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Math After AP Calculus (and Where?)


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My son is a sophomore currently taking AP Calculus with Derek Owens. I'm not really sure where to go from here. Perhaps Calculus BC next? And then what?

Additionally, do you have recommendations on where to look for these classes? I'm aware of PA Homeschoolers courses, but are there other online options? I just don't know where to look! I'm not really interested in doing DE for math quite yet.

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Calc BC with Blue Tent is an excellent course.

My dd went straight into it from DO PreCalc  + EMF/ competition math, but Dd said the class is about 1/2 those who took AB and those who did not. 
 

I work at a university and have work study students. She asked one who is a math major to work through an example problem so she could watch. He said, “I thought this was like Calc 1. What is this?!” She laughed and said, “Wednesday...”

The class is sufficiently challenging, definitely beyond the usual BC course.

Edited by MamaSprout
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58 minutes ago, MamaSprout said:

Calc BC with Blue Tent is an excellent course.

My dd went straight into it from DO PreCalc  + EMF/ competition math, but Dd said the class is about 1/2 those who took AB and those who did not. 
 

I work at a university and have work study students. She asked one who is a math major to work through an example problem so she could watch. He said, “I thought this was like Calc 1. What is this?!” She laughed and said, “Wednesday...”

The class is sufficiently challenging, definitely beyond the usual BC course.

Thank you! I have added Blue Tent to my start my list!

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1 hour ago, MamaSprout said:

Calc BC with Blue Tent is an excellent course.

My dd went straight into it from DO PreCalc  + EMF/ competition math, but Dd said the class is about 1/2 those who took AB and those who did not. 
 

I work at a university and have work study students. She asked one who is a math major to work through an example problem so she could watch. He said, “I thought this was like Calc 1. What is this?!” She laughed and said, “Wednesday...”

The class is sufficiently challenging, definitely beyond the usual BC course.

And she will teach things outside of BC syllabus!!! Because she doesn’t want to skip important things that will be valuable to future engineering students.

 

We miss her so much here. 

Edited by Roadrunner
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35 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

And she will teach things outside of BC syllabus!!! Because she doesn’t want to skip important things that will be valuable to future engineering students.

 

We miss her so much here. 

What did your ds end up doing this year? We have a reasonably good option for Calc 3 locally, but I'm still looking around.

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(AP) CalcBC after CalcAB seems like not that much. They are just not THAT different. If DC understood and did well in AB then it seems like a month of 'here's the stuff that's in BC but not AB' and you'd be good and ready to move on.

So, then, what's next? IMO, this is an opportunity to be interest driven. Stats (not nesc AP) is super useful for understanding data and the world around you and is directly applicable to anything in the biological or social sciences as well as compSci and other topics that someone taking calculus as a sophomore might find interesting.

linear algebra is also a reasonable next step and super useful - definitely in the physical sciences, but also machine learning. If you have the math (basic lin alg will do), ML is actually pretty approachable. It's crazy how simplistic most of it actually is compared to what people are doing with it.

and if nothing else, there's always MORE calculus (diffeq? multi-variat?). (wheee.  :/)

 

 

 

 

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Calc AB covers Calc 1

Calc BC covers Calc 1 and 2.

So if a student will go beyond Calc 1 in college, then they could do either Calc BC or a Calc 2 class after Calc AB. 

Linear Algebra is also a good option depending on what the pre-reqs are for the class.

Stats is definitely an option, but if the student has lots of time, it could be worthwhile to keep going in the calc sequence. My dd will probably do a calculus-based Probability and Statistics after Calc III (multivariable). She's probably going to be in a major when the AP Stats class wouldn't count towards anything, and I think she'll like the class.

Another option would be the eimacs courses. They are pricey, but unique. 

 

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10 hours ago, AEC said:

(AP) CalcBC after CalcAB seems like not that much. They are just not THAT different. If DC understood and did well in AB then it seems like a month of 'here's the stuff that's in BC but not AB' and you'd be good and ready to move on.

