10 Best Precalculus Textbooks to Use in 2022

best precalculus textbooks

Usually, precalculus is taken in grade 11th or grade 12th, and some students take precalculus in grade 10th as well, which is not that early. Taking precalculus would benefit taking advanced math classes such as Calculus. To go into calculus, precalculus theory would be necessary. However, taking a precalculus class is not that necessary if you could self-study the theories. Anyone could elf study precalculus with the help of precalculus textbooks available and online tools such as Chegg.

Here are the best precalculus textbooks for self-studying and for precalculus classes in 2022.

Best 10 Precalculus Textbooks to Use in 2022

01. Art of Problem Solving Precalculus – Richard Rusczyk

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This is the precalculus textbook from the Art of Problem Solving textbook series designed for high-performing middle school and high school students. Art of solving precalculus comes as a two-book set which includes the textbook and the solution manual. The textbook provides in-depth explanations and example problems that can help you expand your knowledge.

It covers topics including trigonometry, complex numbers, matrices, and vectors and includes over 1000 test problems where you can test your knowledge. If you need help, you can always use the solution manual with step-by-step solutions.

Pros
  • In depth explainations
  • Solution manual included
  • Almost 1000 practice questions
  • Best for beginners
  • Perfect for mathematic competitions
Cons
  • None so far

02. Precalculus 10th Edition – Ron Larsen

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The precalculus 10th edition was written by Dr. Ron Larson who was a mathematics professor at Pennsylvania State University until 1970. He is the author of many mathematics textbooks. If you are thinking about taking calculus 1 or have a nearby exam involving precalculus, this would be the textbook to go for.

It gives you clear explanations of precalculus concepts, summaries at the end of chapters, as well as example problems and practice problems to practice precalculus by yourself.

Pros
  • Link between math and science explained
  • Easy explanations of concepts
  • Summaries included
  • Example problems in each chapter
  • Fast-tracked
  • QR to connect to additional online content
Cons
  • Textbooks rentals might not give the code for online content

03. Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus – James Stewart, Lothar Redlin, Saleem Watson

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Precalculus: Mathematics for Calculus was written by three respective authors with Ph. Ds, who has written many successful mathematical textbooks. The authors explain the concepts in simple language and don’t skip the tough or simple concepts. So, this textbook is perfect for beginners and those who are looking to self-study precalculus.

Enough examples are provided in every chapter, with variations of beginner to advanced practice problems is included in the textbook. The textbook is much more affordable than some textbooks. You have two options when buying this textbook. You can either buy the standalone edition or the enhanced edition, which provides six months of access to Mindmath. Even though both versions have enough practice problems, the solution is not provided with the textbook, and if you want it, you have to buy the solution manual.

Pros
  • Thoroughly explained concepts
  • Variety of practice problems
  • Good for a beginner
  • Affordable rental and textbook
  • Two versions available
Cons
  • Hardcover book can be a bit expensive
  • Solution manual not provided, and you have to buy it

04. Precalculus: Pearson – Robert F Blitzer

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Precalculus: Pearson was written by Robert F. Blitzer who has authored many mathematical textbooks in the Pearson series. The author has explained the concepts well and knows how to keep the students engaged in the content. Both e-textbook and hardcover books are available to purchase, and both have affordable price tags. So, this is an excellent precalculus textbook that you could invest in.

The textbook includes enough precalculus example problems that you can try out. It is really a small-sized textbook compared to many textbooks, where a reading problem could erupt. This textbook includes a MyMathLab membership (check with the seller since some textbooks don’t have this) as well, and it provides many online tutorials that are great for learning precalculus.

Pros
  • Easily understandable content
  • Enough example problems
  • Affordable textbook
  • Well known author
  • Provides additional online content as well

Cons
  • Small-sized textbook

05. Precalculus 1st Editon – Jay Abramson

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This precalculus textbook is written by well-known author Jay Abramson who is a principal lecturer at Arizona State University. The textbook is well organized with clear learning objectives for anyone who uses it to understand the concepts clearly. It’s also one of the most affordable calculus textbooks available today. The hardcover and paperback versions are both inexpensive. Also, you can get the e-textbook for free on Amazon and Openstax, which provides free pdf textbooks.

Precalculus by Jay Abramson also has a reasonable amount of great practice problems for precalculus which you can use to test your knowledge. In every example, the author has demonstrated a problem-solving approach so even beginners can understand the subject better. However, textbook size is enormous since it’s a 1000+ page textbook, and to finish the content can take a more extensive-time period compared to other textbooks.

Pros
  • Well organized content
  • Clear learning objectives
  • Good example problems with explanations
  • Free e-textbook
  • Affordable hardcover and paperback textbook versions

Cons
  • Can take some time to go through

06. Precalculus for Dummies – Mary Jane Sterling 

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Precalculus for dummies is a book from For Dummies which is a book series that makes any topics easy to understand for anyone. It has explained precalculus concepts in plain English and includes new example problems in every chapter. It’s perfect for understanding calculus concepts, functions, and solving linear equations and trigonometric functions. This textbook is ideal if you need a refresher on precalculus.

However, the Precalculus for Dummies book lacks enough practice problems, so it won’t be that much use if you want to practice more problems. If you need more practice problems, you could go for the Pre-calculus Workbook for Dummies or Pre-Calculus: 1,001 Practice Problems For Dummies.

Pros
  • Clear explanations
  • Examples in every chapter
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for anyone
  • Best for self-studying
Cons
  • Not enoguh problems (alternative books are given above from For dummies)

The Bottom Line

Learning precalculus is necessary if you are going into advanced mathematics classes in middle school, high school, or college. However, taking a precalculus class is not that necessary if you could self-study precalculus using online learning tools and textbooks.

Textbooks have in-depth explanations of concepts of precalculus and practice problems where you can test your knowledge. The above textbook round-up has the best precalculus textbooks you can use for either self-studying or class.

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