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Thread: Older and Starting at College Algebra

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Older and Starting at College Algebra

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    Iíve been active duty military for the better part of 20 years and itís been more than 15 since Iíve taken math. I started with college algebra for a foundational refresher. Iíve returned to school with the goal of beginning a graduate program in Economics upon reaching military retirement. Not surprisingly, it took some serious studying to get back into a mathematical flow. I fumbled through some topics, but did fine overall. Itís humbling to see the level of math education on this forum. My question is, has anyone here started that low? If so, how easily were you able progress through to advanced calculus, linear algebra, real analysis and beyond? Finally, how many Econ grad students do you see in their 40s, and is age a factor for admissions? Thank you for your insights.

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    economist
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    Re: Older and Starting at College Algebra

    Let me answer just your last question. I've admitted one vet who was retiring after more than 20 years. (In fact, stayed in the reserve for the first couple of years in the program.) He's doing great...so go for it!

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    Re: Older and Starting at College Algebra

    I couldnít be happier to read your response, and thank you for your encouragement!

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    Re: Older and Starting at College Algebra

    In case you are unaware, there is a YouTube channel called Arizona Math Camp that essentially covers everything that you need to know before entering a graduate programme. The videos are very lengthy and goes through stuff pretty slowly, in my opinion. Watching a video of someone explaining things to you is definitely going to be better than going at it on your own.

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    Re: Older and Starting at College Algebra

    Tutonic, thank you for sharing that resource. Thatís extremely helpful!

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    Re: Older and Starting at College Algebra

    Iím entering a PhD program this fall. I had a math hiatus for about 8 years, though Iím younger than you are (mid/late twenties). It is certainly possible to learn the requisite mathematics from scratch. I started by self-studying the Schaumís guides to high school level mathematics. Two months later, I enrolled in calculus.

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    Re: Older and Starting at College Algebra

    I am applying for programs in 2022 (to start in 2023) and started prepping earlier this year. My last math course was almost 20 years ago!

    I took two semesters of Calculus in 1998. As a refresher, I took the entire courses of Differential Calculus and Integral Calculus on Khan Academy. I thought they were great - fun, engaging, and re-learned the material.

    I'm now taking Linear Algebra at a local university and on track for an A. I have found the course challenging (but easier than I thought it would be!). I am taking Multivariable Calculus in the fall, and also might take an intro real analysis course online (math 23A at Harvard Extension).

    I'm very far from the finish line, but hopefully that's helpful for your first question.

  8. #8
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Re: Older and Starting at College Algebra

    Itís very helpful! Itís great to see others out there finding success pursuing their 2nd and 3rd careers. Thank you for sharing your examples and the resources that helped you along the way.

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