What is Precalculus? 

Precalculus is a course in which students learn advanced mathematical concepts, functions, and theories that they may not have covered in other courses in a mathematics curriculum. It prepares learners for future calculus courses and is often taken by high school students who want to take college math courses. 

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What is Precalculus?

In general, precalculus is a course that focuses on preparing students for calculus by covering topics, concepts, and functions that are not typically included in an algebra or geometry curriculum. The primary goal is to help students develop the skills necessary to successfully perform calculations in calculus, such as the ability to solve equations and inequalities. 

During the course of learning about precalculus, learners will study topics such as functions, graphs, and symmetry. They will also study sequences and series and their uses in calculus. 


Precalculus will cover basic trig topics such as triangle measurements, angle measurement, degrees, radians, arcs, sectors, and velocities. It will also teach the basics of trig functions, including sine and cosine. 


In the precalculus course, you will learn about and analyze functions such as parametric, inverse, polar, logarithmic, exponential, and other types. You will also learn about growth, decay, compound interest, conics, sequences and series, limits, and more. 

These topics will provide the foundation for learning how to solve problems in math analysis and will allow you to start building a solid base for understanding calculus. These skills will transfer to other college mathematics courses, such as calculus AB and BC. 

Problems in the Precalculus Classroom:

The problems you will encounter in the precalculus classroom are just a small part of the many problems that can be solved using the calculus. There are traditional problems such as the tangent problem or the velocity problem, but there are also nontraditional problems that use the calculus in interesting ways. 

Finding the Derivatives and Antiderivatives of a Function:

In order to find the derivatives and antiderivatives of a function, you need to be familiar with a variety of algebraic expressions and techniques for transforming and changing them. These skills are essential for solving the problems in the precalculus class, and the best way to practice them is to complete a practice test. 

There are several places where you can find a practice test, but the most reliable source of tests is your college or university’s math department. They are usually free, and you can take as many of them as you need to test your own progress in the course. 

If you are struggling to get through the precalculus course, it is important that you try different strategies for solving the content. Your high school teacher may have a few methods that they will show you, but it is important to explore alternative ways of getting to the right answers. 

Thinkwell’s Pre-Calculus Video Tutorials:

Our Precalculus video lessons feature award-winning teacher Edward Burger, who breaks down complicated topics in ways that make sense to students. In addition to video lessons, Thinkwell’s Pre-Calculus has thousands of automatically graded exercises with step-by-step feedback to help you master the fundamentals of precalculus.