This was one of the questions from my College Math Placement Test

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Bruce

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#1  Edited By Bruce

"If a movie begins at 7:00 PM, and is 108 minutes long, what time does the movie end?"

Are you fucking kidding me? The test gave me a few questions like that, and then it went into crazy ass Trig that we weren't allowed to use calculators or scrap paper for. How am I supposed to solve an equation with radicals and find the volume of cylinders using pie in my head?

The irony here is that I actually needed to bomb pretty badly on this test in order for my College to not place me in pre-cal/cal for the year. I was exempt from every other placement test due to regents grades, and this test is going to determine what level of College Math I take. Usually, those who pass are put straight into pre-cal/cal; by failing, I'll be put into a remedial Math (Which I should probably take regardless due to how bad I am) and then once I'm done with that, a College level algebra or statistics class, then I'll be done. Most people who do not pass the initial placement are never forced into pre-cal/cal. (Thank you God)

So, who else has had bad experiences with bullshit College requirement courses?

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Rirobuge

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#2  Edited By Rirobuge

Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus.

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Seedofpower

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#3  Edited By Seedofpower
@Rirobuge said:
"Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus."

Man, what college you go to?
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kmdrkul

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#4  Edited By kmdrkul

Why don't you want to be placed in calculus?  Just because your majoring in something completely different doesn't necessarily you should take easy classes elsewhere

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ltsquigs

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#5  Edited By ltsquigs

Even in calculus classes that give you calculators they end up being nothing more than quick ways to do the simple arithmetic (like the example you gave involving pi), all the of the actual calculus level math can't be strictly done on a calculator (at least on the ones most people buy) as they are more conceptual.

As for bullshit questions, I know its not strictly college related but the standardized test here in Michigan that all juniors/seniors had to take was nothing but simple questions like that, I distinctly remember one being "If an apple costs 75 cents, and you buy 5 apples, how much money will you spend?"

Out of curiosity was the test section where they did not allow scrap/calculators multiple choice? If it wasn't then expecting someone to compute a value against pi is unreasonable, however if it is multiple choice then the test may have been expecting you to be able to make a good estimate (for instance multiplying against 3 instead of by pi would get you close to the right answer and then you could use approximation from there, similar techniques can be applied for radicals)

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badgerT

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#6  Edited By badgerT
@Roger_Klotz said:
"Looks like they tried to see if your reading the question fully. Some people might see 108 as 180 mins, which would be 2 hours. "

You mean 3 hours? haha
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Vinchenzo

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#7  Edited By Vinchenzo

That's actually an unanswerable equation. You have to take into account the previews, of which the time is not provided. And does 108 minutes include the credits? If so you can shave off some time. Otherwise you have to keep them tacked on.


So many gaps in this question.
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crunchUK

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#8  Edited By crunchUK

How is trigonometry even possible without a calculator? I thought the actual manual way of solving those things was a giant book.

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phlegms

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#9  Edited By phlegms

The American college application system is so fucked up.
Thank god the Irish system is far simpler.

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Karmum

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#10  Edited By Karmum
@Rirobuge said:
" Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus. "
What are you talking about? Both of my brothers are taking Math courses in College, and they both use caculators. I assume they're in or beyond calculus.
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ltsquigs

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#11  Edited By ltsquigs

You could try to approximate the values for sin/cos functions with Taylor series? I guess thats not that practical since that has to be in radians which means you would be doing things like dividing pi by factorials. Most of the time when a math test asks for trigonometric functions like that without a calculator they use easy angles like 30 or 90 which end up being easily memorized numbers, or rely upon you to transform one function into another. It is messy I have to admit.

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AgentofChaos

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#12  Edited By AgentofChaos

No calculators? Where the fuck are you going, Caltech?

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Sabata

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#13  Edited By Sabata
@kmdrkul said:
" Why don't you want to be placed in calculus?  Just because your majoring in something completely different doesn't necessarily you should take easy classes elsewhere "
Unless his major requires calculus, he should stay far away from it, considering if he fails the class it can seriously fuck up his GPA.
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Bruce

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#14  Edited By Bruce
@Sabata:

I'm going for English/Education. When I was in High School, I barely made it passed Trig; there is NO way I can handle calculus.
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#15  Edited By RetroIce4
@badgerT said:
" @Roger_Klotz said:
"Looks like they tried to see if your reading the question fully. Some people might see 108 as 180 mins, which would be 2 hours. "
You mean 3 hours? haha "
I feel smart now. XD
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Everyones_A_Critic

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@Seedofpower said:
"@Rirobuge said:
"Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus."
Man, what college you go to? "
I don't remember the name, but I believe their motto was "Work Will Set You Free".
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badgerT

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#17  Edited By badgerT
@Roger_Klotz said:
"

@badgerT said:

"@Roger_Klotz said:
"Looks like they tried to see if your reading the question fully. Some people might see 108 as 180 mins, which would be 2 hours. "
You mean 3 hours? haha "


...shit. That's 3 years of Math honors down the drain.

