Weak at calculus...Need it for my major (community college, high school, pay)

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Hi guys my major is finance and to take that major I need to clear a pre requisite which is calculus.
I have not taken math for about 3 years now....since junior year in high school....
Junior year I had to pay 1500 to pass pre calculus, and in which I got a B.
When you don't lose it, you lose it.
Since I plan on taking it next semester, I want to prepare and brush up by myself.
I was wondering if you guys can give me any suggestions on how to prepare for a calculus class and if there are any sites or books that can help me.
Thanks!

Well, I'm assuming this is a "Business Calc' course (as opposed to the Calc course Science/Math people take). If so, you won't have to worry about the trigonometry material from Pre-Calc; but you will need a very solid understanding of the algebra (logarithms, rational expressions, functions, graphs, and equation solving, just to name several topics.)

If you're willing to put in the time, I'd highly recommend Bob Miller's "Pre-Calc for the Clueless". His writing style is very clear, and manages to make the material 'click' (as opposed to pointless memorization of procedures). To be successful in Calculus, you need to understand the "why", not just the "how".

I'd suggest devoting a few hours per week to cover a chapter in the text, while working as many problems as you can get your hands on. Does your school offer a placement or "calculus readiness" test? Does your school have an academic support center where tutoring is available?

There are lots of resources for math success if youre willing to put in the time and effort. Good luck.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrgrape

Hi guys my major is finance and to take that major I need to clear a pre requisite which is calculus.
I have not taken math for about 3 years now....since junior year in high school....
Junior year I had to pay 1500 to pass pre calculus, and in which I got a B.
When you don't lose it, you lose it.
Since I plan on taking it next semester, I want to prepare and brush up by myself.
I was wondering if you guys can give me any suggestions on how to prepare for a calculus class and if there are any sites or books that can help me.
Thanks!

Hi guys my major is finance and to take that major I need to clear a pre requisite which is calculus.
I have not taken math for about 3 years now....since junior year in high school....
Junior year I had to pay 1500 to pass pre calculus, and in which I got a B.
When you don't lose it, you lose it.
Since I plan on taking it next semester, I want to prepare and brush up by myself.
I was wondering if you guys can give me any suggestions on how to prepare for a calculus class and if there are any sites or books that can help me.
Thanks!

You need to pursue this with a passion. I am of the belief that students, especially finance students, ought not waste their uni opportunities with pre-requisites from high school.

Instead, do the following. Use the summer session to take an intensive class in pre-calc AND an intensive semester in calculus. Take the courses at a community college of possible. Then in the fall, jump right into finance & econ classes that require calculus, like microeconomics and other quant- oriented courses, like basic corporate finance or course in investments. Also that Fall semester, do yourself a favor and take a course in numerical methods. Finally, take more calculus! High school calculus is rather watered down. In uni, calculus is a full year sequence (or often more than on year). You would then be in a position to take very solid courses in linear algebra, probability/math stats, and econometrics.

Front-load the math rigour. This way, each successive term, you are can approach each new semester licking your shops at the sexier financial and economics electives, most of which, like Option pricing, require a good command of applied math.

I am more of a dive right in type of person. I would not take another pre-calc class or get to crazy with tutors and studying.

For the most part if you have had some algebra and trig you should be OK. Most of my instructors tried to beat it into our heads that algebra is what most students find difficult about calc. I found the algebra easy. Calc was hard because it was so brand new, and a different way of looking at things. At least for me. Trig was a very small part of it. Depending on your curriculum, and teacher, you could just about make it through without much trig.

If you do anything, spend some time teacher shopping. That is the key. A teacher can turn a blow-off class into a nightmare. They can also turn a difficult class into a real-life nigthmare.

thank u guys very much! i appreciate all ur insights and comments.
I didnt think calculus would be easier than pre calc. I was actually pretty good at geometry and algebra 2 so now with ur insights, it seems like less of an obstacle.
I will look into Bob Miller's book and also choose the best teacher available.
If u guys have any more insights let me know!
thanks again!

There is this math professor with short tutorials on youtube. Here is one on derivatives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRfNOg9Q22U He has a bunch of other calc topics, too. I found him very easy to follow and understand.

I love math TV. It helped me greatly when I was stuck on a problem. The other recommendation is the dummies series books. When i was taking trigonometry I would look over some sections to get a more in-depth look to some of the problems that were not presented in class. They break down all the problems step by step. The dummies books are an underrated tool.

A lot of people on amazon find the book helpful even in calculus II!

Hey everyone, just wanted to fill in whats happenin with calc.
So far it is a breeze, a lot of algebra like you guys said, which I was actually very strong at compared to the trig part of pre-calc.
For the first test, I redid every single problem on the hw, and aced it =]
Thanks everyone..BTW math tv online helps a lot, as well as dedication.

I'm glad things are working out for you! My biggest problem with calculus (and math in general) was that I would screw up the arithmetic (like adding wrong or even performing the wrong operation) which would screw up the end result.

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