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Developing ability to see a problem

  1. Jan 5, 2012 #1
    I practice math a lot. I prepare through textbooks to strengthen the base and then I use competitive books to have a higher idea of subject.
    I am weak in certain sections----

    In the Examination hall, I can't use the brain to maximum. I get stuck. I can't co-relate what I have learnt. This is not due to fear or environment factor. There is something more important what I am not able to find.

    In the process of solving problems, if I am near the answer, but I find myself not getting nearly the right thing, I leave that method. If I have my solution and it doesn't match with the correct answer, I lack the ability to SEE how my answer can be transformed or what should I have skipped.

    There are lot of algebra questions that are a nightmare. The can be solved with a trick, like subtracting 1 from both sides. How should I know? How to judge.

    I don't see the problem well. I can't, only by seeing, tell the correct method of solving-of the problems I have never earlier solved but the concept used is the same.

    I feel defeated easily. I don't put more effort to the problem.

    It would be quite helpful if the knowledgeable members help me with this. What would you recommend doing? How to see a problem going? Do analogies work in math?

    Thanks for help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2012 #2
    Ok , lets see...

    If you get stuck sometimes then its natural. It happens with everyone. If you can't cor-relate what you have learnt then I would recommend that you should better focus on theory of math from a good textbook. Also which examination hall ? Your school's or elsewhere ?


    Lol , this happens with everyone ! Consider yourself unlucky that time and think about acing your exams next time. More practice is the only answer to tackle this problem.

    Again the answer is to solve more such problems. If you will consider them nightmares then they will really be the nightmares. If you will fight wars with them and try to be victorious then there are chances that those sums will consider you as their greatest nightmare. :biggrin:

    Correct , in competitive question concept is same but application of that concept is tricky. Again practice more , practice !

    Why do you ?
    Recommendation : Try a book by H.S. Hall and Knight math and also a math book by R.D. Sharma. Not sure about science books.
  4. Jan 9, 2012 #3
    What kind of math are we talking about?? Precalc, calc, algebraic geometry,etc.??
    How much time do you spend practising problems??

    In mathematics, you should practice a LOT!! You need to use techniques over and over again until they stick in your head. "I have x+1=2, how do I know to substract 1 from both sides?" Well, you know it because you solved dozens of problems involving this and the technique always worked. It's lame and not really an explanation, but it IS how it works. Mathematics should become a habit.
  5. Jan 9, 2012 #4
    Examination hall for competitive exam in not always the school. RD Sharma is a mess. It doesn't help in preparation for competition exams. I will try the other recommendations. Thanks.

    Due to a sudden development, I have started working 5-6 hours a day on math. I don't have a lot of problems to keep my survival up for more than a week now.

    I don't know about the schooling system there. I am in class 10, a class before I would join high school. But, I am presenting the syllabus. If you know a good book, please tell.

    Real Numbers

    Polynomials, Pair of linear Equations in two Variables, Quadratic equations, Arithmetic progressions

    Triangles, Circles, Constructions.

    Introduction to Trigonometry, Trigonometric Identity, Heights & Distances.

    Areas Related to Circles, Surface Areas & Volumes




    Also, I used to think that a good mathematician is the one who can solve a problem even when he is seeing it for first time. Is it all practice and knowing tricks?
  6. Jan 9, 2012 #5
    A bit of reassurance:

    I'd recommend looking at some solved problem books. True, your textbooks might have some worked out solutions, but books like the Schauum's outline series have the advantage of identifying what is really important in the material. In addition, there are A LOT of solved problems. Attempt the problem before hand, without skipping any steps, and noting all assumptions. Be explicit, and capture your thinking process. Then, look at the solutions, observe where you deviate, and reflect on what you have done. Continue in this cycle, and I am sure you will improve your intuition.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  7. Jan 9, 2012 #6
    Richard Fenyman! Well, he is certainly the person who inspired me for this question.I read his 'Surely you are joking, Mr. Fenyman' and felt inspired. He wrote that his teachers, and later he himself, had developed the ability to SEE A PROBLEM.
    I will go for you recommended book. Also, do you know a book in objective type questions format for mathematics?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  8. Jan 11, 2012 #7
    rktpro :
    There you go :
    Chemistry : http://pearson.vrvbookshop.com/book...ss-10-trishna-knowledge-systems/9788131761519

    Math :http://pearson.vrvbookshop.com/book...ss-10-trishna-knowledge-systems/9788131761328

    Physics : http://pearson.vrvbookshop.com/book...ss-10-trishna-knowledge-systems/9788131763865

    I am in class 10th too but our ICSE math course is way too much than yours :

    Commercial Mathematics :
    Compound Interest
    Sales Tax and VAT
    Shares and Dividends

