Calculus? I am a biology major, not much math knowledge :/ ?

I have to take calculus for my biology major. The only math I have taken recently is statistics and I did well. As far as high school math I knew algebra and geometry but never really did much of anything else. Would it be impossible for me to jump right in? What If I used the summer to learn trig or pre-calc?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Statistics courses that don't have calculus as a prerequisite are useless, as far as math is concerned. You will have a very hard time in calculus if you don't have a very solid grasp of algebra and trigonometry. Depending on how advanced the course gets, you should have a good working knowledge of the following before taking the course (listed in order of what you learn in a standard math sequence):

    1) Excellent arithmetic/basic algebra skills: working with fractions, exponents, radicals, factoring, etc. You'd be surprised at how many COLLEGE students struggle with calculus because of a lack in these areas

    2) Solving and graphing equations: linear, quadratic, sketching graphs for degree higher than 2 polynomials, exponential, logarithmic. A good understanding of slope of a line is also essential.

    3) Basic trig: calculating trig functions of given angles, graphing trig functions, using trig identities to manipulate trigonometric expressions, solving trig equations

    4) Limits: taking limits and understanding what limits are. This may be covered/reviewed at the beginning of the course but is generally covered in "Pre-calc"

    If you feel comfortable with these things then you should be fine, if not then you will definitely struggle. The most common shortcomings I see are unfortunately lack of algebra skills. However, if you can get to the point of feeling prepared, a good understanding of calculus can change how you see the world! It really is a beautiful subject with some amazing stuff in there.

    Source(s): College math teacher
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  • ?
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    You definitely need some review. Calculus weeds out hopeful science and engineering majors at colleges every semester. Your algebra (I and II, not just part of it), trigonometry, and (to a lesser extent) geometry skills all need to be top notch. If you haven't mastered these things, don't take the class. Mastery of such basic math is assumed at the calculus level and beyond.

    Introductory statistics classes are very easy and require literal algebra.

    Source(s): Experience
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  • Juan
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Calculus is easier than trig & pre-calculus

    Pre-calculus has very little to do with

    calculus except some very extremely important

    thing. Calculus is pretty much derivatives &


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  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    I guess it will be okay for you. And ur summer would be enough to prepare well before the course. however calculus is in the using of integral.

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  • 7 years ago

    For God's sake take trig and pre-calc first! If you don't you will be lost, you might be anyway.

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