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Math - Pre-Calculus

Moving up from algebra to calculus may not be such a straightforward move. Calculus topics are a lot more complicated, so to get students into the rhythm, a pre-calculus subject is always useful.

Pre-calculus deals with stuff like trigonometry, which is very important in calculus. In fact, there are some shortcut methods in calculus that involve trigonometry, so mastering the latter is key for students looking to take up calculus in the near future. For example, calculus makes use of things called trigonometric identities, which relates the different trigonometric functions together. This would involve the three basic trigonometric functions, which are sine, cosine, and tangent. Trigonometric identities basically just play around with these functions, and each of these identities are consistent all throughout. Because they never change, they can help with other calculations too.

Once students have mastered these trigonometric identities, they will be able to use them in actual calculus. One application is the principle known as trigonometric substitution, which is useful in integral calculus. Trigonometric substitution makes use of trigonometric identities to simplify the equations inside the integral. In turn, the basic rules of integration are easier to apply, and back-substituting the original equations will give the correct answer.

Trigonometric identities will also be useful in evaluating derivatives or integrals of trigonometric equations. In a similar way, the identities will allow these equations to be simplified, making the calculation a lot easier.

Using trigonometry to simplify calculus is such an amazing method that students will benefit a lot from. Instead of integrating or differentiating an equation the hard way, they can do it the easy way and save themselves lots of time and effort, not to mention paper and ink. Also, this skill will be useful even outside of calculus, in case the student decides to take even higher math subjects.