1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Best Way to Learn Calculus on My Own?

  1. Apr 22, 2014 #1
    Trying to learn calculus on my own. No, I do not have a lot of free time. Yes, I am probably the first person in the universe to *want* to learn calculus, especially on my own. Any good books/websites? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The best way to learn calculus on your own is to free up some time and join a group.
    i.e. the best way is to not do it on your own, with limited free time.

    To make good headway, you want a disciplined approach with someone to check your work. You'll want at least 1 hour each week ... formal courses usually have 3 contact hours a week and another two non-contact working on problem solving.

    At that rate, it takes most people about a third to half a year to get proficient at 1st-year University level.

    Still, you can start out by yourself. Since you are keen and sound inspired you should be able to cover the basics quite fast.

    What level of education are you starting at?
    What level are you aiming at?

    You'll need some notes:
    Paul's Notes are generally helpful with the ideas, there are also online college courses that are very good ... but you also need exercises.

    Math is Fun pages try to be less serious about the whole thing. BUt if you are dedicated and rally don't have a lot of time, you can try one of the crash courses people offer.

    Note: calculus is normally taught alongside linear algebra.
    You need to decide what you want to learn for and how serious you are.

    The courses online vary a lot so you will need to shop around to match the teachng style to your learning style.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  4. Apr 22, 2014 #3
    Out of curiosity, do you believe it is always better to learn math in a group, or do you think you can teach yourself the subject? I'm curious because I am currently attempting to teach myself algebra and trigonometry (and eventually calculus).
  5. Apr 23, 2014 #4

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It is possible to teach yourself a subject - but if you do not have the outside input, it is much harder.
    It is always best to learn in groups - the experience of explaining stuff to other people is how you gain understanding in a subject.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook