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Calculus Course

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BioCore

Main Question or Discussion Point

I am currently taking a basic Calculus course, well actually its an advanced class in university. I was wondering if you could advise, as to what would be better. Would it be better that I try to fully understand all the concepts in the course and do a moderate amount of questions for homework or practice, or would it be better to do as many questions as possible and just get the hang of concepts so I can try and pass.

Currently everyone tells me to do only the assigned work, which I take would mean that I should understand all the questions first. So what is your advice.
 

Answers and Replies

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I am currently taking a basic Calculus course, well actually its an advanced class in university. I was wondering if you could advise, as to what would be better. Would it be better that I try to fully understand all the concepts in the course and do a moderate amount of questions for homework or practice, or would it be better to do as many questions as possible and just get the hang of concepts so I can try and pass.

Currently everyone tells me to do only the assigned work, which I take would mean that I should understand all the questions first. So what is your advice.
You should probably do as many problems as are necessary for you to understand the concepts. If you need to do more problems than are assigned, that is certainly fine (and not uncommon).
 
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Yeah whatever works for you the best. The goal is to understand the topic/concepts, so however many problems you need to do for that to sink in is what you should do.

Speaking from personal experience I usually read the entire chapter/unit my class is working on before we start it in class. Then I go back and re-read it all again afterwards, and usually the concepts have sunk in and problems sets are pretty straight forward from there. Just one suggestion^^
 
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Just learning the concepts as much as possible is great until you get a test asking for mainly applications of what you know. If its really an advanced calc course then you may be tested on proofs and such but I imagine it will still be mostly applications, ie. you may have one or 2 questions like state and prove the mean value theorem, but most will be find the 1st, 2nd and third derivatives of the following function.... or calculate these given integrals...

what I am saying is that generally doing the assigned homework should help you learn the concepts but also prepare you for the test.
 
The two are not mutually exclusive: understanding the concepts means precisely being able to solve problems and solving problems will help you understand the concepts.
 

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