Hi All,

I’m at CC college right now as I haven’t been to school in over 7 years. I’m planning on transfering to a state university as soon as I get my second child in school (sooner if I can swing it!). Anyway, I’m plugging away at the math pre-reqs right now and my CC says I need to take Trig before taking Pre-calc. The university says I only need the algebra class I’m taking this summer to take Pre-calc.

Should I just go ahead and take the Trig (only a 3 credit class - go figure…) so I can keep on a roll with the math while I’m still at a CC? Or wait until I get to the university and just take the Pre-calc?

Also, the CC wants me to take a remedial biology class b/c I’ve been out of high school for more then 5 years. The university does not require me to do that. I could take the pre-bio at CC just as a brush-up (it has been ages!) and take the Bio at CC or should I just hold off until I’m over at the university?

If I don’t take any of the pre-med requirements at CC I’m starting to run out of classes to take (I’m almost sophomore level)as I don’t want to take sciences I won’t need that might hurt my GPA just to take them, etc.

Any advice?

Thanks,

Christy

# Do I need Trig to take Pre-calc? And CC pre-reqs..

How good are your math skills? I would listen more to the university than the CC but might brush up on trig if you think you need it. I am no expert (in math or anything else related to it) but that’s what my gut tells me.

I only took two years of math in h/s and just started back into the fine world of math (English was more my thing!). I thought I’d do terrible but started with a class just below college algebra and with lots of study hours, I’m doing really well. I’m taking the regular level of algebra this summer and think I’ll do pretty good. My only concern w/ taking the Trig is not getting an A and damaging my GPA. My brother (at the university I want to go to) says that they teach the trig skills in the pre-calc class. If it will help me, I don’t mind taking the trig. But being math is not my best subject, I hate to take too many of them!

Decisions, decisions!

Christy

Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you need trig for physics, even if it’s algebra based? It’s been a long time and I took the calc version (not an option at my undergrad), but I think for a lot of the motion problems you had to do trig.

Tara

We’ve needed a little trig in the calc bases physics I am in but it hasn’t been anything that I have not been able to review a little – of course, I might have taken a brush up course had I known that before.

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If I don’t take any of the pre-med requirements at CC I’m starting to run out of classes to take (I’m almost sophomore level)as I don’t want to take sciences I won’t need that might hurt my GPA just to take them, etc.

Au contraire, I would look at the opportunity to take brush-up courses at the CC as a way to ENHANCE your eventual GPA! Not that CC courses are easier - far from it, as many folks have reported. But I see them as likely GPA-enhancers for at least two reasons: 1, from everything I’ve heard about good CC’s, you’re more likely to get support/help there than at university - so it’s a good place to start your math and science work; 2, by “warming up” with some additional coursework, you’re going to be in gear when you take the prereqs at the university. Oh, a third reason: the more science credits you have, the more you “dilute” the random bad grade that

*could*happen somewhere along the line. Your BCPM GPA takes a big hit from one C if you’ve only got 30 BCPM credits - but a much smaller hit if that one C is part of a 60-credit package.

So if you’re running out of courses to take, by all means take these courses as good ramp-ups to the next level. JMHO, of course.

A fresh trig class is a huge, huge help in a non-calculus physics class. It’s nice in a calculus-based class, but not as relevant.

Susan - Chicago/Minneapolis

Thanks for all the good advise - I’ll go ahead and take the Trig. I have a good teacher right now that teaches all the way up to pre-calc so I’ll stick with her and keep chugging along.

So as for adding in those extra sciences, what should I take? I’ve heard so many mixed opinions on whether to take my pre-med bio and chem at CC or wait until I transfer that my head is dizzy.

But Mary’s idea of adding in more to balance my GPA makes a ton of sense - I never thought of that. What could I take (I’m not a science major)? Any suggestions/ideas?

-Christy

I urge you to go for the Trig. I took trig and skipped precalc. I am doing calc this semester - it is far from easy but I am getting it done. Actually, it is rather beautiful - keep slogging through it as the problems get more interesting. You will need to have a firm grasp of the trig functions, their graphs, and the trig identities to do well in calc. (Until two years ago I had not set foot into a mathematics classroom in eighteen years - I started my Math sequence at Algebra 1 - ie remedial algebra. My how time flies.)

Mary gave you sage advice about community college - I think one gets a greater degree of support and attention from the faculty than at a large Univesity. This has been an invaluable help to me. Additionally, the low tuition (almost free here in California) is a great convenience, enabling one to work less and study more. My strategy has been to gain a firm foundation in math, chem and bio at my local CC, so that I will be well prepared for upper divisioin coursework when I get to University this fall (and sit the MCAT next year). Community college has been a good place to learn, to get A’s and to prepare myself for the what lies ahead. I think that CC’s have something of a stigma attatched to them in eastern states. That is not the case in Cali. I have waited this long I figure that I might as well do it right.

Lawrence

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I urge you to go for the Trig. I took trig and skipped precalc. I am doing calc this semester - it is far from easy but I am getting it done. Actually, it is rather beautiful - keep slogging through it as the problems get more interesting.

My hat is off to you, and I am jealous!

Lawrence, you are right about the CC stigma out east! The funny thing is, my brother is now at the University of Michigan and says his CC weren’t any easier then his current courses!

As for calc - wow, way to go on mastering that! All of the schools I plan on applying to don’t require Calc so I’m hoping after Pre-Calc I can hang up my math hat. I know I’ll still be using math, but would like to be done with math classes by next spring. It’s just not my thing!

Christy

Definitely take trig and learn the Unit Circle backwards and forwards, you’ll have such an advantage in pre-calc and if you go on to calc.

No matter what you end up doing later, I think trig is a useful subject to get good at. You see it in calculus, and in physics (in my calc-based class it came up a lot–in simple harmonic motion, and alternating current, for example). So you can’t go wrong by taking an extra class. Plus, if math isn’t your favorite subject, you might want to take MORE of it than necessary, especially early on, so that you get stronger at it.

Before you sign up for too many pre-reqs at the CC, maybe you should check with some medical schools you’re interested in applying to, to see if they accept applicants who’ve taken prereqs at CCs. Some do, some don’t. I know this from experience!

Good luck,

Andrea