So, then, what's next? IMO, this is an opportunity to be interest driven. Stats (not nesc AP) is super useful for understanding data and the world around you and is directly applicable to anything in the biological or social sciences as well as compSci and other topics that someone taking calculus as a sophomore might find interesting.

linear algebra is also a reasonable next step and super useful - definitely in the physical sciences, but also machine learning. If you have the math (basic lin alg will do), ML is actually pretty approachable. It's crazy how simplistic most of it actually is compared to what people are doing with it.

and if nothing else, there's always MORE calculus (diffeq? multi-variat?). (wheee.  :/)

 

 

 

 

Calc AB is proving to be the first math course to really challenge him! Like MamaSprout said, my understanding is that Calc BC covers CalcAB the first half of the year and then new material second half of the year. I don't think it would be the worst thing ever to go over it again!  I considered Stats but I'm not sure how applicable it is. I also will likely pursue computer science, but it doesn't feel like a math class.

Linear algebra may be a good place to look in additional to differential equations, etc. Would I look for these at a community college? 4-year college willing to take a DE kid?

4 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

Calc AB covers Calc 1

Calc BC covers Calc 1 and 2.

So if a student will go beyond Calc 1 in college, then they could do either Calc BC or a Calc 2 class after Calc AB. 

Linear Algebra is also a good option depending on what the pre-reqs are for the class.

Stats is definitely an option, but if the student has lots of time, it could be worthwhile to keep going in the calc sequence. My dd will probably do a calculus-based Probability and Statistics after Calc III (multivariable). She's probably going to be in a major when the AP Stats class wouldn't count towards anything, and I think she'll like the class.

Another option would be the eimacs courses. They are pricey, but unique. 

 

Thank you. He is likely going to be in a STEM field--thinking engineering--so I'm sure he'll do additional Calc classes in college. Where would I find courses similar to what you mentioned--calculus 3, calculus based probably and Statistics, etc? We haven't delved into CC yet--would I find these at an average local community college?

I'm not familiar with eimacs--going to look that up!

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3 hours ago, shburks said:

Calc AB is proving to be the first math course to really challenge him! Like MamaSprout said, my understanding is that Calc BC covers CalcAB the first half of the year and then new material second half of the year. I don't think it would be the worst thing ever to go over it again!  I considered Stats but I'm not sure how applicable it is. I also will likely pursue computer science, but it doesn't feel like a math class.

Linear algebra may be a good place to look in additional to differential equations, etc. Would I look for these at a community college? 4-year college willing to take a DE kid?

Thank you. He is likely going to be in a STEM field--thinking engineering--so I'm sure he'll do additional Calc classes in college. Where would I find courses similar to what you mentioned--calculus 3, calculus based probably and Statistics, etc? We haven't delved into CC yet--would I find these at an average local community college?

I'm not familiar with eimacs--going to look that up!

We will likely use our local DE option if the professors check out.

In our state we can take advanced math as distance DE classes through the accelerated boarding high school. ETA- my dd wants to major in Engineering, so as long as she's taking the class the the engineers take at the (ABET-accredited) university where she does DE, she has a good chance of it being accepted either as a credit or for course by-passing purposes.

There is also this resource that starts where AP classes leave off:

https://ulo.stanford.edu/

I haven't used them, but I think Kathy in Richmond did. Her kids are long graduated, though.

Edited by MamaSprout
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yeah...BC is usually described as 2nd half of freshman year calc...but in practice, there just isn't that much in there. It's mostly series (taylor and otherwise), some more convergence patterns, and parametric equations.  To me, it just sort of feels like little bits thrown on top and every so slightly 'more' of the other topics.

 

To be clear - NOTHING BAD will happen if you take AB one year and BC the next. But I also don't think a full year is required.

 

If this DC is headed to be an engineer then yes - there is more calculus (and other mathy-things) in the future. As general guidance, if your calc came from AP classes then I suggest re-taking the freshman calc courses @ the 4-year college, regardless of how you do on the AP exams.

