Not A Math Whiz! Which class to take?

  1. Hi all,

    I will be taking algebra this spring & am hoping it all comes back to me... It's only been, oh, since 1986 that I last took algebra. Yikes!

    After that though, I have to choose either finite math or pre-calc. I would like to take one or the other this summer before I start clinicals. Aren't I the optimistic one

    Since I struggle with math, which would be the better (read, easier!) choice?

    Thanks for your input,
    Heather
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    hmmm, I'm not sure, I've never had to take either one.

    I did find this link though. Maybe it will help you. Good luck!

    http://people.hofstra.edu/faculty/St...ner/RealWorld/


    Quote from *Heather*
    Hi all,

    I will be taking algebra this spring & am hoping it all comes back to me... It's only been, oh, since 1986 that I last took algebra. Yikes!

    After that though, I have to choose either finite math or pre-calc. I would like to take one or the other this summer before I start clinicals. Aren't I the optimistic one

    Since I struggle with math, which would be the better (read, easier!) choice?

    Thanks for your input,
    Heather
  4. by   SchoolRN,BSN
    Quote from Fun2Care
    hmmm, I'm not sure, I've never had to take either one.

    I did find this link though. Maybe it will help you. Good luck!

    http://people.hofstra.edu/faculty/St...ner/RealWorld/


    Ooooh, you lucky girl! I envy you!

    Thanks so much for the website. I will look at it & see if any of that gibberish means anything...

    Heather
  5. by   Daytonite
    I've been retaking math because I need to get into Calculus. My school requires Trig and Intermediate Algebra to get into Calculus. I did Calculus once before but got lost when the Trig functions got thrown into the mix. You see, I barely squeaked through Trig in high school. So, I wanted to get a real good baseline before charging into Calculus again and knowing I was going to have to also re-take Trig. I started with Pre-Algebra--it was so easy I didn't even have to study--the homework was a snap. Elementary Algebra wasn't too bad either. It got a little challenging when we got into the quadratic formula. I was also worried about the word problems so bought a couple of supplemental books on Algebra word problems which were a tremendous help! I remembered a lot more Geometry than I thought I would although I had to put in the effort to memorize the theorums so I could do the proofs. I am now in Intermediate Algebra. I've done very well with all these classes, but things have gotten a little shaky as we started working with rational exponents (x to the 1/2 power) and that old imaginary number "i". Our instructor keeps telling us that we have to know how to factor equations because we're going to need to do that quickly to solve Calculus problems. I couldn't tell you if he's right or not because all I remember of Calculus was how my life went into the crapper when I couldn't understand how to do derivitives. I was good at the analytic geometry part of it. Since this dude has put a couple of simple Calculus questions on our tests (he calls them Ace breakers) I'm guessing it's probably important to know how to factor or use the quadratic equation to solve problems as he's saying. Also, the last three or four chapters in our intermediate algebra book is on factoring and solving quadratic equations. If you can remember how to do that to find the solution to an equation I guess you could give pre-calculus a try. My guess is that pre-calculus is really Intermediate algebra with some trig thrown in. The best thing you could probably do is to talk to one of the math professors or instructors since they will know what the cirriculum is for pre-Calc and would be better advisors. You always have the option of buying the textbook for Intermediate algebra to use as a reference text. Trig is next on the list for me. I'm already worrying about sins and cosins. The other thing you could do is sit in on a calculus class at the beginning of a quarter or semester long enough to get a copy of the syllabus and see if you think you'll be able to handle it. I had a friend in college who couldn't get into the second quarter of Calculus, so somehow he weaseled his way into the third quarter. All he did was talk about all the extra studying he had to do to keep up with the class (they were doing vectors). He got a B in it and then went to the college and asked them to give him credit for the second quarter since he basically had to study the second quarter material to get through the third quarter. I don't remember if they gave him the credit or not. Would you be surprised if I told you that today he is a physician--no kidding!
  6. by   jhawk07
    probably finite math, it has more to do with patterns and things then pre-calc does, avoid calculus at all costs!!!!!! i did but my fiance had to take Calc 1 and 2 for his major and even him as a math whiz had a hard time taking Calculus, take the lowest numbered class possible and avoid Calc at all costs
  7. by   AlexCCRN
    Finite will work just fine but if you're contemplating higher levels of involvement in say nursing research, precalc is more useful.

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