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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Is pre-calculus a must-have for college admissions?

Okay, so I'm choosing my senior year courses, and I’m kinda stressed. I heard that some colleges want you to have taken pre-calculus. Is this true? If so, how many colleges actually require it, and is it a deal-breaker if I don’t have it on my transcript?

7 months ago

The importance of pre-calculus in your schedule largely depends on what type of schools you're aiming for and your intended major. For most competitive colleges, particularly if you're considering a STEM field, pre-calculus is seen as an essential course that prepares you for college-level calculus.

If your goal is to enter into engineering, mathematics, the sciences, or business, having pre-calculus on your transcript can be quite important. That said, not all colleges require it. Liberal arts colleges and some other institutions may be more flexible, especially if you've demonstrated strength in other areas.

Keep in mind that colleges seek students who challenge themselves, so if you opt for an easier math class when you could have managed pre-calculus, it might raise questions about your academic ambition. Even if you're not a STEM major, taking pre-calculus can still be a display of academic rigor.

That said, if your strengths lie in other subjects and you've pushed yourself in those areas, lacking pre-calculus won't necessarily be a 'deal-breaker.' It's all about balance and showing that you're prepared for the academic challenges of college. Consider speaking with your academic advisor or counselor to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific situation and college goals.

7 months ago

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