Actual college math classes, IME, are different. Less 'here is a theorem and how you apply it' and more 'you have just watched me derive a theorem or technique. Now that you fully understand it (because you watched me derive it, therefore all aspects of it are self-evident), all application of this are exercises left up to the reader, and some such applications will appear for the first time on some future exam'. I found having my first real college math class be in a topic I thought I already understood was pretty helpful.

 

lin-alg pre-req's are generally fairly light, but do check. 

+1 on AoPS classes.

Also - and this is not easy to find unless you have access to a university, but I found discrete math and graph theory to be super fun and the pre-req's are light. I cannot fully justify that opinion - you just never know what will float your boat.

 

 

Edited by AEC
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45 minutes ago, AEC said:

yeah...BC is usually described as 2nd half of freshman year calc...but in practice, there just isn't that much in there. It's mostly series (taylor and otherwise), some more convergence patterns, and parametric equations.  To me, it just sort of feels like little bits thrown on top and every so slightly 'more' of the other topics.

 

 

Blue Tent's class goes beyond the usual BC syllabus. One of the reasons we chose it.

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My oldest did AoPS Calc (self study) and took the BC AP exam and he said it was midway through his Calc 3 class at uni before he encountered any new material. He enjoyed the AoPS Number Theory and C&P courses too, and they were useful for him as a CS major. 

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Just now, Momto6inIN said:

My oldest did AoPS Calc (self study) and took the BC AP exam and he said it was midway through his Calc 3 class at uni before he encountered any new material. He enjoyed the AoPS Number Theory and C&P courses too, and they were useful for him as a CS major. 

Yep, those are useful for CS! 

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1 hour ago, Momto6inIN said:

My oldest did AoPS Calc (self study) and took the BC AP exam and he said it was midway through his Calc 3 class at uni before he encountered any new material. He enjoyed the AoPS Number Theory and C&P courses too, and they were useful for him as a CS major. 

Did your son need to do a lot of prep for the AP exam, some, or hardly any? I know each kid is different, but since AOPS doesn't prep and I have to constantly manage my kid's anxiety by clear and early expectations... it helps to know ahead of time how much outside time he will need to be ready for the exam!

I also have signed him up for the AP Chem exam after he took Connie's class last year.  He plans to self study all the extra bits and take that exam as well.  Mostly because the thought of taking a chem class that is mostly a repeat would kill him.  So basically a kid that hates repetition but also major anxiety and perfectionism.  Loving the teenage years, let me tell you. 

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14 hours ago, shburks said:

Calc AB is proving to be the first math course to really challenge him! Like MamaSprout said, my understanding is that Calc BC covers CalcAB the first half of the year and then new material second half of the year. I don't think it would be the worst thing ever to go over it again!  I considered Stats but I'm not sure how applicable it is. I also will likely pursue computer science, but it doesn't feel like a math class.

Linear algebra may be a good place to look in additional to differential equations, etc. Would I look for these at a community college? 4-year college willing to take a DE kid?

Thank you. He is likely going to be in a STEM field--thinking engineering--so I'm sure he'll do additional Calc classes in college. Where would I find courses similar to what you mentioned--calculus 3, calculus based probably and Statistics, etc? We haven't delved into CC yet--would I find these at an average local community college?

I'm not familiar with eimacs--going to look that up!

Yes, your average community college should have Calc 2 and 3 in some form. My daughter is an electrical engineering graduate now, fwiw.

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8 hours ago, SanDiegoMom said:

Did your son need to do a lot of prep for the AP exam, some, or hardly any? I know each kid is different, but since AOPS doesn't prep and I have to constantly manage my kid's anxiety by clear and early expectations... it helps to know ahead of time how much outside time he will need to be ready for the exam!

I would say some. Definitely not months, but probably several weeks.

Prepping for the math itself wasn't hard - AoPS prepared him very well for that. But he did need some practice in putting his answers into the form the graders are looking for. He used a tesp prep book (Barron's maybe? I can't remember) and a book of old free response questions from the 90's and early 2000's that @Kathy in Richmond recommended a long time ago.

