MTH403: Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry (Comprehensive)

This list is representative of the materials provided or used in this course. Keep in mind that the actual materials used may vary, depending on the school in which you are enrolled, and whether you are taking the course as Independent Study.

For a complete list of the materials to be used in this course by your enrolled student, please visit MyInfo. All lists are subject to change at any time.

Scope & Sequence : Scope & Sequence documents describe what is covered in a course (the scope) and also the order in which topics are covered (the sequence). These documents list instructional objectives and skills to be mastered. K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

Course Overview

Pre-calculus weaves together previous study of algebra, geometry, and functions into a preparatory course for calculus. The course focuses on the mastery of critical skills and exposure to new skills necessary for success in subsequent math courses. Topics include linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, radical, polynomial, and rational functions; systems of equations; and conic sections in the first semester. The second semester covers trigonometric ratios and functions; inverse trigonometric functions; applications of trigonometry, including vectors and laws of cosine and sine; polar functions and notation; and arithmetic of complex numbers. Cross-curricular connections are made throughout the course to calculus, art, history, and a variety of other fields related to mathematics.

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Course Length

Two Semesters

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Success in MTH203: Geometry and MTH303: Algebra II

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Course Outline


Unit 1: Functions

In mathematics, a function is a fundamental concept, as basic to mathematics as sentences are to language. In this unit, students learn to communicate about functions using a mathematical vocabulary of symbols, equations, graphs, tables of numbers, and words. They learn to explain what a mathematical function is, describe functions in terms of their domain and range, solve problems that involve linear and other special functions, and combine two or more functions to create new functions.

  • What Is a Function?
  • Graphing Functions
  • Linear Functions
  • Arithmetic Sequences and Series
  • Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • Linear Systems
  • Arithmetic of Functions

Unit 2: Quadratic Functions

Students explore important characteristics of quadratic functions. They learn to graph them, use their properties to solve equations, and model real-world situations with them.

  • Forms of Quadratic Functions
  • Graphing Quadratic Functions
  • Transformations
  • Solving Quadratic Equations
  • Applications of Quadratic Functions

Unit 3: Polynomial and Rational Functions

Students explore interesting characteristics of polynomial and rational functions. They learn to classify them, perform operations with them, use their properties to solve equations, and model real-world situations with them.

  • Polynomial Expressions
  • Dividing Polynomials
  • Solving Polynomial Equations
  • Graphing Polynomial Functions
  • Rational Functions

Unit 4: Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

Students sharpen their skills in working with exponents and radicals, see new applications of exponential functions, and learn to undo exponential functions with logarithmic functions.

  • Exponents and Radicals
  • Exponential Functions
  • Geometric Sequences
  • Introduction to Logarithms
  • Graphs of Logarithmic Functions
  • Applications of Logarithms

Unit 5: Conic Sections

Conic sections are real-life phenomena that are found in architecture, space, nature, and more. Students explore how and where they occur as they progress through this unit, learning about four conic sections—circles, ellipses, hyperbolas, and parabolas.

  • Introduction to Conic Sections
  • Ellipses
  • Hyperbolas
  • Parabolas
  • Systems of Conic Sections

Unit 6: Semester Review

Students review what they have learned and take the semester exam.

  • Review
  • Exam


Unit 1: Right Triangles

During the next several units, students build their understanding of trigonometry and learn to apply it to many kinds of problems. In this unit, they learn some of the basic vocabulary and concepts that are the building blocks of trigonometry.

  • Right Triangles
  • Angles and Radians
  • Trigonometric Ratios and the Unit Circle

Unit 2: Trigonometric Functions

Students focus on the algebraic and graphical properties of the trigonometric functions and how to transform them. Their predictable behavior makes them easy to graph and manipulate.

  • Graphs of Sine and Cosine
  • Graphs of Other Functions
  • Simple Transformations of Sinusoids
  • General Transformations of Periodic Graphs

Unit 3: Working with Trigonometric Functions

Students learn the foundational skills to solve trigonometric equations analytically or with the assistance of a calculator. They investigate some of the simpler applications of these techniques.

  • Inverse Trigonometric Functions
  • Solving Trigonometric Equations
  • Modeling Simple Harmonic Motion

Unit 4: Trigonometric Identities

The study of trigonometry provides an opportunity to investigate mathematical statements involving trigonometric functions. Students learn the important distinction between a mathematical identity and a mathematical equation and practice proving identities and solving equations.

  • Identities and Proof
  • Trigonometric Identities
  • Applications of Identities

Unit 5: Applications of Trigonometry

Students see that solving an oblique triangle can actually be a matter of "seeing" a right triangle that is aligned with it and that familiar trigonometric identities and formulas that worked for right triangles can be altered to derive techniques that work for oblique triangles.

  • Law of Cosines
  • Law of Sines
  • Vectors

Unit 6: Complex Numbers

Students learn to plot points and express coordinates in the polar coordinate system; convert between polar and rectangular coordinates; graph polar equations; and add, subtract, multiply, and divide complex numbers in both polar and rectangular coordinate systems. They learn to calculate powers of complex numbers using De Moivre's theorem, to calculate roots of complex numbers, and to understand roots of unity and their graphical interpretation.

  • Polar Coordinates
  • Graphs of Polar Functions
  • Polar Form of Complex Numbers
  • Arithmetic of Complex Numbers
  • Powers and Roots of Complex Numbers

Unit 7: Semester Review

Students review what they have learned and take the semester exam.

  • Review
  • Exam
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Lesson Scheduling

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K12 Scope & Sequence documents for each course include:

  • Course Overview (as seen above)
  • Course Outline
  • Lesson Time and Scheduling