01:640:123 - Preparation for Calculus I

Course Description

Math 123: Preparation for Calculus I is a half-semester course. It is designed for students currently enrolled in Calculus I (Math 135 or Math 151) that need additional preparation to successfully complete the course. Rather than continuing to struggle in Calculus I, these students can switch to Math 123. This course is an opportunity for a productive second half of the semester and for students to best set themselves up for future success in calculus.

Students in this course will work through an individualized review of algebra and precalculus topics. This is not simply a shorter version of existing precalculus courses. Rather, the course is backwards designed to include only that material which is vitally important for success in calculus, and will be taught using innovative methods such as flipped classrooms and other active learning techniques.

Students who drop Calculus I in order to enroll in Math 123 will not get a W in Calculus I. Also, this course is 4 credits, of which 2 are academic credits (counting toward graduation), and 2 are E credits (counting toward your registration total), so students who switch from calculus will maintain the same registration total.


Course Format

This course is both flipped and hybrid.

A flipped course is one in which students are first introduced to a topic before arriving in class by working through videos, reading textbook sections, or completing other assigned activities. Students are not expected to have a complete understanding of the material before class. Rather, this format is designed for students to learn what they can on their own so that the instructor can more efficiently gear class time to focus on the things that students are having the most difficulty with.

This course is hybrid because it only meets in person twice per week, while a typical 4-credit course would meet 3 times per week. The time that would normally be spent in a third class meeting will instead be time that students are expected to allocate for the online homework and other assignments. Although the course only meets in person twice per week, the expected workload is the same as that in calculus.



Students in this course must purchase access to the online homework system Knewton Alta for the duration of the course. All other course materials, such as videos or textbook readings, will be available in Knewton Alta or on the Canvas site. 


Enrollment in Math 123

Students can only enroll in this course if they are currently enrolled in Calculus I, Math 135 or Math 151. Enrollment in Math 123 is by application only. The application can be found here:

application for Math 123 (the application is now closed)

Students whose applications are approved will be enrolled in Math 123 and dropped from Calculus I. You should not submit an application if you do not want to drop Calculus I.

Applications will be processed in three rounds. For Spring 2020, the important dates are:

Round 1 - ends Sun, Feb 23, 4pm; students notified by Tues, Feb 25

Round 2 - ends Tues, Feb 25, 4pm; students notified by Thurs, Feb 27

Round 3 - ends Fri, Feb 28, 12pm; students notified by Fri, Feb 28

No additional applications will be accepted after Fri, Feb 28, 12pm. The first day of class will be on either Mon, March 2 (for sections that meet Mon/Wed), or Tues, March 3 (for sections that meet Tues/Thurs).

Because of the limited number of seats, submitting an application does not guarantee a spot in Math 123. However, students who submit their application during an earlier round will have higher priority. 


How do I decide if I should switch to Math 123?

Math 123 will review prerequisite material, such as algebra and trigonometry. Students who are struggling with this aspect of Calculus I could benefit from a review of this material and should consider switching to Math 123. Students may also discuss their performance in Calculus I so far with their instructors to get a more accurate assessment of whether they should consider switching to Math 123.

Note that a passing score on the RU Ready Test shows a basic level of preparation for the course but does not necessarily indicate that a student is well prepared for calculus. Some students with a low passing score may also benefit from switching to Math 123.


Can I take Math 123 without dropping Calculus I?

No, in order to enroll in Math 123, students will be dropped from Calculus I. The courses may not be taken simultaneously. You should not submit an application if you do not want to drop Calculus I.


Will I receive a W for Calculus I when I switch?

No. Students who switch into Math 123 from either Math 135 or Math 151 will not receive a W for their calculus enrollment. Instead, Calculus I will be removed from the student's schedule.


Course Schedule


 week 7  Introduction, 1.2, 1.3 1.4, 1.5, 1.6
 week 8 2.2, 2.5, 2.6  2.7, 2.8, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4
 week 9  spring break  spring break 
 week 10  3.5, 4.1, 5.2  5.5, 6.2
 week 11  6.3, 6.4, 6.5  midterm
 week 12  6.6, 6.7  7.1, 7.2, 7.3
 week 13  7.4, 8.1  8.2, 9.1, 9.5
 week 14  14.1, 14.2  14.3
 week 15  14.4  Review
 Finals week  Final Exam  


1.2 - Exponents and Scientific Notation

1.3 - Radicals and Rational Exponents

1.4 - Polynomials

1.5 - Factoring Polynomials

1.6 - Rational Expressions

2.2 - Linear and Rational Equations in One Variable

2.5 - Quadratic Equations

2.6 - Other Types of Equations

2.7 - Linear Inequalities and Absolute Value Inequalities

2.8 - Inequalities Requiring Factoring

3.1 - Functions and Function Notation

3.3 - Domain and Range

3.4 - Rates of Change and Behavior of Graphs

3.5 - Composition of Functions

4.1 - Linear Functions

5.2 - Graphs of Polynomial and Power Functions

5.5 - Rational Functions

6.2 - Graphs of Exponential Functions

6.3 - Logarithmic Functions

6.4 - Graphs of Logarithmic Functions

6.5 - Logarithmic Properties

6.6 - Exponential and Logarithmic Equations

6.7 - Exponential and Logarithmic Models

7.1 - Angles as Rotations and Arc Length

7.2 - Right Triangle Trigonometry

7.3 - The Unit Circle

7.4 - The Other Trigonometric Functions

8.1 - Sine and Cosine Graphs

8.2 - Graphs of Other Trigonometric Functions

9.1 - Fundamental Trigonometric Identities

9.5 - Solving Trigonometric Equations

14.1 - Finding Limits Using Numerical and Graphical Approaches

14.2 - Finding Limits Analytically

14.3 - Continuity

14.4 - Derivatives


Schedule of Sections:

Disclaimer: Posted for informational purposes only

This material is posted by the faculty of the Mathematics Department at Rutgers New Brunswick for informational purposes. While we try to maintain it, information may not be current or may not apply to individual sections. The authority for content, textbook, syllabus, and grading policy lies with the current instructor.

Information posted prior to the beginning of the semester is frequently tentative, or based on previous semesters. Textbooks should not be purchased until confirmed with the instructor. For generally reliable textbook information—with the exception of sections with an alphabetic code like H1 or T1, and topics courses (197,395,495)—see the textbook list.