In this post we’re going to discover the main differences between algebra 3 and college algebra, also know which are the hardest topics and how to succeed in each one.

## is algebra 3 college algebra

** Algebra 3 is not a college algebra is a high school algebra that students take between the 10th and 11th grades. but you have to understand that algebra 3 is not more popular in all high schools there are some tiny high schools that have this kind of course, algebra 3.**

most other high schools don’t have algebra 3 courses they only have Algebra 2 and precalculus.

**Algebra 2 in algebra 3 have similar topics Some high schools split the algebra 2 courses in two parts, they call the first part Algebra 2 and the second part algebra 3**

So there is not a big difference between Algebra 2 and algebra 3 they are almost the same.

The goal of algebra 2 or 3 what are algebra is to prepare students to study more advanced math subjects like **calculus and linear algebra** that students will have to complete in college.

### what students study in algebra 3

Typically students study algebra 3 in 3 main courses:

- trigonometry
- equations
- functions

### what students study in college algebra

In college algebra, students study advanced math subjects which are linear algebra, and many other additional topics like:

- Exponents
- Factoring
- functions and all their types
- geometry
- polynomial
- Exponential Functions
- Logarithms: Introduction

al these subjects are based on high school algebra including:

- Algebra 1
- Algebra 2
- Algebra 3
- Geometry
- Precalculus

That is to say, the topics you have studied in high school algebra are going to be employed all included in college algebra courses.

so if you have or had a weak foundation in high school algebra this will dramatically reflect and affect your level and college algebra calculus.

## What comes after algebra 3

**After taking the algebra 3 courses you would likely to take the last course in high school which is precalculus before taking your first step in College where you will be studying different math Advanced topics Including calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and all college algebra topics that we mention it in the previous paragraph.**

Some students don’t take precalculus after algebra 3 until in college which is not a good idea because they overload themselves with precalculus courses plus the college calculus they should take at the same time or force them to take less math credits causing them to lose time in college.

Some others, finish algebra 3 and take a precalculus course as a summer course before joining their first year of college.

Students have the choice to take precalculus courses in high school or college but the best choice is immediatly after algebra 3 in high school.

After taking algebra 3 courses and then precalculus, students take their first year in college where should study calculus and college algebra. We will mention what subjects students study in their first year of college.

### First-year

Normally in the first year of college students take calculus courses especially Calculus 1 and calculus 2 also some discrete math and maybe linear algebra 2 depending on each major.

calculus 1 and calculus 2 are a little bit tough and require a lot of hard work, especially being prepared to take all the basics of precalculus topics like limits and continuity, trigonometry, and functions.

you could read this related article: calculus 1 vs calculus 2.

Discrete math and linear algebra are not difficult as calculus, most students arrive to succeed and validate these modules. But students struggle in calculus 1 and a lot of people don’t resist and give up in the first years especially if take computer science as an example.

you could read this related article: why computer science dorp rate is high.

The first year of college is the toughest year students struggle in math, not because is harder than the second and third year, but because students are still not yet used to the new program of college that is completely different from high school.

It is not like studying algebra 3 in high school where you are in a room of 25 to 30 students. in college you can assist with more than 300 students in the same room or amphitheater.

As a result, make it more challenging to pursue with a professor and understand completely the subject like you were doing in high school. This why make a lot of people drop college.

### second and third year

in the second students normally take advanced math topics like multivariable and differential equations, also someone studies linear algebra instead the first year as we mentioned before.

multivariable calculus and differential equations are one of the most difficult and complex topics students will face in college. It is very hard especially if you lack the solid basics in the previous calculus courses like calculus 1 and calculus 2 and algebra 3 topics you will surely fail.

if you succeed in multivariable and differential equations, your math mission is done you will no longer study harder than these subjects unless you decide to take academic studies like master’s or PhD.

## Should I take algebra 3 or precalculus?

**The best decision to take is both it’s better to take algebra 3 and the precalculus because there are some additional topics available in algebra 3 students don’t study in algebra 3, such as limit and continually would be useful and necessary to ake before reaching college.**

Limits and continuity are very important to preparing for calculus College,

In addtion, you may not study matrice subjects in precalculus which is included in algebra 3. matrices subject is very interesting to prepare you for college algebra, especially linear algebra.

**So the best thing is to take algebra 3 and precalculus both, algebra 3 first then precalculus later. Do not take them both because it is hard to concentrate on them both at the same time regardless of the big similarities they have.**

In other words, you could take algebra 3 in the 11th grade, and precalculus in the next year. It will be very beneficial even for you if you find 80% of repeatable context but it will favorise your understanding and better prepared for college math.