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Condition: Used: Good
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Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus Paperback – 2012

208 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The pages, cover look like new. NOT writing in the book. used for 4 months.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 838 pages
  • Publisher: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning; 6th edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1133276008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1133276005
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 8.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,333,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is a mind-numbing sameness to precalculus and calculus textbooks, and this book is more of the same. The coverage starts with real numbers, exponents, expressions and solving equations. The basic principles of functions, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions, solving systems of equations, sequences, series, counting and probability, analytic geometry and limits follow this. I personally can do without the chapter on limits, when I teach precalculus, I am hard pressed to cover the other material. There is plenty of time to cover limits in calculus and it provides a better context. There are a large number of exercises at the end of each section and solutions to the odd-numbered ones are included in an appendix. As appears to be the case with many books, some of the exercises could have been left out with no decline in quality. At times I suspect there is the mathematical equivalent of an "arms race" to see how many exercises can be included at the end of a chapter.

The previous paragraph could be used to describe nearly every precalculus text on the planet, so it fits into the category of obvious, but necessary. Therefore, the key point is what makes this book different from the competition. The answer is not much. The approach is the standard statement of the new material followed by a series of worked examples, which is also the fundamental strategy used in all lower level math books. Short biographical asides of some of the major historical figures in mathematics are interjected on a regular basis. I like that, but wonder how often the students read them. What is different about this book is that the quality of the writing is somewhat better than most. In a field where there is very little to differentiate the texts, that is enough to make me rank this book in the top two precalculus books that are available.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By James Robert Deluze on August 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm in my 60's and have not studied math in school for over 40 years. This was my first math book for college since the 60's. I found it easy to read, clear, and too the point. I was able to understand it. That says a lot. Math has always been hard for me, so this book is well done if I can learn from it.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By 漢慶 on January 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
While I am not an expert in mathematics, I usually do not have a difficult time figuring out problems based on the textbook alone. The explanations in this work read rather muddily; the structure of the content can be confusing; the examples seem insufficient towards applying the concepts learned. There were quite a few times where the problems given did not honestly reflect the explanatory material of the chapter. Some of the answers provided in the back seem to be incorrect given the explanations. Considering the cost of the text, the quality of presentation falls short of the money spent. I would strongly recommend against the use of this textbook as either a collection of exercises for classroom use or a method for self-study. Hopefully the publisher will work towards creating a stronger, friendlier text for the next edition.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Monterrey J. Salazar on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought at first maybe I had the wrong edition or something, but no... fifth edition it is. Some chapters the answers don't match up with the questions in the book i.e. it will say #107 when it's really the answer to #95, #109 is #97 etc. Some of the chapter test answers are just the wrong problem (some have slight mistakes, like copied down wrong. Others are just a completely different problem). I really expect more than this. I'm going down to the bookstore tomorrow to see if it's just my copy (as none of the other reviewers here seemed to notice). Otherwise I'm contacting the publisher.

On the bright side, the problems which ARE correct have been tremendously helpful. Just as an answer guide should. The only reason it's earned two stars.

I should really give it one, because after all... this IS MATH and accuracy is of utmost importance!!!
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By JTS on February 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is by FAR the worst math text i have ever had the misfortune of being forced to use (university of new mexico). there is absolutely no explanation of principals in terms that even come close to being understandable. the only examples available for review are the most basic explanations possible and shed no light AT ALL on how to solve more elaborate problems. of course the author would make the argument that the user of this text is supposed to know the basics of the principals in the book, to which I would say, the purpose of a book is to LEARN, whether i should or shouldnt already know something is not the point. get used to seeing "heres a problem" and "heres the answer" with no explanation on how to get there. useless.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By sur4er on July 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the worst math text that I have had the pleasure of using. The explanations are poor and I have to google the material for better examples and explanations. If it was the last available reference in a post apocalyptic earth it would work, but not effectively. With so many other quality texts on amazon choose another for one independent study. However, if you need it for class buy it, scan the HW problems, and send it back then promptly purchase another book.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'd say it's a rather interesting book, especially concerning the set of problems at the end of each chapter. Covers basics of linear algebra and preparation for calculus, with reasonable amount of problems and examples. Clear prose. Warns about mistakes to avoid.
Brief biographies of prominent mathematicians are introduced in the margin sometimes. Occasionally refers to external sources that you may find interesting.
I'm giving it 5 stars because this book is rather non-traditional. The authors undoubtedly wanted to introduce it as an interesting subject and does cover needed preparatory material for calculus.
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