Why is calculus only an elective (optional) course in high school? If it is a requirement in college, then why aren't college-bound high school graduates brought up to speed about the much more advanced mathematics they will learn in college? Why aren't there any calculus questions on the math segment of the SAT/ACT? Calculus is FAR more difficult and advanced than algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. Because of the sheer complexity and non-linear nature of the equations. You're average person would probably have a very difficult time trying to learn calculus. Calculus really isn't necessary outside of the realm of physics/science and engineering. So most non-science majors won't have any use for it. Basic algebra/geometry/trig is more than sufficient for most studies.