Why Summer Cal-Prep?

You've just finished Math 536 and you did well. Bravo! In about 6 weeks, you'll be in Cégep, starting a course in Differential Calculus -- but right now you don't even want to hear the word math -- right?? You want to take a break from matters academic. You want to foget all about school and have a good time.

It's understandable but it's a bad move. See, math is a continuum. Each lesson builds on the last, so by the time you finish high school, you've had a lot of math lessons -- all mished together in your brain. You've studied geometry, algebra, functions, statistics, analytic geometry -- and right now it's all fresh in your mind and it all makes sense. But by time you start back to classes, you'll have forgotten most of what you knew so well for the June exams -- the functions, the geometry, the formulae, the trig identities, the unit circle, etc., and you'll probably end up in the 35% - 50% of first year Calculus students who fail the course.

And why do they fail???

Because Calculus is hard?

No!! They fail because they can't do Algebra!

They fail because they've forgotten their trig identities and their geometry theorems over the summer. They take ten minutes to write the equation of a line given the slope and a point and they need sedatives when asked to add algebraic fractions. That's why they fail!

I know! I taught the course for years and at the beginning of the semester, I always did a Cal-Prep with my students to teach them what they were supposed to have learned in High School. I also taught them efficiency and how to avoid reaching for the calculator until the last step. Afterwards, they enjoyed the course because they made great marks. They didn't struggle with the algebra -- which is of course, the language of all math and science -- they knew it intuitively, so it wasn't a problem.

Don't believe me? Take this quick test.

Given f (x) = x² – 3x + 2,

find an algebraic expression for and state what it represents geometrically.


Here's the solution:

Geometrically, this represents the slope between 2 points on the curve of f (x).

Did you get it???

Yes? Then you don't need a Cal-Prep. Go away!

But I bet most of you said no.

Okay, here's another quick test -- easier than the first. It can be done in a single step.
If you can't get this by looking at it, you definitely need CAL-PREP!

Write the equation of the line through ( – 1, 5), parallel to 2x + y – 7 = 0.

If you intend to pass Cal, you must be able to read the slope ( –A/B) of the line from its equation in any form, and then write:

y – 5 = –2(x + 1) which is y = – 2x + 3.

Didn't get it or understand it as soon as you saw the solution??
Take the
MathRoom Cal-Prep Review
before you start the course!!

You'll love instead of hate Calculus!!
and you'll make high marks easily.

MathRoom Door