I didn't really pace him at all, he did that himself. He went through the book and then the test prep materials and He knew the date of the exam that he needed to be finished by and he got it all done on his own. Sorry I can't help more with that aspect! 

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8 hours ago, GoodGrief3 said:

My daughter did DO Calc AB sophomore year too. She went on to do Calc 2 and 3 at the local university, then did AP Stats senior year. She did AP Comp Sci as well, which was technically considered math.

Thank you! I appreciate hearing a "been there, done that" experience. I had planned on him doing a comp sci course, but I guess I had just assumed it would be an elective rather than a math class. I'm glad I have experienced moms to give advice!

19 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

And don’t forget AoPS. They have math outside of normal scope. Hard courses, but definitely worth it.

Yes! That's on my short list, too. He's already done the Intro to Counting & Probability and Intro to Number Theory. He did those in 8th grade when I opted to slow him down a bit. I could certainly have him work through the upper levels of those.

17 hours ago, AEC said:

 

To be clear - NOTHING BAD will happen if you take AB one year and BC the next. But I also don't think a full year is required.

If this DC is headed to be an engineer then yes - there is more calculus (and other mathy-things) in the future. As general guidance, if your calc came from AP classes then I suggest re-taking the freshman calc courses @ the 4-year college, regardless of how you do on the AP exams.

Actual college math classes, IME, are different. Less 'here is a theorem and how you apply it' and more 'you have just watched me derive a theorem or technique. Now that you fully understand it (because you watched me derive it, therefore all aspects of it are self-evident), all application of this are exercises left up to the reader, and some such applications will appear for the first time on some future exam'. I found having my first real college math class be in a topic I thought I already understood was pretty helpful.

lin-alg pre-req's are generally fairly light, but do check. 

+1 on AoPS classes.

Also - and this is not easy to find unless you have access to a university, but I found discrete math and graph theory to be super fun and the pre-req's are light. I cannot fully justify that opinion - you just never know what will float your boat.

 

I do appreciate you thoughts! We have already discussed the need to retake calculus freshman year regardless. With the AP test, my intent is to show rigor and prove knowledge of the subject matter but I absolutely think he should not skip it in college even  if college offers it. We have easy access to a community college. There's also a few major universities in our area, but I'm not sure how they work with high school students. Some things to look at and consider for sure.

11 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

My oldest did AoPS Calc (self study) and took the BC AP exam and he said it was midway through his Calc 3 class at uni before he encountered any new material. He enjoyed the AoPS Number Theory and C&P courses too, and they were useful for him as a CS major. 

Thanks! These AoPS NT and C&P courses are on my list, too!

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On 10/29/2020 at 7:06 AM, shburks said:

He is likely going to be in a STEM field--thinking engineering--so I'm sure he'll do additional Calc classes in college.

My dd is an engineering major and she said that one of the most helpful classes she took in high school was AoPS Inter. Counting and Probability. Her upper division electric engineering classes covered the whole year of this inter. C&P in 5 weeks. She was one of a few students that understand what was going on in the class and was an to get an A. 

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20 minutes ago, Marie.Sd said:

My dd is an engineering major and she said that one of the most helpful classes she took in high school was AoPS Inter. Counting and Probability. Her upper division electric engineering classes covered the whole year of this inter. C&P in 5 weeks. She was one of a few students that understand what was going on in the class and was an to get an A. 

Oh, interesting. Is this for computer science? I do think both counting & probability and number theory are way under-appreciated in standard curricula. For one thing, they are really fun and are actually quite accessible for little kids! 

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9 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oh, interesting. Is this for computer science? I do think both counting & probability and number theory are way under-appreciated in standard curricula. For one thing, they are really fun and are actually quite accessible for little kids! 

