**Introduction**

Pre-calculus is a course that covers topics such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, functions, graphs, and limits. It is designed to prepare students for calculus, which is a branch of mathematics that studies rates of change, curves, areas, volumes, and other applications.

**Is It Bad to Take Pre-Calculus In College?**

Many high school students wonder if they should take pre-calculus in their senior year or wait until college. Some may think that taking pre-calculus in high school will give them an advantage in college calculus, while others may worry that they are falling behind if they don’t take it.

The truth is that there is no definitive answer to this question. Different students have different goals, abilities, interests, and preferences when it comes to mathematics. However, some factors can help you make an informed decision.

**Before You Decide**

One factor to consider is your intended major and career path. Some majors require calculus as a prerequisite or corequisite for their courses. For example, engineering, physics, chemistry, computer science, economics, and biology often involve calculus concepts and applications. If you plan to pursue one of these majors or a related field, you may benefit from taking pre-calculus in high school so that you can start calculus as soon as possible in college.

Other majors may not require calculus at all or only require a less rigorous version of it. For example, social sciences, humanities, arts, education, and business may only need basic statistics or business calculus for their courses. If you plan to pursue one of these majors or a related field, you may not need to take pre-calculus in high school at all or only take it if you are interested in it.

Another factor to consider is your personal preference and motivation for learning math. Some students love math and want to challenge themselves with advanced courses. Others dislike math and want to avoid it as much as possible. Some students are curious about calculus and want to learn what it’s all about. Others are indifferent about calculus and don’t see how it relates to their lives.

Taking pre-calculus in high school may be a good choice for students who enjoy math, want to explore calculus, or need it for their future plans. However, taking pre-calculus in college may be a better option for students who don’t like math, don’t care about calculus, or don’t need it for their goals.

**Pros of Taking Pre-Calculus or Calculus in High School**

- Taking pre-calculus or calculus in high school can help you develop your mathematical skills and confidence. You can learn from your teachers and peers who are familiar with you and your learning style. You can also get more feedback and support along the way.
- Taking pre-calculus or calculus in high school can show your interest and ability in math to college admissions officers. Many selective colleges expect applicants to have taken at least pre-calculus by their senior year, especially if they plan to major in STEM fields. Taking calculus can demonstrate even more rigor and readiness for college-level math.
- Taking pre-calculus or calculus in high school can save you time and money in college. You may be able to skip some introductory math courses or place them into higher-level ones based on your AP exam scores or placement tests. This can free up space for other courses or electives that interest you more.

**Cons of Taking Pre-Calculus in College**

- Taking pre-calculus or calculus in high school can be stressful and overwhelming. You may have to deal with a fast-paced curriculum, heavy workload, high expectations, and standardized tests. You may also have to balance other academic and extracurricular commitments that demand your time and energy.
- Taking pre-calculus or calculus in high school can create gaps or misconceptions in your mathematical knowledge. You may not have enough time to master the prerequisites such as algebra, geometry, and trigonometry which are essential for understanding calculus concepts. You may also learn different methods or notation than what is used in college courses.
- Taking pre-calculus or calculus in high school can limit your options or opportunities in college. You may miss out on some foundational math courses that could enhance your skills or broaden your perspective. You may also face more competition or difficulty when taking advanced math courses with students who have taken calculus multiple times.

** What Does The Research Say?**

A recent study by Harvard researchers found that mastering the prerequisites—not taking calculus in high school—better predict success later

in college. The study surveyed more than 6,000 college freshmen at 133 colleges who took calculus courses. The researchers found that having a strong background in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry had twice the impact of taking calculus in high school on their final grades. They also found that weaker math students who took calculus in high school benefited more from the class than stronger ones.

Another study by Quora users found mixed opinions on whether taking pre-calculus or calculus in high school was bad. Some users argued that taking these courses was beneficial for developing mathematical skills, showing academic rigor, and saving time and money in college. Others argued that taking these courses was unnecessary, stressful, or detrimental to mastering the fundamentals, learning different approaches, and exploring other interests.

** Conclusion**

There is no right or wrong answer to whether you should take pre-calculus in high school or college. It depends on several factors, such as your major, your preparation, and your preference. The most important thing is that you choose the option that suits you best and helps you achieve your academic success.