Academic Affairs Office

Review College Algebra & Trigonometry

(aka "Prepare for Calculus I")

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These are the skills that you should walk into Calculus with.  You should know these skills well enough to perform them without needing to refer to any notes.

  • Lines: Writing linear equations, graphing linear equations, finding the slope between two points.
  • Factoring:  Factoring polynomials of all types.
  • Exponent Rules:  Correctly apply exponent rules, be able to rewrite radical expressions with rational exponents, be able to rewrite and evaluate expressions involving negative exponents.
  • Trigonometry: Find missing angles or sides on a right triangle.  Evaluate a trig function of a special angle, like sin (pi/6).
  • Trig Identities: You should know the Pythagorean Identities, the trig identities for double angles, the definitions of the reciprocal functions, and the odd and even trig identities.
  • Function Notation: Understand and use function notation, including how to find compositions of functions.
  • Radicals: Be able to simplify and/or rationalize a radical term.  Be able to perform mathematical cacluations involving radical terms.
  • Exponential & Logarithms: Be able to solve an equation involving exponential or logarithmic terms.  Be able to evaluate expressions that involve logs or exponential terms or factors.
  • Geometry: Be able to find the perimeter, area, volume, or surface area of basic geometric figures.
  • Graphing: You should be able to draw a graph for any of the following functions, labeling important characteristics, like asymptotes, endpoints, vertices, etc. without your calculator.  
    • Linear functions
    • Basic quadratic and cubic functions
    • Square root function
    • Absolute value function
    • Exponential functions
    • Logarithmic functions
    • Trigonometric functions (the six basic trig functions)
    • The reciprocal function ( y = 1/x ) 
Web Resources for improving your College Algebra & Trigonometry Skills

This webpage is maintained by Maria H. Andersen.  If you have suggestions for additional links, or would like to report a bad link, please email her.