In American mathematics education, precalculus (or Algebra 3 in some areas), is an advanced form of secondary school algebra, and a foundational mathematical discipline. It is also called Introduction to Analysis. In many schools, precalculus is actually two separate courses: Algebra and Trigonometry. Precalculus prepares students for calculus the same way as pre-algebra prepares students for Algebra I. While pre-algebra teaches students many different fundamental algebra topics, precalculus does not involve calculus, but explores topics that will be applied in calculus. It often involves covering algebraic topics that might not have been given attention in earlier algebra courses. Some precalculus courses might differ with others in terms of content. For example, an honors level course might spend more time on conic sections, vectors, and other topics needed for calculus, used in fields such as medicine or engineering. A college preparatory class might focus on topics used in business-related careers, such as matrices, or power functions.
In detail, precalculus deals with: