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Thread: First post: Calculus needed for Exam P?

  1. #1
    RWL288
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    First post: Calculus needed for Exam P?

    Hi everyone,
    I need some advice for this first exam. The only formal calculus class I've taken was a business calc class that wasn't very rigorous. When I asked the math department at my school what I'd need to know for the probably exam they said I needed to take six 10 week classes (5 credit hours each): differential calc, integral calc, vector calc, multivariable calc, probability, and mathematical statistics I and II. I wanna take this exam as soon as possible so I'm going through the syllabuses for the calc courses on my own, I just started with integral calc. I'm gonna get a book SOA recommends for the probability and not worry about the probability and stat classes my school recommended. My question is when should I start working on the probability: should I wait until after I've completed vector and multivariable calculus or can I learn it along side it? From some of the other posts its seems as if I might not need to know everything in vector and multivariable calc, is that correct? I look forward to hearing what you guys think.

  2. #2
    You spam? I ban! Irish Blues's Avatar
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    Calculus [as in "calculus-only" questions] is not on the exam; they're not going to ask you the integral of some function from 2 to 5, or the surface area of a conic section and have it be a stand-alone problem. However, you will need to know how to do single and double integrals; I can't recall if the SOA's problems had triple integrals or not.

    Short version: if you know the material from a college level Calc I to Calc III you should know everything you'll need from the calculus side.
    "You better get to living, because dying's a pain in the ***." - Frank Sinatra

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Blues View Post
    Calculus [as in "calculus-only" questions] is not on the exam; they're not going to ask you the integral of some function from 2 to 5, or the surface area of a conic section and have it be a stand-alone problem. However, you will need to know how to do single and double integrals; I can't recall if the SOA's problems had triple integrals or not.

    Short version: if you know the material from a college level Calc I to Calc III you should know everything you'll need from the calculus side.
    I think there WAS a problem with triple integrals that just gave you the problem and asked which of the following is the right form of the answer so the 5 choices were with triple integrals. Not sure if it was a calc. only problem or if it had some prob. mixed into it.

  4. #4
    RWL288
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Blues View Post
    Short version: if you know the material from a college level Calc I to Calc III you should know everything you'll need from the calculus side.
    Thanks Blue, just to clarify, my school is on quarters rather than semesters so they teach up to Calc IV. Am I right in assuming that most schools that are on semesters only go up to Calc III rather than IV? Here's a brief description of Calc III and Calc IV at my school:

    Calc III: Indeterminate forms, Taylor's formula, improper integrals, infinite series, parametric curves and vectors in the plane; vectors, curves, and surfaces in space.

    Calc IV: Partial differentiation, Lagrange multipliers, multiple integrals, line integrals, and Green's theorem.

    So would I need to learn all that material, or just the material involving integration?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWL288 View Post
    Thanks Blue, just to clarify, my school is on quarters rather than semesters so they teach up to Calc IV. Am I right in assuming that most schools that are on semesters only go up to Calc III rather than IV? Here's a brief description of Calc III and Calc IV at my school:

    Calc III: Indeterminate forms, Taylor's formula, improper integrals, infinite series, parametric curves and vectors in the plane; vectors, curves, and surfaces in space.

    Calc IV: Partial differentiation, Lagrange multipliers, multiple integrals, line integrals, and Green's theorem.

    So would I need to learn all that material, or just the material involving integration?
    Some of the cal3 and your cal4 is my cal 3. For exam P, partial differentiation and multiple integrals (especially double integral) are useful, the others not, I think.

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    If your serious about passing the exams and your still in school, I would suggest taking all the calculus you can. Inevitably it will pay off in the long run with exposure and the ability to tackle more "advanced" mathematics.

  7. #7
    RWL288
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandond View Post
    If your serious about passing the exams and your still in school, I would suggest taking all the calculus you can. Inevitably it will pay off in the long run with exposure and the ability to tackle more "advanced" mathematics.
    Yea, that's the problem, I graduated this summer so I'm trying to learn what I need on my own.

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    You should learn how to integrate up to triple integrals and get super comfortable with integration by parts. If you learn the integration mechanics and get good at visualizing your domain of integration (for higher dimension integrals) you will be fine. Stewart's calculus book would be a good reference. You should also learn how to manipulate and evaluate infinite series as these come up a decent amount. This material would also be in Stewart (and any other standard calculus text).

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    what about algebra such as trig identities and logs and e? i always had a cheat sheet for those!
    How important are all the math questions at the beginning of the actex calc review book (2005) up to integrals..i guess you need to be able to answer every problem in that book off the top of your head?

  10. #10
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    You should absolutely be able to do all the review math questions. If you are rusty that is fine but don't kid yourself into thinking you can just 'get by' on that section. After you have studied the material all of those questions should be fairly trivial.

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