"

Haha, no worries!
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zombie2011

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#18  Edited By zombie2011
@crunchUK said:
" How is trigonometry even possible without a calculator? I thought the actual manual way of solving those things was a giant book. "
In college the only trig you really use is identities so there really is no numbers involved, so you don't need a calculator. It's just a lot of memorization.@Rirobuge said:
" Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus. "
I'm a Mechanical Engineering major, which is all Calculus and Physics and i've been allowed to use those cheap $1 calculators. Are you sure you did not mean professors don't allow programable (graphing) calculators.
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Sabata

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#19  Edited By Sabata
@Bruce said:
" @Sabata: I'm going for English/Education. When I was in High School, I barely made it passed Trig; there is NO way I can handle calculus. "
In that case, yeah, you're making the right choice by staying away from calculus.  Although I never heard of a college forcing people to take higher level math class depending on their placement tests.
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KaosAngel

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#20  Edited By KaosAngel
@Seedofpower said:
" @Rirobuge said:
"Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus."
Man, what college you go to? "
Japanese universities don't allow it either.
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Jiggah

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#21  Edited By Jiggah

It depends on the teacher and the materials being covered.  A calculator is not always needed and does indeed get in the way of some of the more complex stuff that might take a little imagination to get around.

@zombie2011 said:

" @crunchUK said:
" How is trigonometry even possible without a calculator? I thought the actual manual way of solving those things was a giant book. "
In college the only trig you really use is identities so there really is no numbers involved, so you don't need a calculator. It's just a lot of memorization.@Rirobuge said:
" Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus. "
I'm a Mechanical Engineering major, which is all Calculus and Physics and i've been allowed to use those cheap $1 calculators. Are you sure you did not mean professors don't allow programable (graphing) calculators. "

In Calculus that's geared towards Physics, or Physics itself, it's very important to have precision and accuracy of the numbers and measurements, which is probably why it's recommended that you have at least a simple calculator with you.  Rounding errors can create havoc during projects especially when you deal with stuff at the extremely small scale.

Tests that don't require calculators usually give you some basic information on what to use.  For example, if you're dealing with radicals, they'll give the basic value of the radical of 2 and all problems can and should be able to be reduced to some base of radical 2.  Similarly, with pi they will tell you ahead that you should use 3.14 or up to some precision of decimal point i.e. 3.1415.
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RsistncE

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#22  Edited By RsistncE

I had to take the LPI (language proficiency index) test even though I had an A in English 12, which was the requirement to not have to take the test and/or be able to be placed into the upper level first year English courses at UVic. What a slap in the face. I wrote the test with ESL students and rednecks. It was out of 6, I got 6 and then subsequently got a letter from UVic that I didn't actually have to write it. I wrote back an angry email telling them they just cost me $100. Pieces of shit.

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#23  Edited By sarahsdad
@Bruce: If for some reason you do get slotted into a Clac class you can't get out of, I would suggest trying to switch to a pass/fail option. I was an english major who ended up in a calc class, and that was the only way I managed to not get my gpa screwed that semester. I don't know about the school you're going to, but for mine the biggest warning I got was that by taking the course pass/fail I wouldn't get any higher than a 2 or 2.5 grade for the class (almost ten years ago now, my exact memory is fuzzy). Anyhow. Good Luck.
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Ineedaname

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#24  Edited By Ineedaname

I hated math, I'm good but the latter stuff such as Pi, is just beyond me. I can related, the UK system is alot simpler though, I wish you luck and that you get the outcome you want. Although as my Business Studies teacher used to say, you get what you deserve with exams.

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TwoOneFive

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#25  Edited By TwoOneFive

i never took a calc class in college where the professor didn't allow us to use a calculator. its fucking dumb. there isn't a single dude who has a masters degree who doesn't use a calculator for calc, its just fucking common sense, its faster and way easier, if you know how to solve the equations that all that matters. its a tremendous waste of time to sit there and have to do it all on scrap paper. 

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Bruce

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#26  Edited By Bruce
@Ineedaname:

The outcome I'm hoping for is to fail the placement and be placed in a remedial Math class where I can hopefully work my way up to an easy College Math credit, such as statistics or College Algebra/Geometry.

