When we start discussing actual “Calculus” topics, you will need to remember quite a few important techniques and facts from your high school courses. To get you up to speed, you can use this (and the following) prep pages to review the relevant topics as you need.

On this page, we’ll start with some important algebra topics, including exponent rules, factoring of polynomials, solving quadratic equations, and simplifying rational functions.


Remember that it is up to you to decide how much of the listed resources you need to read or watch, you probably do not need to go through all of it. You might also want to look at the General Study Tips & Tricks page for some recommendations on how to effectively study with a math textbook and videos.

Videos to watch

  • To review basic power (exponent) rules, watch these videos:

  • To review how to factor polynomials (using the so-called common-factor or product-sum method) watch this video:

  • To review how to factor the difference of squares watch this video:

  • Here is another great video about factoring, which shows a (slightly) different method to factor a trinomial when the leading coefficient is not equal to 1 (starting at 5:06 in the video): She calls this method the “Magic-X” method, but it is also known as the “ac-method”.

  • To review how to factor a perfect square, watch these videos:

  • To review how to solve a quadratic equation by factoring watch this video:

  • To review how to simplify more complicated rational expressions involving double fractions (fractional expressions within fractions), watch this video:

  • To review how to rationalize the numerator or the denominator in a rational expression watch this video:


Charles Fortin Avatar Charles Fortin
Gabriel Indurskis Avatar Gabriel Indurskis


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