math courses

I am just getting started and trying to figure out what will be my first courses. My question is regarding math courses. Math/Physics were my weak point in undergrad. If only for my mental health, I think that I'd to take a few slower-paced math courses (college algebra/precalc) prior to attempting higher level-calculus. It will slow me down, but I really feel I need a good review/base before I move full speed ahead with prereqs. I plan to take them at the local community college to save some $$. Does anyone see a down side to this or have any other ideas about a good math review?

Downside to math review- or math review at a community college? A math review sounds ideal and I think taking math review at CC is fine- No issue there.
I think a good math review could be helpful if you’re a little out of practice. One of my high school chem teachers explained to me that chemistry was just algebra. He was more or less right, so a review of algebra really couldn’t hurt you with your chem pre-req and would be essential for physics. I don’t know what your plan is- some med schools require calc, some don’t. I know a few people who’ve gotten in without taking any calculus. As I’m sure you know, the physics requirement is non-calculus based, so it is possible to skip out of calc all together (I’m not necessarily recommending it, just making an observation). A good knowledge of precal would be essential in a physics course. Sounds like you’ve got a good plan.
You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised when you return to math classes- perhaps you’ve become a math person over the years! (happened to me in graduate school)
Happy Calculating! biggrin.gif

Those were my thoughts exactly—I really wanted to a good review of algebra before chem/physics. It seems like a good way to ease into the whole process. Maybe your right and will discover new math abilities! That sure would be a nice start…

BTW, calculus is not required for medical schools, a few exceptions are Harvard, Wash U, and possibly Duke just FYI…

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences just made calculus a req for their pharmacy and medical schools.

QUOTE (efex101 @ Jul 31 2003, 02:47 PM)
BTW, calculus is not required for medical schools, a few exceptions are Harvard, Wash U, and possibly Duke just FYI...

many of the UC require 1 qtr of calc or 2 qtr of calc, or 1 qtr calc + 1 qtr stats

you'll need algebra for Chem - depending on how rusty your algebra is you might or might not need a course -
you'll need some trigonometry for Physics - what is covered in either trig or pre-calc will do it for you
I was finishing a BS so my math path was dicated (and included calc) and my physics choice was dictated (calc-based physics) - but as you've been told, med schools don't require calc-based physics, and MCAT physics is not calc-based.

I believe all Texas medical schools require calculus.

Dear Cristin,
Looks like we're in the same boat! Maybe we can share stories? I'm taking PreCalculus at my local CC this fall. I'm terrible at math. I took College Algebra last year and originally signed up for a compressed PreCalc with Trig (over 1 semester) this past spring, but it was too hard so I withdrew. It was painful for me to withdraw but I couldn't risk a bad grade so now I'm signed up for PreCalc again–only over 2 semesters. I'll take the continuation in the spring, which will incorporate the Trig. Since my math skills are horrible, I decided to do math FIRST before attempting any science prereqs. I hope to go full-time next summer or fall in a post-bac program. Right now, I'm working full-time and just taking the PreCalc in the fall.
I think taking math at a community college is fine although it seems like some med schools have a credit limit. For example, they want the class to have 4 credits or 5 credits. My class is only 3 credits so I may have to retake it in a post-bacc program. But, I need the review/background so in my case, I don't think it's a waste.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

If you take your math courses at a CC and it is as wonderful as Richland College here in Dallas was for me, you will find that they often have an excellent tutoring center. In addition, as a first generation college student, I was eligible to enroll for SOAR, which is a federal program to support first generation college students. It also gave me free one on one tutoring, about 3 hours every week during the regular semester and every day during the summer. I was able to have this during all of my math classes, and though way back when in high school I made a 6 on the ACT and failed college Algebra 4 times in college 15 years ago, I made all B’s this time! If I did it, ANYONE can pass Math. One of the happiest days of my entire life was finishing up Cal I (the last one) and knowing I’d never have to take a math class again!! tongue.gif tongue.gif

I too am a first generation college student and I'm enrolled in Trigonometry for the fall semester. Can you post more info about the SOAR program? It sounds like something that I might want to take advantage of seeing as College Algebra was 2 years ago for me (seems more like 200 though!). Thanks!