This was in an upper division Electrical Engineering class, Probability and Statistics class. The class went over the topics in AoPS inter C&P for the first 5 weeks and the covered the topics with Calc for the last 5 weeks.  I agree it’s under-appreciated. The average on the midterms were 30%. This is one of the hardest classes in the program. But I think it’s hard because many of the students never had exposure to the probability and stat before the class 

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2 hours ago, Marie.Sd said:

This was in an upper division Electrical Engineering class, Probability and Statistics class. The class went over the topics in AoPS inter C&P for the first 5 weeks and the covered the topics with Calc for the last 5 weeks.  I agree it’s under-appreciated. The average on the midterms were 30%. This is one of the hardest classes in the program. But I think it’s hard because many of the students never had exposure to the probability and stat before the class 

Aah, right, stats. I do think that to do stats it’s best to have really internalized probability.

And honestly, covering all this stuff seems like a no-brainer. Combinatorics gives great multiplication practice. Binary is wonderful for place value. Probability is great for fractions. It all fits with the elementary concepts and varies them up to make them more interesting.

I think these things aren’t taught in elementary only because most teachers don’t know them 😞 .

Edited by Not_a_Number
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No real input into what actual math curriculum to do, I'm looking for kinder math program for my own kids. I did graduate with a MS in electrical engineering and just wanted to put in a little warning. Do NOT base any choice of college/community college/high school math course over whether your child will be able to "skip" math courses. Most 4 year university engineering programs will only let you skip maximum maybe a year of math. They actually want some of your college math courses to be review (also applies to science courses).

The whole "being able to skip classes" was pushed a lot on me in high school and the reality really didn't match the hype.

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10 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Aah, right, stats. I do think that to do stats it’s best to have really internalized probability.

And honestly, covering all this stuff seems like a no-brainer. Combinatorics gives great multiplication practice. Binary is wonderful for place value. Probability is great for fractions. It all fits with the elementary concepts and varies them up to make them more interesting.

I think these things aren’t taught in elementary only because most teachers don’t know them 😞 .

The majority of elementary teachers can't pass 8th grade level math proficiency says everything about the abysmal state of math education in the US. Pass being the operative word here. 

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9 hours ago, Clarita said:

No real input into what actual math curriculum to do, I'm looking for kinder math program for my own kids. I did graduate with a MS in electrical engineering and just wanted to put in a little warning. Do NOT base any choice of college/community college/high school math course over whether your child will be able to "skip" math courses. Most 4 year university engineering programs will only let you skip maximum maybe a year of math. They actually want some of your college math courses to be review (also applies to science courses).

The whole "being able to skip classes" was pushed a lot on me in high school and the reality really didn't match the hype.

We're choosing based on best option for dd versus if the class that will transfer. A lot of larger universities now have credit transfer self-service search engines, though, so you can see ahead of time what is likely to transfer.

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On 10/29/2020 at 12:53 PM, AEC said:

To be clear - NOTHING BAD will happen if you take AB one year and BC the next. But I also don't think a full year is required.

BC is actually designed to be taken in one year without doing AB first.  This is how my son did it.

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2 hours ago, EKS said:

BC is actually designed to be taken in one year without doing AB first.  This is how my son did it.

I know nothing about the AP exams, but I will say that my son did Calculus with AoPS first and then did it again with a more applied textbook - Anton. As good as he is in math, he has always found that working longer on a subject allows it to sink in better.

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For post Calc, my son did Number theory, Combinatorics, Linear Algebra, Analysis with Baby Rudin, and Olympiad Geometry. In hindsight, he should have taken differential equations to get it out of the way because it is a ho hum class.

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2 minutes ago, lewelma said:

I know nothing about the AP exams, but I will say that my son did Calculus with AoPS first and then did it again with a more applied textbook - Anton. As good as he is in math, he has always found that working longer on a subject allows it to sink in better.

I'm also good at math, and I've absolutely totally forgotten certain subjects that I either didn't fully internalize at first or didn't reinforce. 

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Just now, Not_a_Number said:

I'm also good at math, and I've absolutely totally forgotten certain subjects that I either didn't fully internalize at first or didn't reinforce. 

