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Algebra and reacquanting myself with it

MelinoeMelinoe Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So here's the deal. Back in senior year of high school when I was taking my community college placement tests, I had a pretty good grip on math and it placed me into Trig (one step below Calc 1). When I finally had enough credits to have registration early enough to get into Trig (three semesters in), I took it without really thinking about it, and while I grasped the trig concepts easily enough, the algebra kinda threw me for a loop because I hadn't done it since junior year of high school. But there wasn't a lot of algebra in the Trig class, and I managed to get an A.

This semester, I'm in Calc 1, and it's sort of the same deal. The calc part isn't terribly hard, but I am pretty fuzzy with a lot of higher algebra (simplifying rational expressions, exponents, log functions, etc), and this time it's coming back to bite me in the ass, as there's a lot more of it in this calc class than there was in my trig class.

So basically, I'm thinking I should probably bone up on my algebra before taking calc 2, so does anybody know of some sort of website or book that will give me a structured review of algebra to make me better at this stuff? I already know about Khan Academy, and while it's a great site, it's kind of "pick-and-choose" rather than "you should start here and work your way from here to here and so on". I could just take a college algebra class I suppose but I'd rather avoid that as I'm already going to spend more time in CC than I'd like and math isn't central to the major I'm shooting for right now (pre-med). Thanks!

Melinoe on

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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You've already mentioned Khan Academy, but said it's a bit pick and choose. I've been using it myself recently as I too need to get my algebra/trig/calc skills up to speed asap. My understanding is that at least within each section they are listed in the recommended order on the home page and then link to each other in order so that each video builds on the previous in terms of knowledge required and overall difficulty. On the "Practice" section there is also a map with lines connecting the various logical paths through each of the exercises showing what ones are related to each other.

    That said, I'd also be interested in any other quality places to learn this stuff.

    Jimmy King on
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    RhinoRhino TheRhinLOL Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Schaum's Outline of College Algebra is good.

    I would go though that and do all the problems then work on whatever topics you didn't understand. If you can do all the problems in that book then you know 99% of every college level algebra class (excluding linear, abstract, etc).

    Khan is ok, but seems like he is missing a lot of structure or it's disorganized or something. Great as a secondary resource; but won't just use it by it's self. Also Patrick is good: http://www.youtube.com/user/patrickJMT

    Rhino on
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    MelinoeMelinoe Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Schaum's Outline looks like exactly the kind of the thing I was looking for, thank you so much!

    Melinoe on
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    DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    You'll get really good at algebra by working out your problems in Calculus. If I remember correctly, I came into Calculus with an ok-grasp on algebra.. and I left diff eq. an algebra god. Though a little side work won't hurt, if you got through Calc then you can get through Calc 2 (at least the algebra part of it).

    Demerdar on
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    MelinoeMelinoe Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    That's what I kept hoping for but every time I thought I would be okay the class just threw me another algebraic curve ball :(

    I'm getting through the class just fine, but I'm hoping to maintain as near to a 4.0 GPA as I can, so while I'm probably going to get a B in Calc 1, I'd like to try to make sure I get an A in Calc 2 (and beyond).

    Melinoe on
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    ED!ED! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    What exactly about the Algebra are you rusty on? Is it just powers, exponentials and logs? All of those can be condensed into pretty succinct rule sets (that you can see derivations of if you want it to "click"). About the only heavy algebra part will be the Sequences and Series section; beyond that your algebra skills will be tested when cleaning up your integrals.

    ED! on
    "Get the hell out of me" - [ex]girlfriend
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