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Pre-Calculus for Dummies


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ISBN-10: 1118239598
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118239599
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By M. Wang VINE VOICE on August 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I bought this book for my son, who needs to review Pre-Calculus. He had just finished The Complete Idiot's Guide to Precalculus and really enjoyed the humor and real-life analogies in that book. This one is much drier and less intuitive, and requires my explanation from time to time. If you are buying just one book on the subject, I highly recommend the Complete Idiot's Guide instead.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Colin Brown VINE VOICE on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've been out of school for a number of years now and thought I would refresh myself on that most hated of subjects, calculus. So why not go for the basics and get a dummies book?
To be honest I've not put a lot of stock in dummies guides before as they seemed superfluous and full of talk rather than learning. After reading this guide I may have to change my mind.
This book is really aimed at students who have a good grasp of algebra and are about to take calculus so wasn't really targetted for my purposes of using it as a refresher after a number of years. After a brief introduction of what you will learn and concepts you should already know it delves straight in with functions and graphing, two concepts used heavily throughout calculus. After this the book takes you through all the usual concepts such as Trig and Geometry, each chapter building on the knowledge you've learned in the previous one.
Each chapter leads you by the hand at the beginning and not so gradually introduces new concepts and techniques throughout, each with plenty of examples. The book is written well and doesn't play down to the "dummy" level, building your confidence and knowledge along the way.
If you are the intended target audience of someone about to study calculus then this book gives you a good introduction to the concepts and techniques that you will use. It is not an be-all-and-end-all book on calculus and you will need other books to finish your course. This is really an introductory book. As a refresher on concepts long since forgotten (as was my purpose for buying it), it met and even exceeded my expectations.
As an introductory book it does well, is easy to follow and the examples are well explained.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Walsh on July 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter says this book explains concepts very well and she is not only learning new material, but she feels it's well cemented in her brain. She says it's very much worth the effort put into it. The companion workbook is essential to really assess how well the material is understood.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By booktalk29 VINE VOICE on December 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I used this book to help me prepare for my Calculus I class in college. I have not taken math for years and was not looking forward to taking calculus. This book helped a lot -- it is an extremely clear guide to concepts of pre-calculus. It provides step-by-step analysis of key ideas, breaking them down in digestible sections. After reading this book, I felt that I had a strong, deep understanding that prepared me for Calculus I. Nothing, of course, beats a teacher who can walk you through problems, but this is the next best thing.

I wish there were more example problems, but otherwise, this book was great.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By KF on December 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter was having trouble in her Pre Calc class and we were not able to help at all. So we ordered this to assist her on those late night homework assignments, and everything was clear for her to understand. A life saver
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There is something just less intimidating about the Dummies series of texts than actual textbooks. I think it is the combination of the fact that they simply weigh less, the text is less dense and the tone is conversational rather than ivory tower. The particular book does a very good job of presenting the material in a non threatening and fairly humorous manner.

This book is excellent....

For those who need to review the material, but at one time had previous exposure and understanding.

As a supplement to a more weighty precalc text.

As review before taking calc.

For parents who have had the math, but need some "reminders" to be able to help kids effectively. If you have never taken precalc this book is not going to be enough to bring you up to speed.

One caveat: You really do need to put pen to paper and do some problems yourself. It is a trap to believe that simply reading an explanations is enough to cement the idea in your head.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alisha Malik on May 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
Treads a fairly narrow path through the many topics of pre-calc, but is very thorough with the topics it does cover. My weaker students like the step by step (with nothing skipped). The old edition had some math mistakes (I gave my TA a doughnut for every one he could find, and he found quite a few) which seem to have been corrected for this edition. Nothing too fancy here, but that's a good thing because when a student is fighting just to understand a problem, they need to focus on the pattern of the problem and nothing else. With so many students taking AP Stat in their junior year, this book is a fine choice to review the summer before going on to Calculus. For those students who are choosing to go directly to Calculus without taking pre-calc (which all of our teachers recommend against), this book isn't broad enough, and an actual pre-calc textbook is much more advisable. Also, for the students who are going to a 6 week community college summer pre-calc course in order to accelerate, this book would be a good alternative explanation when a particular concept needs to be clarified. My one problem with all Dummy books, is that they are so narrow that it misleads readers into thinking understanding is deeper/broader than it actually is. This becomes a problem, in later more rigorous college classes.
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