My Math Forum Need some tips refreshing on Trigonometry and Adv. Algebra

 Trigonometry Trigonometry Math Forum

 October 17th, 2013, 10:43 AM #1 Member   Joined: Oct 2013 Posts: 38 Thanks: 2 Need some tips refreshing on Trigonometry and Adv. Algebra Hello all, I am well into my first semester of my Computer Science degree, and am a returning college student - Got my BA in Psychology 4-5 years ago, and am back in college for a more practical/enjoyable one. I am really good at programming, so I need no help there, but obviously, a CS degree has plenty of math. It's been 8 years since I took my Trig and Algebra II class, and I'm a bit rusty - There is a placement test at my college that determines whether or not I can take Calculus I, or whether I have to take PreCalculus. Needless to say, It would be much more beneficial to not have to take PreCalculus, and save a semester. Was curious as to how I could find a structured way to see the concepts that I need to learn - An outline would be great. The problem is that a lot of the books and tutorials have a lot of fluff, and I just want to get straight into what I need to know, and then learn it, practice examples, etc. if I need to refresh. Thanks in advance!
 October 17th, 2013, 01:05 PM #2 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,746 Thanks: 2133 1.  When will you take the placement test? 2.  How much time prior to that will you able to use for relearning, revision and practice? 3.  What rule is most often applied when doing algebra? 4.  What mathematical things did you find most difficult when last studying mathematics? 5.  Given a drawing of an ellipse, could you determine the approximate positions of its foci?
 October 17th, 2013, 10:12 PM #3 Member   Joined: Oct 2013 Posts: 38 Thanks: 2 Re: Need some tips refreshing on Trigonometry and Adv. Algeb Thanks very much for your reply... 1. When will you take the placement test? Usually, it takes from 1-2 weeks to schedule the test. Plus or minus, I'm thinking about a month. 2. How much time prior to that will you able to use for relearning, revision and practice? 1-2 hours a day - 4-5 days a week. 3. What rule is most often applied when doing algebra? Not sure, isolating the variable on one side, maybe... 4. What mathematical things did you find most difficult when last studying mathematics? It's tough to say...Hmmm. I probably need to see if there are diagnostic tests online that will tell you what you need to review. 5. Given a drawing of an ellipse, could you determine the approximate positions of its foci? I wouldn't be able to do this.
 October 18th, 2013, 08:27 AM #4 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,746 Thanks: 2133 I was hoping I could suggest a textbook, but you seem not to have enough time to buy it and work through it. If you can't answer #3 or #5 even with help from Google, you need much longer than a month to prepare. However, you might minimize the time you need by looking at several previously set placement tests.
October 18th, 2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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 Originally Posted by skipjack I was hoping I could suggest a textbook, but you seem not to have enough time to buy it and work through it. If you can't answer #3 or #5 even with help from Google, you need much longer than a month to prepare. However, you might minimize the time you need by looking at several previously set placement tests.
What makes you think I used Google? No offense, but I'm not sure if you're trying to keep people on this board, or to steer them away. It's been almost 10 years since I took these courses, so I AM rusty.

I've been reviewing rational expressions (division/multiplication), exponential expressions, functions, basic things like finding slope, midpoint, absolute value equations/inequalities, factoring quadratic equations, polynomial long division, logarithmic equations, and am reviewing sine, cosine, tangent, and some other trig. stuff right now.

Also, for what it's worth, I can enroll in Spring classes (not taking one of these classes in a winter session) starting November 28th, so I have until then to study.

 October 18th, 2013, 11:20 PM #6 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,746 Thanks: 2133 I don't know of any diagnostic tests online (or offline) that will tell you what you need to review. Although this site (ignore the calculus section) may help, as it provides some revision material and tests, it's intended to supplement formal tuition and use of textbooks. I assume you've done some basic algebra and geometry in the past, but I'd guess that occurred over several years. Most people would need at least twenty weeks to cover the same material again a decade later, though some seem to have the knack of cramming and might need less time. Many textbooks books contain "fluff", but those that are more "concentrated" are often harder to assimilate. I didn't think you had used Google for questions 3 and 5. The purpose of those questions was to determine whether you had the ambition, curiosity, drive, initiative and resourcefulness to seek out answers to them.

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