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
- West Texas A & M University's College Algebra Tutorials
- Purplemath's Advanced Algebra Tutorials.
- Pauls Online Math Notes Algebra/Trigonometry Review
- Visual Calculus Precalculus Section
- Planet Math Trigonometry (scroll down the page)
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.