I actually had fun with computer Geometry sketching in High School.
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#27  Edited By BODDAH

Unless you're an engineering / some math related major just take pre-calc. It really doesn't matter. In fact nothing matters in college except your degree, but let's keep that on the d/l.

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#28  Edited By leeto

Calc or Trig questions without a calculator usually involve special angles (which you should memorize the trigonometric functions for, such as the sin, cos, and tan of 30 degrees), or want that answer in exact form which involves setting up the equation but not actually solving it.

Hell, paper one of the IB Math exams don't use calculator at all. It's really not that bad if you read the questions and figure out what they're looking for and are able to identify special functions.

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iam3green

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#29  Edited By iam3green

man i know what u mean... i always do bad in school C, B. in college it got harder to do. i don't think i took hard enough classes in high school because i barely studied but passed. in community college i do bad. i had to take a none credit math class three times :( the third time it was easy because i knew what everything was about.

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#30  Edited By Osphere
@KaosAngel said:
" @Seedofpower said:
" @Rirobuge said:
"Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus."
Man, what college you go to? "
Japanese universities don't allow it either. "
It's not uncommon here in America.  It was the same with my physics classes.  You just end up having problems that really push theory and understanding, and have answers that work out cleanly (even if they don't seem to during the process lol).  Also, when working with values like pi, you just leave it as is when working, so you get an answer like (root 2 * pi).

Meh.
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Seedofpower

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#31  Edited By Seedofpower

@Osphere said:

"@KaosAngel said:
" @Seedofpower said:
" @Rirobuge said:
"Heads up, most professors don't allow calculators for calculus."
Man, what college you go to? "
Japanese universities don't allow it either. "
It's not uncommon here in America.  It was the same with my physics classes.  You just end up having problems that really push theory and understanding, and have answers that work out cleanly (even if they don't seem to during the process lol).  Also, when working with values like pi, you just leave it as is when working, so you get an answer like (root 2 * pi).Meh."


 

Yeah, I would have changed my major to something else if I couldn't use my calculator.
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Dalai

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#32  Edited By Dalai

It's a trick question.  Considering that particular movie is The Proposal, the movie ends at 7:01 PM when you leave angry.

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dsplayer1010

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#33  Edited By dsplayer1010

Just be grateful for the easy answer.

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#34  Edited By PercyChuggs

It ends at 8:08, duh.

I went to school for radio, and everyone else in my class couldn't backtime, meaning, they couldn't figure out quickly that if it's 7:55:17 and you want a song to go until like 8:01:11, you would put one in that's 5:44 long. They had to use some Excel equation to figure it out.

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#35  Edited By bacongames

I love it when certain teachers complain that you're supposed to do everything in your head.  Namely my Chemistry and Physics teacher.  It brings up the question of why you have to memorize the periodic table or trig functions.  If you have to do that shit, chances are you have the reference in front of you.

Besides, math within classes like Physics and Chemistry actually matter, because you know, it's used for something.  Pure mathematics is the academic equivalent of running on a treadmill.  You do all that work, get tired, and you never got anywhere.

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Bruce

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#36  Edited By Bruce
@PercyChuggs:

Actually, the answer was 8:48 PM.
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Rirobuge

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#37  Edited By Rirobuge

I was trying to say that you don't need a calculator to do calculus. And do you think math didn't exist before calculators? They had to do it by hand.

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lethalki11ler

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#38  Edited By lethalki11ler
@leeto said:
" Calc or Trig questions without a calculator usually involve special angles (which you should memorize the trigonometric functions for, such as the sin, cos, and tan of 30 degrees), or want that answer in exact form which involves setting up the equation but not actually solving it.Hell, paper one of the IB Math exams don't use calculator at all. It's really not that bad if you read the questions and figure out what they're looking for and are able to identify special functions. "
Dude IB paper 2 was way harder than non-calculator paper :P
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#39  Edited By nrain

Trig is possible without a calculator, just split the angles into ((pi + pi/6) example*) I had to teach myself all of that by myself due to my schools screwy system of not allowing someone to do A level chemistry and maths :@ but hey I still got an A (British Education btw)

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#40  Edited By cspiffo
@badgerT said:
" @Roger_Klotz said:
"Looks like they tried to see if your reading the question fully. Some people might see 108 as 180 mins, which would be 2 hours. "
You mean 3 hours? haha "
LOL!!!
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#41  Edited By NukeSpoon

What kind of calculus are we talking about here?

Stuff like integrating (e^x)(sin^x)?