As the course cards get passed out, underclassmen give nervous glances to each other, unsure of what classes they need, especially with that dreaded four letter word, math.
Kids, ease up, we’re here to aid your confusions, starting with the first myth of mathematics, being that pre-cal is required before you take calculus. False.
“It is outlined in the 4 year plans that the only 3 maths required are algebra I, II and geometry. There are some universities that see pre-cal as a strong admission requirement. I encourage students to research what universities or colleges they may attend or what programs they want to enter because there are some fields that will require pre cal or it gives them better background knowledge for what they’re going to be studying,” said counselor Courtney Tarbox.
Pre-cal is highly encouraged for students but isn’t mandatory, and depending on how Einstein-esque your math grade is, skipping pre cal will either save time or slowly kill you. For senior Sabrina Williams, it was the latter.
“I didn’t take pre-cal because my sister didn’t take pre-cal, she was really advanced in math, she graduated in 2012 and she didn’t take pre cal she completely skipped it because her counselors advised her too, so she took AB calculus her junior year and then senior year she took BC, so i’m just following in her footsteps and i’ve had a 10 in this class the whole year,” said Williams.
The senior further explained her stance on skipping pre calculus, commenting that it’s the student’s decision that matters rather than the recommended course plan.
“I don’t know why counselors don’t emphasize that pre cal isn’t required, I guess because its just a traditional way of doing math but I think they should encourage, at least the high ranking students or the ones who can handle it to go straight into calculus. I think it definitely limits the student’s capabilities because for some students, pre cal is actually harder than calculus is, just because of the way their mind works and also it can help you get ahead in college,” said Williams.
Some people want to dance to the beat of the track and others want the DJ to switch gear.Both just depend on your preference, but math is a bit of a struggle compared to house versus R&B
“Typically the message thats given to students that are ahead is that Pre-Cal the best idea because that would allow them to decide if they wanna pursue calculus or they just have more options to further advance in math senior year. It totally depends on what they want to do, I encourage students to research what universities or colleges they may wanna attend or what programs they wanna enter because there are some fields that will require Pre-Cal or it gives them better background knowledge for what they’re going to be studying,” said Tarbox.
Senior Nicholas Habenicht was unaware that pre-cal was not mandatory, however doesn’t resent the extra step, he explains that the class was greatly beneficial.
“I think Pre-Cal kinda warmed me up to the material, it keeps your mind fresh with the difficulty of the math, Pre-Cal keeps you at the same level of difficulty to get you ready for calculus. I really thought you needed to take Pre-Cal prior to calculus, I was unaware you could just take calculus but it can be helpful, it preps students, like you may not carry a bunch of stuff but it gets you ready for what calculus entitles which is difficult math, like you wouldn’t take algebra II without taking algebra I,” said Habenicht
Don’t take a shot in the dark about this though, there’s only one person that can help you make a clear decision about which math course will fit you best. Your teacher. They’re essentially suburban fortune tellers.
“I always encourage students, anytime they’re making decisions on classes to talk with the teachers in those specific areas, because their math teachers will know them well and know their skills as well as giving them good guidance,” said Tarbox.