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March 20th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #1
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Back to school! Returning after an extended absence.

Hello.

I'm considering going back to college. I took my last math class almost 10 years ago (Pre-calculus). I didn't go on to Calc I because it wasn't required for my major. Now I'm a little older, a little wiser, and would like to go on for a Master's degree. However, Calculus is required for many degrees.

Do you think the average person could just continue from where they left off? Could they jump right back into Calculus I? Or should they retake a few of the prerequisite courses first?

Has anyone had experience returning to Math after an extended absence?

Thanks.
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March 20th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #2
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Welcome to the mymathforum.com!

Do you know the basics in precalculus? Like, the equation of a circle on a graph, functions, trigonometry, graphing and all things?
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March 20th, 2008, 09:20 PM   #3
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Re: Back to school! Returning after an extended absence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cc2008
Do you think the average person could just continue from where they left off? Could they jump right back into Calculus I? Or should they retake a few of the prerequisite courses first?
The average person would need to retake the whole prerequisite course -- and even then might find the first few weeks of the prerequisite a bit fast as they've been out of it for a while.

Depending on how good you were at it, and how much you've used math between then and now, you might be able to get by without taking it, especially if you can find a special 5-credit hour (or otherwise extended) Calc course that gives a bit more time for review & detail.

Do you know how to complete the square? FOIL? The quadratic formula? Can you take a derivative? Solve an equation for x? Find the inverse of a function?
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March 21st, 2008, 12:02 PM   #4
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I just dove right in to Calculs 1 after a 5 year absence when I wend back to school. If you were an A student back when you took pre-calc it will all come back to you very quickly. If not you can always take advantage of help centers if your school has them, or review something like an SAT prep book which covers a lot of basic topics you might want a refresher on.
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