Calculus Study Materials

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by jfs, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. jfs

    jfs Rookie

    May 5, 2005
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    Jun 23, 2005

    I was fortunate enough to pass the first two math subsets in May, and I have now decided to take the Calculus subset in July. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone who has previously taken subset 3 has any recommendations regarding study materials which he/she found especially useful in preparing for the test. Thank you.
  3. Emaciated

    Emaciated New Member

    Jun 23, 2005
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    Jun 23, 2005

    Subtest III Calculus

    I'm taking the test in July, too. So can anyone please help?
  4. innovationguy

    innovationguy Cohort

    Jul 24, 2004
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    Jun 27, 2005

    1. The CSET Subtest III is composed of three topics: Calculus, Trigonometry and the History of Mathematics.

    Both Calculus and Trigonometry require their own preparation materials. The History of Math component is only a small part of the test and I don't believe you can 'prepare' for it in the conventional sense!

    2. For a fairly exhaustive and descriptive study content for Subtest III, consult link Subtest III: Calculus and Trigonometry Syllabus on the site

    2. For Calculus, I earnestly recommend any - one or more. if you ever intend to teach AP Calculus! hey, you never can tell! - of the following books:

    a) Calculus and Analytical Geometry Pub: Addison Wesley; By: Thomas/Finney; Edition: 9/10th

    Comments: This book is simply a classic, there's nothing more to be said! The authors (G B Thomas and Ross L Finney) have written books with IDENTICAL titles INDIVIDUALLY too, but all these books are of the same extraordinary calibre!! Also, this book is available as one book or as two (Vol 1 and Vol. 2): in the latter case, Vol 1 is more than adequate for the CSET.

    b) Calculus (4th Edition) OR Calculus: Concepts and Contexts (2nd Edition) Pub: Brooks/Cole; By: James Stewart

    Comments: Another excellent set of books, very simply and ably written by someone who has also co-authored one of the Algebra books I've strongly recommended.

    c) Calculus Pub: Heath; By: Larson/Hostetler/ Edwards; Edition: 5th/6th

    Comments: Comparable to the others! Very user-friendly, and a standard text for AP Calculus in High Schools.

    d) Calculus Pub: McGrawHill; By: Smith/Minton; Edition: 2nd

    Comments: A book written in a singularly detailed manner: these chaps take nothing for granted, and there are small, insightful observations about problem-solving, offering tips, pointers and pitfalls at all the right places, which enormously endeared itself to me!

    3. For Trigonometry, any of the books I've recommended for Subtest I: Algebra would be sufficient. (Examine the link Subtest I: Algebra Prep Resources on the site!)

    In the Algebra books, there are usually 3 chapters devoted to Trigonometry, and all three merit your attention and mastery!

    Otherwise, there are dedicated books on the subject that are excellent, for instance:

    Analytical Trigonometry with Applications Pub: PWS Publishing; By: Barnett/Ziegler; Edition: 6th

    4. Remember: You need not purchase the current edition of any of the above textbooks! Changes from 1 edition to the next is usually incremental , and it's a bloody beastly scam of rapacious book publishers to insure continuous sales by supposedly updating their books!

    Hope all of this helps you chaps!
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    May 13, 2005
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    Jun 28, 2005

    Jay, have you ever worked with any of these books?

    ACE YOUR MIDTERMS AND FINALS: FUNDAMENTALS OF MATHEMATICS by Alan Axelrod (McGraw-Hill, 1999, ISBN 0-07-007008-3). A rundown of what a person should expect to learn at various levels of math, plus plenty of authentic sample questions from real live exams that show how the game is supposed to be played. Used copies available from

    MISTEAKS... AND HOW TO FIND THEM BEFORE THE TEACHER DOES by Barry Cipra (3d ed., AK Peters, 2000, ISBN 1-56881-122-5). This is a small excellent book for calculus students (and calculus teachers, actually); think of it as a resource on number sense - and therefore idiot-proofing - on the level of calculus. A lot of it is about the meta-process: how to think mathematically, which is the indispensable foundation for being able to concoct and justify answers that one doesn't actually know cold. That, in turn, is THE crucial skill for taking tests - and for life, come to that.

    CALCULUS FOR CATS by Kenn Amdahl and Jim Loats, Ph.D. (Clearwater Publishing, 2002, ISBN 0-9627815-5-x). The premise is that calculus is a scam perpetrated by cats. This is the companion volume to Amdahl and Loats's indispensable and equally funny ALGEBRA UNPLUGGED, which is one of the most effective algebra-demystifying books on the face of the planet. First rate for helping people who aren't mathematicians get a sense of why and how calculus works.

    I'd be interested in your feedback, if you'll share with someone who's neither mathematician nor chap.

    It would also be interesting to find out which edge of which large puddle you're from, or whether you just sound that way.
  6. Emaciated

    Emaciated New Member

    Jun 23, 2005
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    Jun 30, 2005


    innovationguy, That was really helpful. Thank you.
  7. s_z

    s_z Rookie

    Mar 13, 2005
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    Jul 5, 2005

    I am taking it again in july

    well, it's not easy, especially the History questions.

    Use this Website:


    It has everything in it for the History part.

    ABout the Calculus,,,, study Trigonometry hard !!!!!

    Good Luck

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