What qualifies someone as being calculus ready? Anyway to test myself? (I cannot seem to find anything free.) I recently took a university exam which was suppose to find my mathematics placement, but it placed me in beginner algebra. I am mostly self taught (my actual teachers were horrible); however, I forgot a lot of stuff. Surprisingly a lot of programming stuff I have down, combinatorics, truth tables, etc. I think my knowledge has gaps that are making me screw up hard on the placement exam. My apologies for the slight rant /sci/.
you should be extremely comfortable with algebra, i've heard that khan academy is a good recommendation for those who prefer the self-taught approach.
then you'll want to know trigonometry, which is sometimes called pre-calculus. it's possible to do calculus without trig functions but you're missing out on a lot of the more intuitive and "beautiful" concepts. if you know the 23 fundamental trigonometric identities by heart you'll be fine.
combinatorics and logic will help you with discrete math
>>323 i can't speak for anything past calc one, but in my experience in that class the calculus itself isn't the hard part. if you aren't confident with trig and algebra you're probably in for a rough time, since that's where a majority of the hard stuff is
>>325 >if you know the 23 fundamental trigonometric identities by heart you'll be fine. i'm a cal III student and i only know nine. knowing them by heart is fine and dandy, but being very good at cramming works as well.
>>351 >Calculus doesn't use very much of that. Maybe not Calc 1, but my diff. eq. class does a LOT of factoring, and I remember doing a little bit of factoring for the AP Calc BC exam. Mainly the particular method of e.g. Solve integral[dx / (x^2 - 1)] x^2 - 1 = (x+1)(x-1) 1/(x^2 - 1) = A/(x+1) + B/(x-1) 1 = A(x-1) + B(x+1) = (A+B)x + (-A + B) and so on...
I really just wanna comment on how great that index notation primer is, it got me thru em, mech and GR. Everyone thats familiar with calculus should read it, it's a more intuitive problem setup IMO for a lot of lin. alg you encounter.
Only thing I can say I learned well besides pic related from physics.
In my experience the amount of algebra you need to know for calculus largely depends on the instructor.
I took Calc I twice, ten years apart. The first time, each problem we were assigned would fill at least half a sheet of notebook paper - mostly with algebra. The algebra was mostly transforming the problem into calculus-friendly forms and the combining the results after the calculus.
The second time, the assignments were a lot easier and didn't pound the algebra nearly as much. The problems were already calculus-friendly. Honestly, I learned more the first time around.
I think a lot of it has to do with paperless grading. The first time around, we turned in assignments on paper; the second time, we used WebAssign.
I've completed Calc II but I'm a bit concerned that given how easy Calc I and II were this last time around, I'll have trouble with higher level math courses.
>>323 >>323 Think of pre-calculus as a course designed to review *all* mathematics necessary for calculus. It literally starts with basic arithmetic. I would highly suggest checking out this textbook to help you evaluate your skill level and catch you up with whatever you're lacking.