Yup. It kind of depends on if you are taking a class to tick a box, or if you actually want to have and retain the knowledge.  I hate box ticking, so we have not done a whole lot of it here. I would rather take longer and go deeper than do a bunch of survey classes that are soon forgotten. 

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Just now, lewelma said:

Yup. It kind of depends on if you are taking a class to tick a box, or if you actually want to have and retain the knowledge.  I hate box ticking, so we have not done a whole lot of it here. I would rather take longer and go deeper than do a bunch of survey classes that are soon forgotten. 

I don't think I ever THOUGHT I was ticking boxes, lol. As it happens, I was. But that wasn't the intention. It's just that a teenager or young 20-something doesn't always have the maturity to know what she's doing. 

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8 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don't think I ever THOUGHT I was ticking boxes, lol. As it happens, I was. But that wasn't the intention. It's just that a teenager or young 20-something doesn't always have the maturity to know what she's doing. 

haha. I know, right. I was the same. But as a homeschool parent, I've done a better job teaching my kids the difference. If they want to retain it, they have to work on it for longer than 9 months. 

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24 minutes ago, lewelma said:

I know nothing about the AP exams, but I will say that my son did Calculus with AoPS first and then did it again with a more applied textbook - Anton. As good as he is in math, he has always found that working longer on a subject allows it to sink in better.

Oh yes, definitely!  My son took BC calculus in 10th grade and is now retaking the calculus sequence as a freshman/sophomore.

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6 hours ago, lewelma said:

I know nothing about the AP exams, but I will say that my son did Calculus with AoPS first and then did it again with a more applied textbook - Anton. As good as he is in math, he has always found that working longer on a subject allows it to sink in better.

Absolutely agree. My son took AoPS Calculus in 6th grade and he is retaking it this year at the CC.

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54 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

How does he feel about the college version? Is it similar or different? 

He had a teacher in high school who didn't teach and gave tests on stuff that they never practiced.  I think he thinks college is easier, but I'm not getting a whole lot of information from him.  Every time I mention the high school class he just rolls his eyes (he got an A in the class in spite of it all, by the way, because the teacher who didn't teach "fixed" the grades).  Next time I talk to him, I'll see if I can find out more.

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1 minute ago, EKS said:

He had a teacher in high school who didn't teach and gave tests on stuff that they never practiced.  I think he thinks college is easier, but I'm not getting a whole lot of information from him.  Every time I mention the high school class he just rolls his eyes (he got an A in the class in spite of it all, by the way, because the teacher who didn't teach "fixed" the grades).  Next time I talk to him, I'll see if I can find out more.

Thanks! I'd be curious. 

I know that on average, the kids in college classes I've taught have thought the college version was harder, but I'm sure it really depends on how well you learned it in the first place (which a lot of them didn't.) 

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10 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Thanks! I'd be curious. 

I know that on average, the kids in college classes I've taught have thought the college version was harder, but I'm sure it really depends on how well you learned it in the first place (which a lot of them didn't.) 

I know a family whose kids all too 12 AP's at their school, all graduated valedictorian or salutatorian,  and struggled a lot when they got to college math and science. One in particular took honors chem and AP chem, failed the AP test (but got A's throughout the courses), and had to drop out of regular chem at college bc it was too hard.  One of them who was really smart took the AP Calc exams (AB one year and BC the next) and failed both.  They just weren't being taught, but they all assumed they were since they were getting straight A's.  It is so sad. 

 

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10 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Thanks! I'd be curious. 

I know that on average, the kids in college classes I've taught have thought the college version was harder, but I'm sure it really depends on how well you learned it in the first place (which a lot of them didn't.) 

Here is what he told me (via text): "It's harder, but definitely better instructions."  I think he might mean "instruction."  I'll have to probe a bit to find out more.  Actually, I'm also going to find out if I can see his midterm (and take it myself) to determine its difficulty relative to the Calc 2 course I'm taking.  

