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MATH 160 Precalculus Mathematics

What is MATH 160?
MATH 160 is Precalculus Mathematics, a course designed to prepare students for the calculus sequence. It includes polynomials, exponentials, logarithms, and trigonometric functions, including their graphs and applications. It also covers conics, sequences, series, partial fraction decomposition, and more.
Which schools does MATH 160 transfer to?
All CSU and UC schools. See a counselor to verify specific private colleges.
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Who typically* takes MATH 160?
BSTEM (Business, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) majors
What can I do to be successful in MATH 160?
  • Plan to study outside of class at least 8 hours each week, or more if it has been a while since you have taken a math class.
  • Study actively by doing practice problems, making note cards, and making study guides.
  • Attend professor's student hours (office hours) and math support centers regularly.
  • Form study groups with other students in class and try to explain problems as you do them.
Where can I get help if I am struggling with MATH 160 topics?
First off, remember that you are not alone! Many students find MATH 160 challenging, so here are the supports you have available here at Mt. SAC.
Your Instructor
Instructor writing y=x+b on a chalkboard while saying "You can do it!"
Tutoring Centers on Campus
We want to remind you that when it comes to learning math… mindset matters! Believe in yourself and know that asking for help is strongly encouraged. In fact, data shows that if you use the support resources on campus, you will be more successful in your classes, so start visiting them early rather than right before a big exam.
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

Precalculus lays a foundation for the many mathematical concepts, problems, techniques, and applications that appear in the calculus sequence. It covers a wide array of topics that involve computation, memorization, and critical thinking.

Math concepts frequently used in MATH 160?
  • Basic arithmetic, including fractions
  • Basic algebra, including simplifying expressions, factoring, and solving equations
  • Rules of exponents
  • Graphs of functions
  • Trigonometry
  • Solving systems of linear equations
Where can I brush up on math concepts frequently used in MATH 160?
  • Join the MATH 160 Math Jumpstart Canvas page, created by Mt. SAC math faculty, with topic-based modules that include 5-10 minute refresher videos and practice problems to review at your own pace.
  • Enroll in a free faculty-led noncredit math prep class through AIME (Academic Instruction for Math and English) in Mt. SAC’s School of Continuing Education.

Remember, we want you to successfully complete your math requirements as you head toward your educational goal! If you feel that you would be better served in a different math class, we want you to know that it might be possible to find an open math class to switch to right now, or you can join a 12-week or 8-week class that starts late. However, don’t wait to make this change! You need to make the switch within the first few days of the semester to avoid a W on your transcript.
Here are the classes along the BSTEM path that you have access to:
  • MATH 180 Calculus I [4 units] or MATH 180+18A Calculus I w/ Support [6 units]
  • MATH 150 Trigonometry [3 units] or MATH 150+15 Trigonometry w/Support [5 units]

Note that course numbering does not indicate difficulty of course content. If you have further questions about which course is right for you, please speak to a counselor.

Anyone can learn precalculus! It is not a skill set that one is either born with or not. YOU are capable not only of learning precalculus, but also of excelling in precalculus!

For additional precalculus help, please visit the Math Activities Resource Centers (MARCS) or the Academic Support and Achievement Center (ASAC).