are the key concepts I need to know before starting Calculus?

Some of the key concepts you should have a solid understanding of before starting Calculus include functions, limits, derivatives, and integrals. It is also helpful to have a good grasp of algebraic and trigonometric manipulations.

## 4. How should I prepare for Calculus?

To prepare for Calculus, it is important to review and practice your algebra and trigonometry skills. You can also familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of Calculus by watching online lectures or reading introductory textbooks. It is also helpful to practice solving problems and working through examples.

## 5. Are there any specific techniques or strategies I should know before starting Calculus?

Yes, some helpful techniques and strategies for success in Calculus include understanding the fundamental concepts, practicing regularly, breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable steps, and seeking help from peers or a tutor when needed. Additionally, staying organized and keeping up with the material will greatly benefit your understanding of Calculus.

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