If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources for Khan Academy.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.


You may think that precalculus is simply the course you take before calculus. You would be right, of course, but that definition doesn't mean anything unless you have some knowledge of what calculus is. Let's keep it simple, shall we? Calculus is a conceptual framework which provides systematic techniques for solving problems. These problems are appropriately applicable to analytic geometry and algebra. Therefore....precalculus gives you the background for the mathematical concepts, problems, issues and techniques that appear in calculus, including trigonometry, functions, complex numbers, vectors, matrices, and others. There you have it ladies and gentlemen....and introduction to precalculus!
Community Questions
Parametric equations and polar coordinates
An alternative to Cartesian coordinates.
All content in “Parametric equations and polar coordinates”

Parametric equations

Here we will explore representing our x's and y's in terms of a third variable or parameter (often 't'). Not only can we describe new things, but it can be super useful for describing things like particle motion in physics.

Polar coordinates

Feel that Cartesian coordinates are too "square". That they bias us towards lines and away from cool spirally things. Well polar coordinates be just what you need!