High School Math

Harleyboys98

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Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
72
Hello everyone,

My high school math courses over four years are as followed:

Geo-trig honors, freshman
Algebra 2, sophomore/ current year
Trig-Precalc, junior
Calc AB, senior

Technically I'm a year ahead in math. But basically I'm curious to know if I will have challenged myself enough and if I will be prepared for the academy rigor granted I get accepted. Thanks:)
 

5Day

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Nov 18, 2015
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1,729
That is a very typical HS math progression. How well you do in college is more about how well you understand the math and understand the concepts and know how to complete problems. Just like in high school you need to keep pace with the curriculum and don't fall behind because the concepts build on each other. Work problems till you understand them. Bottom line, if you understand your high school math and continue to work diligently in college, you will be fine.
 

MathGeek

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Mar 3, 2017
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Lots of cadets crash and burn with similar backgrounds. Your ACT Math score is a better indicator than a list of courses and grades. Completing an ALEKS pie (100%) in each of those subject areas is a better indicator of adequate preparation than class work or grades.

DFMS (the USAFA Math Department) uses ALEKS to assess and build math skills of incoming cadets. Success on ALEKS is very highly correlated with success in their math courses as well as the challenging technical core.

(I served for 4 years as a USAFA Math Prof).
 

afmighty1

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Feb 11, 2017
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Side note Question: Is it possible to graduate earlier than the norm 4 years, if you have previous college credit from Highschool say or a semester or junior college before attending USAFA? I'm curious is all..
 

raimius

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Jun 9, 2006
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That is a very normal schedule for an appointee. It will put you solidly in the "average" category of math experience.

Side note Question: Is it possible to graduate earlier than the norm 4 years, if you have previous college credit from Highschool say or a semester or junior college before attending USAFA? I'm curious is all..
No.
 

Jcc123

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Apr 19, 2010
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Side note Question: Is it possible to graduate earlier than the norm 4 years, if you have previous college credit from Highschool say or a semester or junior college before attending USAFA? I'm curious is all..
No, everyone does 4 full years.
 

fencersmother

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Oct 10, 2007
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Your math program is very typical of many high schools. Do you want to stand out? Try dual enrollment or find some other way to load up on math skills.

ALL cadets go four full years. Mine came into USAFA with 40+ college credits each (from local university, not AP).
 

AFrpaso

USAFA Alumnus
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Mar 5, 2012
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If you want to stand out, then be a master at algebra. It might not be the official stance of admissions, but I know that many calculus professors would prefer students that have strong algebra foundations. They can teach you the calculus part.
 

MathGeek

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Mar 3, 2017
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If you want to stand out, then be a master at algebra. It might not be the official stance of admissions, but I know that many calculus professors would prefer students that have strong algebra foundations. They can teach you the calculus part.
Exactly right. Further, it is the algebra that cadets need more than calculus in the downstream courses that make up the challenging technical core of Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering.

You will learn the Calc you need in Calc 1 and 2 (and 3 for STEM majors). They will not go back and teach you the algebra you will need.
 

fencersmother

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+1
Algebra foundations need to be firmly in place, and will make life a lot easier when the Calculus gets a little more complex
 

Daretodream

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Sep 17, 2014
Messages
246
My DS scores -

ACT Math 35
AP Cal
AP Cal BC
AP Stat
Alg. I and II (in jr. high)
Geometry

He scored 5s on the Calculus AP exams and a 4 on the Stat AP Exam. He validated Cal I during BCT and took Cal II last semester. He didn't find there was information he wasn't prepared for with the class. The one thing to expect is that USAFA will challenge you.

Everyone is on a 4 year track. There is no course credit for work done at another college or for AP courses. You can validate courses that allows you a little more room for scheduling and to obtain minors.
 

MN-Dad-2016

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Mar 30, 2012
Messages
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There is no course credit for work done at another college or for AP courses. You can validate courses that allows you a little more room for scheduling and to obtain minors.
A small correction. :) In order to validate some classes, you may need to show proof that you took a "college caliber" class. DS validated about 12 classes in total. I know some included 2 Calc classes, 2 Chem, 2 biology, 1 Stats class, and some liberal arts classes. In order to validate some of them, the department in question needed to see the college syllabus. In HS, he took 90 college credits at the local university. But as you pointed out, validating allowed him to obtain a minor.
 
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