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Urgent Advice needed: Should I change my math to precalc? - June 9th 2013, 11:47 PM

I have to decide by next week whether I want to change my math to pre-calculus. I failed 1 quarter Algebra 2. Now I have a C for the year (from flunking the first quarter so badly. It was like a 30%) and a B for the quarter. Currently I'm signed up for a probability class for next year. This is known as the class that dumb kids take. I don't want to sign up for a class I'm going to fail, but I don't want to limit my options for college by taking a class that's literally known as "the math class for lazy seniors that is literally impossible to fail unless you just don't come".

I completely turned around in Algebra 2.
   
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Re: Urgent Advice needed: Should I change my math to precalc? - June 10th 2013, 12:36 AM

If you take pre-calculus next year, are you able to get switched back into probability if you don't do so well? For example, before the start of the school year we're in now, I had to decide whether or not I wanted AP Physics or Biology. I went with biology but then was able to switch into AP Physics, and my guidance counselor said she'd allow me to change back if I decided it was too hard within a few weeks. Do you think that you'd be able to do something similar? If you're not sure, maybe you can talk to your guidance counselor and see if they would be able to take you back out of pre-calculus if you are having a hard time.

Also think about whether or not you'd be ready to make commitments. If you need help, you'll have to get it before you fall farther behind in the class, whether that means staying after school, doing practice problems, whatever the case may be, you'll have to do it. There's no point in sticking with a class that you'll fail if you don't get help.

Maybe you can speak with the teacher to see some of the things you'll be learning. I was in pre-calculus this year and so far have an A yearly average, but I honestly won't be able to describe anything we've learned. The teacher of the pre-calculus class may be able to give you some insight as to what to expect from the course, how quickly paced it is, and what kind of help will be offered. Let the teacher know the situation you're in and how you've turned around in Algebra II, and maybe they can help you make the decision. The teacher won't lie to you just to get you into the class. My AP Physics teacher had me as a student freshman year and she based her decision on what kind of student I was then, showed me some of the things we'd be covering, and told me that she'd be there for extra help at any time. Maybe yours can do something similar.

Once you get information on the course from the teacher or guidance, maybe you can make a pros and cons list detailing the benefits or risks of taking the course.


   
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Re: Urgent Advice needed: Should I change my math to precalc? - June 10th 2013, 01:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cataclysmic View Post
If you take pre-calculus next year, are you able to get switched back into probability if you don't do so well? For example, before the start of the school year we're in now, I had to decide whether or not I wanted AP Physics or Biology. I went with biology but then was able to switch into AP Physics, and my guidance counselor said she'd allow me to change back if I decided it was too hard within a few weeks. Do you think that you'd be able to do something similar? If you're not sure, maybe you can talk to your guidance counselor and see if they would be able to take you back out of pre-calculus if you are having a hard time.

Also think about whether or not you'd be ready to make commitments. If you need help, you'll have to get it before you fall farther behind in the class, whether that means staying after school, doing practice problems, whatever the case may be, you'll have to do it. There's no point in sticking with a class that you'll fail if you don't get help.

Maybe you can speak with the teacher to see some of the things you'll be learning. I was in pre-calculus this year and so far have an A yearly average, but I honestly won't be able to describe anything we've learned. The teacher of the pre-calculus class may be able to give you some insight as to what to expect from the course, how quickly paced it is, and what kind of help will be offered. Let the teacher know the situation you're in and how you've turned around in Algebra II, and maybe they can help you make the decision. The teacher won't lie to you just to get you into the class. My AP Physics teacher had me as a student freshman year and she based her decision on what kind of student I was then, showed me some of the things we'd be covering, and told me that she'd be there for extra help at any time. Maybe yours can do something similar.

Once you get information on the course from the teacher or guidance, maybe you can make a pros and cons list detailing the benefits or risks of taking the course.
I'm seeing a tutor every week. This year I had a terrible teacher and had so many holes in my math knowledge I just screwed everything for like three months before I got a tutor. I feel like I could do well in precalculus. B or C at least. I'm prepared to work hard in this class.
   
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Re: Urgent Advice needed: Should I change my math to precalc? - June 13th 2013, 09:07 PM

Things were a bit different at my high school. This was the track for honors/AP math:

9th grade - Geometry Honors
10th grade - Algebra 2 Honors
11th grade - Pre-Calc Honors
12th grade - AP Calc OR AP Stats

I believe I ended up with a B- for both semesters of Algebra 2 Honors, so I moved on to Pre-Calc Honors. I barely squeaked by that second semester with a C-... so if you plan to go on to Pre-Calc next year, I definitely recommend getting a tutor and putting in some extra time to study during your break (so your math skills don't become rusty between terms).

On another note, because I barely passed Pre-Calc Honors, I ended up taking AP Stats (which is essentially your Probability class) instead of AP Calc during my senior year. Not only did I get into my second choice for universities (which happens to be one of the top 50 in the United States), but I also received a scholarship through my AP Stats class! Should you end up selecting Probability over Pre-Calc, know that you can ALWAYS make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. Universities are going to look at the whole picture, not just the math class you chose to take during one year of your high school career. Heck, I only took 2 AP classes during my senior year - it just goes to show you that the honors/AP track is NOT the be-all and end-all.





   
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Re: Urgent Advice needed: Should I change my math to precalc? - June 15th 2013, 12:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSY View Post
Things were a bit different at my high school. This was the track for honors/AP math:

9th grade - Geometry Honors
10th grade - Algebra 2 Honors
11th grade - Pre-Calc Honors
12th grade - AP Calc OR AP Stats

I believe I ended up with a B- for both semesters of Algebra 2 Honors, so I moved on to Pre-Calc Honors. I barely squeaked by that second semester with a C-... so if you plan to go on to Pre-Calc next year, I definitely recommend getting a tutor and putting in some extra time to study during your break (so your math skills don't become rusty between terms).

On another note, because I barely passed Pre-Calc Honors, I ended up taking AP Stats (which is essentially your Probability class) instead of AP Calc during my senior year. Not only did I get into my second choice for universities (which happens to be one of the top 50 in the United States), but I also received a scholarship through my AP Stats class! Should you end up selecting Probability over Pre-Calc, know that you can ALWAYS make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. Universities are going to look at the whole picture, not just the math class you chose to take during one year of your high school career. Heck, I only took 2 AP classes during my senior year - it just goes to show you that the honors/AP track is NOT the be-all and end-all.
The probably and statistics class I was signed up for is an elective math that is easier than pre-calculus.

Unfortunately, I already switched my schedule to pre-calc. My counselor and my math tutor told me colleges in my state would be less likely to accept me without pre-calculus.

My school doesn't have honors pre-calculus. We have AP Calculus BC and AP Calculus AB. I'm going to take the probability class in 12th grade because God knows I wouldn't pass calculus. I already have a tutor for math.

These were my grades for math this year:

1st quarter: 57
2nd quarter: 65
Midterm: 45
3rd quarter: 76
4th quarter: 83
Final: 95
   
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