The study of pre-calculus will better prepare you for the study of calculus, which is required of most high school students. It deals with the study of sets, real numbers, complex numbers and the property of functions. It also deals with a lot of the same factors involved in trigonometry such as trigonometric functions and inverses and logarithmic functions.
How well should I be prepared before I take this course?
For a basic understanding of pre-calculus, you should be comfortable with primary Algebra concepts. You should also have sound practice in Factoring, Symmetry, Matrices, Trigonometry etc. You are also required to be comfortable with rational functions and functions involving radicals. Moreover, knowledge of vectors, parametric equations, and polar coordinates along with exposure to concepts of sequences, series, and probability will give you an added advantage.
What are the practical uses of pre-calculus?
There are many uses of pre-calculus in the real world situations. If you are interested in a computer programming career, this study of mathematics will be vital. Computer programmers use logarithms on a daily basis. Many engineering jobs also use many of the functions in their everyday use. This form of mathematics is also considered critical to maintaining structural integrity of bridges and roadways.
Transitioning from pre-calculus to calculus
Once you have mastered the basic concepts that are covered in pre-calculus, it will be relatively easy for you to focus on specific problems with some more practice. From then on, grasping key detailed concepts like differentiation, integration and related calculus formulas will not be hard.