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# Need a Bit Info

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Joined: Oct 2005
Need a Bit Info

How is AP calc?

I have not even taken pre-cal but my teacher wants me to take AP Cal next year so i am gonna take it but i was hoping for a heads up. What excatly you learn about and is there any sites you know that i can use?

for the people taking cal already, what textbooks do you use and whats your opinion for that class?

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Joined: Mar 2005

Have you taken Trigonometry? Trig and Precal are the same class in different orders.

If you haven't had either one, go to one of the teachers and get a book as soon as you can. You MUST know your trigonometric identities. Without these, you will soon be lost and confused. It is helpful to see how they are derived and how to convert one trig function into another. The identities should be listed in an appendix in your calc book also. The unit circle is also very important. You can always take time to draw it, but it is much easier and faster if you memorize it.

I'm not sure who wrote the calc book that I used, but it was blue and red and white on the cover. And all the definitions are in yellow boxes. I found the class challenging most of the time. That is the sign of a good class. If you learn how to differentiate and integrate very well, you've got most of what you need to know for all of AP Calculus.

If you're a math nerd, beware. This class will make you see functions and applications everywhere. Especially if you are taking Physics at the same time. I'm don't know any specific sites, but I know that many of the solutions to previous AP problems can be found on the internet by googling the problem in quotes.

I wish you luck in your class!

[=RoyalBlue][=Comic Sans MS]
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It

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Joined: Mar 2005

Well, personally, I hate calculus. It's a bit deceiving, I think. I've always been really really good at math (96-99 averages per marking pd) But now, my grades in calc have ranged from 0 (yes, zero on a quiz that I did the work for) to a 100. The concept of caclulus isn't so hard, but the algebra that goes along with it is often very long and quite complicated. It's hard to tell how far you need to simplify,especially what the AP graders are going to be looking for.

On the plus side though, I feel good taking a class that challenges me. I've also never been much good at sciences, but calculus has helped me in physics.

Calc is very time consuming. I spend probably 30 mins before school doing calc, 40 mins in class, an hour during lunch and studyhall and an hour after school, plus anhour or two at home.

My textbook is Calculus of a Single Variable... blue in color.

Good luck in calc next year. I'm rather pessimistic about the whole deal, but it will probably prove to be a worthwhile experience. My one piece of advice... don't be afraid to ask questions! Go in for help if you need it, otherwise... you'll probably get behind...

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Joined: Mar 2005

Stick with it Cocunutcremepie. I know what you mean. You must have one of the good teachers. In my experience, the AP Graders want the simplest, most exact answers from you, just like the physics ones. Unless of course, it's a free-response. Then you should show as much detail as possible...those partial credit points really help out.

Keep rising to the challenge and work your hardest. If you ever want another view or explanation, you can always ask me. I have learned that there are many ways to reason a problem.

Good Luck and keep asking questions!

[=RoyalBlue][=Comic Sans MS]
"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
"But," say Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It

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Joined: Sep 2005

Hrm... Did you like the distinct, concrete ideas of algebra? To tell you the truth, though my precalc teacher was pretty bad, I think I needed it; precalc is the bridge between your algebra and your calculus. Algebra and trigonometry is where you learn, believe it or not, all your "basic math"- how to find x, how to graph, how to find area and volume and theta and all of that good stuff. Precalculus is essentially a good introduction to all the theories of calculus while keeping your feet firmly aground. Then... calculus explores what's after that- it's pure application, and overall theoretical math. Calculus itself is based on the idea of instantaneous points and limits, which in themselves are theoretical, and a bit illogical. Related rates, for example, ask you how fast something is filling or emptying, how fast the tip of your shadow changes- all at one specific point in time. Sounds weird, but it'll make sense when you get there.

I'm a junior taking calculus AB at school, using the Larson, Hostetler and Edwards book for Calculus, fifth edition. But to tell you the truth, it's really a college level math course. Calculus is so theoretical that for a lot of people, it takes three weeks to get their heads around the concept of limits- during which time you will be learning your derivatives. Really, I honestly do not recommend taking calculus without having taken precalculus- you'll be swimming alone in sharky waters. Another thing I don't recommend is studying things like the quotient rule and chain rule by yourself- it takes a good teacher to explain it correctly. I don't know if this helps... If you have any further questions, AIM me at: MurasakiYuna. Good luck!

Arandis Elearean
I'm a liberal Independent. So flame me.

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Joined: Oct 2005

[dont listen to me- i dont know what I'm talking about and have no authority on this site]

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Joined: Oct 2005

Arandis is right. You absolutely need the algebra and trig basis of precalculus. I have a free period in which I sit in the back of the calculus class and do homework (i've already taken the class), and from what i've noticed, those who struggle the most are the ones who did not have good teachers for precalculus, all the kids who came up from normal class compared to the honors class. there is a huge difference. luckily, usually the first chapter of most calculus books will review all of the precalculus needed for the calculus course. i'd say obtain a copy of your calculus text and also a good precalculus text ASAP and go through the first chapter of the calculus book, making sure you understand what they're telling you, and supplementing yourself if need be with the precalculus book. LEARN EVERYTHING YOU CAN ABOUT TRIG! it is invaluable for doing well in calculus.

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Joined: Sep 2005

I personally LOVED Calculus... of course, I also love math... I think that if you can enter Calculus with even a BASIC understanding of algebra and trig from Precalc or even Alg II & Trig, as long as you have an open mind, STUDY!!!, and stay on top of things you will be fine. Even if you don't learn some algebra or trig skill before you get to Calc, you will pick it up in no time. I also would stress that if you have a question, ASK IT!!! The moment you get behind in understand the theoretical concepts or applications to Calculus, you WILL BE BEHIND FOR A WHILE... if your teacher can't explain it, ask someone who has a high A in the class.... (They won't mind...) From what I have seen in my past Calculus classes, I would say that the people who do well in Calc are those who PAY ATTENTION in class, PARTICIPATE in class, do their HOMEWORK, and keep an open mind.

Best of luck,
Peke

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