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Algebra/Trig Review
© 2006 Paul Dawkins
http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/terms.aspx
1
Introduction
This review was originally written for my Calculus I class but it should be accessible to
anyone needing a review in some basic algebra and trig topics.
The review contains the
occasional comment about how a topic will/can be used in a calculus class.
If you aren’t
in a calculus class you can ignore these comments.
I don’t cover all the topics that you
would see in a typical Algebra or Trig class, I’ve mostly covered those that I feel would
be most useful for a student in a Calculus class although I have included a couple that are
not really required for a Calculus class.
These extra topics were included simply because
the do come up on occasion and I felt like including them.
There are also, in all
likelihood, a few Algebra/Trig topics that do arise occasionally in a Calculus class that I
didn’t include.
Because this review was originally written for my Calculus students to use as a test of
their algebra and/or trig skills it is generally in the form of a problem set. The solution to
the first problem in a set contains detailed information on how to solve that particular
type of problem.
The remaining solutions are also fairly detailed and may contain further
required information that wasn’t given in the first problem, but they probably won’t
contain explicit instructions or reasons for performing a certain step in the solution
process. It was my intention in writing the solutions to make them detailed enough that
someone needing to learn a particular topic should be able to pick the topic up from the
solutions to the problems.
I hope that I’ve accomplished this.
So, why did I even bother to write this?
The ability to do basic algebra is absolutely vital to successfully passing a calculus class.
As you progress through a calculus class you will see that almost every calculus problem
involves a fair amount of algebra.
In fact, in many calculus problems, 90% or more of
the problem is algebra.
So, while you may understand the basic calculus concepts, if you can’t do the algebra you
won’t be able to do the problems.
If you can’t do the problems you will find it very
difficult to pass the course.
Likewise you will find that many topics in a calculus class require you to be able to basic
trigonometry.
In quite a few problems you will be asked to work with trig functions,
evaluate trig functions and solve trig equations.
Without the ability to do basic trig you
will have a hard time doing these problems.
Good algebra and trig skills will also be required in Calculus II or Calculus III.
So, if you
don’t have good algebra or trig skills you will find it very difficult to complete this
sequence of courses.
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View Full Document Algebra/Trig Review
© 2006 Paul Dawkins
http://tutorial.math.lamar.edu/terms.aspx
2
Most of the following set of problems illustrates the kinds of algebra and trig skills that
you will need in order to successfully complete any calculus course here at Lamar
University.
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This document was uploaded on 02/04/2011.
 Spring '09
 Calculus, Algebra

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