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  1. #1
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Default What to do about Calculus

    Okay, I just finished taking AP calc, and I should get back the scores in July.

    My high school requires that I take another math class for my senior year, so I'm going to take it at the community college. If I get a passing grade on my AP, I'll take calc II. If I don't, I'll breeze through calc I again.

    The thing is that I'm applying to some universities that only take AP as elective credit. If I go to one of those, and I major in something that requires me to take calculus, do I have to take it again even though I already have college credit for calc II?

    Any suggestions on what I should do? Or should I continue with this plan?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  2. #2
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Depends on the school, however the school I went to wouldn't take my 5 bio score and apply it towards my major requirement, only as you said, elective credit so that was somewhat of a disappointment. However they did take my Calculus score as satisfying a math credit. I'd check out the schools you were thinking of applying to and see what they have to say, and make a call from there.



  3. #3
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    As Jock said, and as you know, each school has its own standards.

    Yeah, you might have to. Schools just don't coordinate this kind of stuff as well as they could. Like you said, sometimes you have to re-take stuff you already know. When I did it, it really did help cement the knowledge into my brain, so there was that benefit, plus the easy grade.

    Unfortunately, though, you are right to be concerned about finishing your curriculum on time, and the way this might impede that. The small bumps add up.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  4. #4

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    I was in a similar situation as you Hap. I had 5 math classes from a local university that needed to be transferred. Only three of them did actually transfer.

    Another thing to note is that Calculus 2 and 3 may be semester classes at your community college. So you may need to take two math classes next year for a full year of math. If so, I recommend Linear Algebra or Modern Algebra as your second class instead of Calculus 3--Calculus 3 is often not a requirement, even for some technichal majors.

    Like others have pointed out, whether or not credits transfer depends on what the standards of the university are. Still, you may have other options beyond credit transfer...

    An option, not often stated, is the ability to "test out" of classes by meeting with the department head and agreeing to take just the final for a class with all the other students. If you get a good grade, you'll be allowed to skip the class. This is what I did for the two classes that did not transfer. You can check with your university to see if they have a similar option.

    Another possible option is to get "content credit"--that is, the ability to skip taking a particular class as a prerequisite for further classes. This won't give you credit hours that count towards graduation, but it will keep you from having to take classes where you already know the content. I am going to be using this option a lot for my next degree and am pretty sure most universities offer this.

    At the worst, you'll have an easy time in a class in college--not a terrible thing.

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  5. #5
    Welcome to Sunnyside Mondo's Avatar
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    Most colleges should let you use your Calc II credit (in the form of transfer credit)- even if it isn't AP.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member norepinephrine's Avatar
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    Contact the faculty member teaching the class you would Like to get into even if your prereqs don't appear to qualify you. They will look at what you've done and evaluate it fairly.

    In fact, the ones I work with are marshmallows. But, OTOH, they really don't want to see any student take on more than they can handle and fail.
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  7. #7
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    Sort of in the same boat, I tested out of math in college (AP/and the placement tests)... I don't need anything more. And although math and whatever related studies are probably my strengths, I really dislike math classes in general, not the material or anything, just the fact that it takes a semester and is ususally not relevant beyond what you'd be taught in other somewhat related areas... statistics, econ, bus., engineering... if you're going into engineering or something math heavy, it's probably all for the better (what you take in highschool beyond the 2 AP calc tests you can take doesn't really mean much). My younger sister did better in math than me, and started out as a freshman in junior level math classes and after her first semester stopped taking any sort of math classes (was engineering). For anything besides a MATH major, she has math covered.


    Bottom line... if you really don't like math, you probably won't end up in a math intensive (really math intensive, not just calc and whatever {talking theory of mathematics as a whole} so it's not worth a whole bunch of thought). That said, the more AP tests you can take, the better in my experience. Inside of college, the fact that I took, passed, and aced AP tests for which I was never given a class has been a huge plus on my record. I just got B's in highschool, the lowest possible w/o my parents cutting me off, and then took AP tests for areas I was interested in regardless of school, passed, and started my first year as nearly a junior. Honestly, don't be too dissuaded if you haven't taken an AP course in High School for the corresponding test... I did better in all of the History and Politics AP tests w/o ever taking a class for it... if you're parents have the money, at worst you're looking at $200-800 in money down the drain... a semester could be tons more than that. So, take the AP tests, even if you're amateur in that area (a 4 is a lot easier than they make it sound).



    Beyond that, the colleges have their own placement tests. So depending on the university, you might have to do well on yet another test even though you've done AP calc 1 and 2, in order to test out of those and get the specific class credits ... math whatever it is in whatever school you're looking at... (CHECK THIS STUFF AT THE COLLEGES YOU'RE APPLYING TO)

    Basically, if you can and are motivated to get an A in the math class at the community college, do it. It won't hurt your high school record at all, and you'll have at least another AP math test out of the way and in your pocket, and with the BS they make you do in class, you'll do really well in the placement tests specific to your college in the future.

  8. #8
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    why would you listen to ppl who haven't taken calc and just hate math? :P this isn't a typical "should i take this class" question!

    Calculus is an area where your university selection really won't matter all that much. It's pretty uniform regardless of where you g......calc 1 is pretty easy and doesnt go very far from trig/alg you learn beforehand. calc 2, however, (IMO and many others) is the most difficult class you'll most likely take on calculus.

    How comfortable are you with derivatives (calc 1)? cuz they don't go away! You might consider taking calc1 just to secure your footing better, because calculus truly builds "upwards" and you need to master it all. In the near future I'd like to audit calc 1 -3 just because its so important and I'm so bad at it.

    so really, it all depends where you want to go degree-wise. But honestly, regardless of what major you choose, stick with the mathematics and calculus. Too many people cop out for easier stuff!

  9. #9
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    like in calc2, you learn how to take the derivatines of the natural logarithm and the exponential function ( ln x, e^x respectively), so having it fresh in your mind isn't bad. Taking a derivative of ln x = 1/x, and the exponential function has the very interesting property of being its own derivative! that is, derivative of e^x = e^x !! this is very useful in physics and any other science needing to describe exponentiall growth and decays

  10. #10
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    why would you listen to ppl who haven't taken calc and just hate math? :P this isn't a typical "should i take this class" question!

    Calculus is an area where your university selection really won't matter all that much. It's pretty uniform regardless of where you g......calc 1 is pretty easy and doesnt go very far from trig/alg you learn beforehand. calc 2, however, (IMO and many others) is the most difficult class you'll most likely take on calculus.

    How comfortable are you with derivatives (calc 1)? cuz they don't go away! You might consider taking calc1 just to secure your footing better, because calculus truly builds "upwards" and you need to master it all. In the near future I'd like to audit calc 1 -3 just because its so important and I'm so bad at it.

    so really, it all depends where you want to go degree-wise. But honestly, regardless of what major you choose, stick with the mathematics and calculus. Too many people cop out for easier stuff!
    Actually derivatives and integrals are like the only thing I'm good at. It's adding and subtracting I can't do.



    I'm probably not going to be an engineer. In fact, I'll probably end up an economics/foreign language major, which means that all this calculus will be rendered mostly useless. But it's nice to feel like you're good at something sometimes :x
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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