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Calculus 1 vs Linear algebra

In this post is going to discover the main relation between Calculus 1 and linear algebra.

Also, respond to this frequently and the famous question asked by many students who are interested to study stem majors like becoming an engineer’s physicists are mathematicians.

So keep reading to know the misconceptions and wrong information students have about Calculus 1 and linear algebra. 

Can I take linear algebra and calculus at the same time?

It is barely impossible to take calculus and linear algebra at the same time because calculus and linear algebra are big broad topics that you cannot absorb at the same time.  People today are struggling only in calculus alone without studying any additional topic like linear algebra so what about both linear algebra and calculus?.

To keep you close to the difficulty or the impossible mission you are trying to look for. Calculus courses are divided into four principal parts:

In college students spend the whole first year studying calculus 1 and calculus 2, then take calculus 3 in the next year which is very difficult and time and energy-consuming

so students spend 2 years only in the calculus program without taking any other math subjects in parallel as linear algebra or anything else. So it is like asking the impossible. 

Moreover, linear algebra courses alone require so much time to absorb this topic. To complete a linear algebra course you need other 8 weeks of consistent hard work. 

So this is why it is barely impossible to take linear algebra and calculus at the same time because you are trying to Gather all or 90% of mathematics colleges that students spend 4 years of grinding and suffering. 

So the best strategy to follow is to take calculus courses, especially Calculus 1 and calculus 2 then you could decide between studying calculus 3 differential equations or studying linear algebra.

 This is would depend on your major or specialty you want to take.

 before that, you’re not allowed the study linear algebra which would mean not use without having a background in calculus especially the basics of calculus 1.

How is calculus 1 different from linear algebra?

Calculus is very different from linear algebra there is no correlation between the calculus 1 topics and linear algebra. Calculus 1 has completely different subjects like derivatives and integrals while linear algebra focuses on geometry such as vector spaces and matrices.

But is it a good decision to take calculus 1 before linear algebra because it’s going to give you some foundations in math like “Limits and continuity” and “analyzing functions” that are interesting topics to study before taking a linear algebra course?

If you still a high school student we do not recommend studying linear algebra at this stage because it’s very hard and not be a good decision to prepare for college better than studying Calculus 1. As a result, would be more useful if you are thinking to study stem in college.

To know more about the difference between Calculus 1 and linear algebra we’re going to list what you would be studying in Calculus 1 and also what to expect to study in linear algebra.

what you will study in calculus 1 

These are the main topics you’re going to study or take and Calculus 1 course:

As we said before and “limits and continuity” plus “analyzing function” topics are the only topics that you will need to apply later to find your algebra courses that we would have mentioned below.

So there is not a close relation between Calculus 1 and linear algebra,  Because in some cases math majors take linear algebra courses before studying calculus 1.  It is not recommendable but is it still feasible to do.

what you will study in linear algebra

In linear algebra you will have three principles topics to study:

To succeed in linear algebra you must Having Good Foundations in algebra and geometry Especially vectors and spaces. 

Almost all the linear algebra topics are focusing on matrices and coordinate systems. So calculus 1 is so critical to understand linear algebra compared to algebra 2 and geometry you must already have a background in high school.

For this reason, we find students make the best decision in high school or even at the beginning of college courses by studying or taking pre-calculus Courses that include the basics of Calculus 1 and Algebra 2 which is good preparation for a linear algebra course.

Which is harder Calculus 1 or linear algebra

Linear algebra is an advanced algebra course that students take in college in most cases except for some math majors or fewer High School courses.  While Calculus 1 is normally taken before linear algebra. Simply because students need to understand some calculus topics before taking a linear algebra course.

In addition in most college programs, students take Calculus courses before linear algebra, especially in engineering colleges that focus so much on calculus than linear algebra and give it a priority for the reasons related to manufacturing and engineering.

But you have to understand that linear algebra is not harder than all calculus courses. Linear algebra remains easier than calculus 2 and calculus 3 called also multivariable calculus, which is considered the most complex college math subject.


The best plan that we will recommend for students to succeed in calculus and linear algebra is to follow this plan or strategy:

If you follow this order or the plan you will not have any issues or worry about math In College, you would have a solid foundation that will allow you to succeed and get your engineering maths or Physics degree without suffering and grinding. 

you could read this related article: linear algebra vs calculus: all you need to know