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14 minutes ago, SanDiegoMom said:

I know a family whose kids all too 12 AP's at their school, all graduated valedictorian or salutatorian,  and struggled a lot when they got to college math and science. One in particular took honors chem and AP chem, failed the AP test (but got A's throughout the courses), and had to drop out of regular chem at college bc it was too hard.  One of them who was really smart took the AP Calc exams (AB one year and BC the next) and failed both.  They just weren't being taught, but they all assumed they were since they were getting straight A's.  It is so sad. 

 

Ugh. That sucks for them. It’s not fair to basically lie to kids about whether they’ve learned the material 😕 

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8 minutes ago, EKS said:

Here is what he told me (via text): "It's harder, but definitely better instructions."  I think he might mean "instruction."  I'll have to probe a bit to find out more.  Actually, I'm also going to find out if I can see his midterm (and take it myself) to determine its difficulty relative to the Calc 2 course I'm taking.  

Let me know what you discover!

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

Ugh. That sucks for them. It’s not fair to basically lie to kids about whether they’ve learned the material 😕 

Well, that’s my local high school. Most kids have A’s and most do fairly badly on exams. It’s not a surprising result to get an A in Calculus and a 2 on the exam. Explanation is “some kids don’t test well.” And counselors at school basically are telling kids scores don’t matter for acceptance but only GPA matters. And the GPAs have been increasing steadily while scores have stagnated because it doesn’t take much to get an A - show up, turn in work that they mostly do inside the classroom.  Our school sends a ton of those kids to UCs, including UCLA and UCB. 
The classes are taught for an average child (bell curve) to receive an A. The overall feeling is tests are stressful and should be eliminated. GPA is all that matters. This is also the sentiment now shared  by our university system. I am curious to see how this experiment ends. 
Thanks god for immigrant kids (from Asia) who are working hard and filling STEM programs because I think they are sustaining some excellence at our universities. (Ducking here as I prepare to be called a racist). 

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1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:

Well, that’s my local high school. Most kids have A’s and most do fairly badly on exams. It’s not a surprising result to get an A in Calculus and a 2 on the exam. Explanation is “some kids don’t test well.” And counselors at school basically are telling kids scores don’t matter for acceptance but only GPA matters. And the GPAs have been increasing steadily while scores have stagnated because it doesn’t take much to get an A - show up, turn in work that they mostly do inside the classroom.  Our school sends a ton of those kids to UCs, including UCLA and UCB. 
The classes are taught for an average child (bell curve) to receive an A. The overall feeling is tests are stressful and should be eliminated. GPA is all that matters. This is also the sentiment now shared  by our university system. I am curious to see how this experiment ends. 
Thanks god for immigrant kids (from Asia) who are working hard and filling STEM programs because I think they are sustaining some excellence at our universities. (Ducking here as I prepare to be called a racist). 

*sigh* The whole thing is folly. It's like we're doomed to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. People have TRIED not having tests. Things rapidly become social status clubs instead of meritocracies. 

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38 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

*sigh* The whole thing is folly. It's like we're doomed to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. People have TRIED not having tests. Things rapidly become social status clubs instead of meritocracies. 

The problem is there is no standard at schools. We wouldn’t need tests if our grades and diplomas really meant what they say they mean. 
DH’s nephew got a B in calculus in high school but managed to fail algebra twice at a CC. It’s mind boggling. 

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7 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

The problem is there is no standard at schools. We wouldn’t need tests if our grades and diplomas really meant what they say they mean. 
DH’s nephew got a B in calculus in high school but managed to fail algebra twice at a CC. It’s mind boggling. 

But it's much easier to have some standardization as opposed to making sure every single school doesn't use grade inflation. 

I mean, I agree with you that this is a ridiculous situation. And I would be horrified if my kid went to such a school. But the solution is NOT "let's get rid of tests." 

Man... I wonder what they were DOING in that calculus class? And it's not like CC calculus classes are super rigorous, either... 

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