A precalculus course is considered an introduction before moving on to a calculus course which would be too difficult for beginners to access directly. The next step to most people graduating from a precalculus course is, therefore, calculus, but it’s not the only possible way. Sometimes, students don’t move on to calculus but just use what they’ve learnt during the precalculus course within various applied fields and sciences. This is why a proper calculus course doesn’t just focus on preparing you for the calculus module in which you’re supposed to arrive at some point, but sometimes is focused more on how you could apply its models in business or economics and so on. That means that if you decide to attend an online precalculus course, this can be a gateway either into more advanced mathematics, either in other related practical domains. Usually, this is a course people take either right before enrolling in college, either in the first year of college.
There are also other reasons for which some people seek to enroll in an online precalculus course. For instance, if you’re already attending college, you can sign up for one of these courses just to earn some needed credits which you can then redeem at your university. Or you can enroll in one as a means to refresh your basic calculus concepts and do better at your main assignments. Whatever the reasons, the good news is that offers of an online precalculus course seem to be plenty; and some of them even from quite prestigious universities and colleges. But before deciding whether to enroll and which one to choose, here are a few things we’re suggesting you should consider.
1. Decide whether an online precalculus course is the best fit for you.
Even if you would benefit from a precalculus course and actually decide to attend one, it doesn’t mean that it has to be in the form of online training. For some people, going to a real classroom regularly and discussing the information they’re supposed to learn with physically present people works better than going at it online. If you have serious doubts about your ability to understand what will be taught in this class in the absence of a professor to pose questions to in real life, then maybe it would be better for you to consider the traditional version of a precalculus course.
The same goes if you think you might actually function better, motivation-wise, in the context of a traditional class which will require your presence. Some people work better under the pressure of having somewhere to be and homework to do, in contrast to chronically procrastinating everything if left to their own devices. An online training program relies on your ability to motivate yourself to push through all the required steps in their due time, even if no one is necessarily checking up on you. On the other hand, an online precalculus course might be just the thing for you if you have other responsibilities to attend to besides learning precalculus (like other classes with potentially conflicting schedules, a job or family must-dos and so on).
2. Decide what you want to do with the certificate after obtaining it.
If you need the certification of graduating from an online precalculus course in order to get admitted into another program or for the credits received, make sure you do some background checks before choosing a course. When you think one looks promising, take the extra step of making a few phone calls to verify that the certificate obtained will indeed be valid for whatever you want to use it for. Some universities or potential work places may prefer another precalculus course, or may not recognize the certificates from certain institutions at all. That’s why this needs to be checked before handing in your papers for definitive enrollment.
3. Make sure you search for and pick a certified course.
Oh, another thing you should check and double check is that the online precalculus course you want to enroll in is for sure recognized by the state authorities in education. Otherwise, the certificate you’ll obtain at the end will be virtually worthless, no matter if you actually manage to learn something useful about calculus in the process or not. There are many scams out there, so make sure to double check or, even better, take in account the recommendation of friends or school officials.
Other than that, you’re good to go. Browse the offer of online or regular courses within your college and intended college for a precalculus course , then expand your search to other colleges in your state as well. Ask your teachers and friends what would they recommend and make sure you also pose this question to some public relations person from the institution where you think you’ll need that certificate once you get it. After you run the basic check-ups for the course which seems the most promising, enroll and be prepared to give the best of your analytical mind’s skills. Meanwhile, you can try your hand at some basic precalculus concepts for free here.