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Back in 2001 I went to college for the first time at age 33. I knew I wanted to get a hard science degree and also knew had zero math skills. I never even took algebra way back in high school. I had no idea what X meant!

I started in a community college in a pre-algebra (arithmetic) class. The class was packed full, the instructor was fantastic. I worked my way up through Beginner Algebra, Int Algebra, College Algebra, Trig, Pre-Calc, Calc I and Calc II, getting mostly As.

Hi, would you mind sharing how much it cost you to hire a math tutor? and how often you meet? do you feel it is advantageous compared to independent study?

also, do you think brushing up on algebra will be enough to get you placed where you want to be after taking the assessment test?

Tutoring rates are highly subjective to where you live. I live in the Phoenix metro area, and my tutor charges $45/hour. That is squarely in the middle of the range of $35-$55/hr that I saw advertised. I suggest you check out Wyzant.com. Enter your zip code and subject of interest, and it will find tutors in your area.

Yes, I am extremely confident that the work I have put in the last few months will give me an adequate placement score. I will add, one other thing I am doing in this ramp up to the test is buying a study guide specific to the test my school administers (I think it's the ACCUPLACER), as well as doing practice tests.

If math is your weakness, I'd say take Intermediate Algebra....seems like a waste of time, but I was in the same boat and it helped me in the long run! I would not have been able to get through College Algebra or Pre-Calc without it. I also took remedial math classes which I didn't need at all, and breezed right through. But, Intermediate Algebra, I had trouble with but it really helped me get through the next two courses!

I have to take statistics. I plan to have my three 20-something kids tutor me. They have always been good in math; all three won math triathalons in school. Don't know where they got it from, but certainly not from me. I can do anything else, but not math. They come to me for help with English/writing; I figure they can help me with math.

If you want to try brushing up on-line, I'd recommend seeing if Ed-to-Go and/or Lynda.com have course offerings to fit your needs. I've taken professional courses from them, and they were top notch. I'm not sure what the cost is for an individual since my employer picks up the cost of these types of courses.

If you have to take one or more courses as pre-reqs for Calculus, consider taking them at your local community college. Community colleges emphasize teaching over research, so you're more likely to get a good teacher at a CC because that's what faculty is hired to do. At many 4 year schools, teaching is a necessary evil by more research oriented faculty, which is why you often hear horror stories about lousy teachers at expensive colleges/universities. Also, CCs tend to have smaller classes than large universities.

If your company is going to pay for your degree, does that mean that you are currently doing some programming work? I ask because I'm an old programmer/analyst who learned my craft back in the days when college coursework in programming was more project-oriented; your grade was based on solving a series of increasingly more complex problems rather than on just reading about programming and taking tests or writing papers. It seems that there's more theory these days rather than practice, which is okay if the school you choose has a rigorous course of study and good internship opportunities, but I don't think that most on-line programs have that.

If you are already doing some programming but need the theory or intros to newer tool sets, then this is less of a consideration for you. Most hiring managers/search committees look for neophyte computer programmers to demonstrate that they have some competence as programmers.

If you recommend going that route rather than starting with elementary algebra or below, and then taking maybe 4 semesters (2 years) to get to pre-calculus (which I think would be too late given my degree goals), is there a good online resource/site for structured self-study? Or would textbooks be the way to go? I have my old intermediate algebra textbook still.

I recommend the self study route. In addition to online resources I recommend:

1) The Jason Gibson math series dvd's. These are available on Amazon & on Jason's own site. He explains every step in great detail so students of any ability level can understand the material.

2) The Great Courses dvd series in Algebra, Advanced Algebra and Pre-Calc. Watch for their sales which are frequent and about 70% off. These dvds are also sometimes found in the library.

3) Buy a matching high school Advanced Algebra textbook and teacher solution manual from Amazon, Ebay or Abe. The older editions are not expensive.

Free diagnostic tests at Dallas Fort Worth Tutoring: Tutors in Dallas Fort Worth, TX. CS is no place for math dummies. I went to a state school in VA and you would basically get a minor in Math in the course of getting your CS degree. Pre-calc doesn't even count towards the requirements. Freshen take consecutive 5 semester hour calculus courses their freshmen year, and the fail rate is high. Oh, and don't forget the Physics courses...IDS/MIS is business calc and no physics, but is also a difficult major.

My son earned a BS in CS, but it required far more math than Calc I & II - he's one class away from a math degree. Are you sure about this requirement? I would be very careful about an institution that offers this specific degree with so little math. Technically, it's really only two college level math classes. Ask local employers what they think of hiring graduates from any program that you are considering.

My son earned a BS in CS, but it required far more math than Calc I & II - he's one class away from a math degree. Are you sure about this requirement? I would be very careful about an institution that offers this specific degree with so little math. Technically, it's really only two college level math classes. Ask local employers what they think of hiring graduates from any program that you are considering.

Exactly, CS was 24 semester hours of pure math(s), starting with calc I and II. A major in Math would be 30.....BSCS would be 128 total semester hours. You would almost be lucky to get a job in sales at bestbuy with a cs degree from DeVry or UoPhoenix. They can come after you beyond death for student loan repayments. Most folks couldn't handle the math for hotel/restaurant management and bsrn? forgeddaboutit.

If you think you can do it and are a good worker, I would honestly just start with Calc I. Pick up a good college textbook and start going through the chapters and exercises and see if you can pick it up. If you can, then just enroll in Calc I in the spring.

Unless you really have a completely poor foundation of basic Math, Calc is a pretty self contained subject. It's not like you have to have a tremendous grasp of Algebra. Just know how to factor a polynomial. If there's something you don't understand, just look it up as you go along.

Taking three or four classes just to enroll in Calc I a year from now? Forget that! Time is $.

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