    Algebra :
    Linear Inequalities
    Quadratic equations
    Ratio and Proportion
    Factorization : Factor and Remainder theorem
    Coordinate geometry

    Geometry :
    Similarity in triangles

    Mensuration :
    Circle - area and circumference and area of a sector
    3-d solids volumes , surface areas and lateral surface area curved surface - of cone , cylinder sphere etc

    Trigonometry :
    Trigonometrical Identities and Tables
    Trigonometry - complementary angles evaluation
    Heights and distances

    Statistics :

    Histogram and Ogive
    Mean , median , mode and quartiles with graphs also
    Measure of central tendency


    Have you tried any correspondence booklets for problem solving , I am trying MathGenie class 10th of Vidyamandir.

    In order to perform you have to practice. No one can solve a problem without practicing ! Exceptions are there , yes. Suppose I haven't studied Arithmetic Progression or Geometric Progression , then will I be able to solve a single tricky problem of it? No !

    I think this is the only way to perform , at least in math.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  9. Jan 11, 2012 #8
    Our syllabus is nearly same. Some chapters you listed have come in our course in previous classes.
    Are the books you mentioned entirely objective type?
    I have tried BMA's correspondence. It is a mess. Little theory, tough problems-both in science and mathematics. What about MathGenie? I thought it was from vidyamandir? What are the contents of that?
  10. Jan 11, 2012 #9
    Yup same is the case with mathGenie too but problems in it are rather tricky. Its from Vidyamandir , yes... The books I mentioned follow IIT-JEE pattern , so they must be objective only. If you read NCERT books then you will not have much problem in solving these type of questions. Contents of MathGenie are same as that of CBSE course.

    Now I will be offline for a stretch of a week , day after tomorrow is computer science exam.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  11. Jan 11, 2012 #10
    Can you please tell about the chapters included in that course?
  12. Jan 12, 2012 #11
    Nearly same as your CBSE class 10th course :

    Real Numbers

    Polynomials, Pair of linear Equations in two Variables, Quadratic equations, Arithmetic progressions , linear equations in one variables , ratio and proportion.

    Triangles, Circles.

    Introduction to Trigonometry, Trigonometric Identity, Heights & Distances.

    Areas Related to Circles, Surface Areas & Volumes - cone , sphere , cylinder , frustrum , etc.





    BTW , Have you joined any coaching of IIT-JEE ? Which one is better - Resonance , FIITJEE or Aakash IIT-JEE or IIT-ian Pace in Lucknow? Any idea ?
  13. Jan 12, 2012 #12
    I haven't joined yet but I will join in class XI. All are good as far as you get the top batch and really handsome concession. Have you given any selection test of any institute, the recent been ANTHE-Aakash National Level Talent Hunt Examination. It was a two stage exam. They provide free coaching to top 800 selected.
  14. Jan 13, 2012 #13
    I gave IITIAN PACE :

    My rank was 127/3200
    Scholarship : 40 %

    Then Aakash IIT-JEE

    I was not selected in I stage :redface: because I did not read its instructions properly that there was negative marking !

    My rank was 5000/45000
    Yet I was selected ( I don't know how !) , and they gave me scholarship of 45 % !

    Then I gave FIITJEE - FTRE

    My rank was 4800/n
    Where I think n>150000
    Scholarship : 65 %

    Then I gave Resonance exam and I was selected in first stage. I will give second stage on 5th February.

    Which one would I join ? Have you also given these exams ?
  15. Jan 13, 2012 #14
    There was no negative marking in Aakash Stage I. I got selected in that, gave stage two and can get a scholarship of 60%.
    Couldn't give FTRE because the date clashed with ANTHE stage II
    Got selected in STaRT, but the date is clashing with Bansal's BOOST.
    Gave Vidyamandir. They are really fraud. Got rank between 300 and 400 and yet they didn't gave me a choice of delhi centres as I gave the paper at a test centre of chandigarh. Though, one friend of mine, ranked between 800-900 got delhi as an option as he gave the test at delhi test centre.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  16. Jan 15, 2012 #15
    Anyways , I think correspondence course of nearly every coaching sucks !

    The best correspondence courses which people recommended are :

    1. Kaysons Education : You can get a free DVD and see if it suits you.

    2. Brilliant Tutorials : I have no idea about this. But people say that it is more student friendly and theory and questions both are given equal weightage.

    3. Resonance : People recommend it.

    4. Vidya Mandir : But please don't take mathGenie !

    5. FIITJEE : People are recommending it but see that it has problems even tougher than IIT.

    6. Locus Study Materials

    7. Bansal classes study sheets.

    8. Narayana correspondence courses

    9. Allen

    10. Others are CHAITINYA tutorials ,
    T.I.M.E : http://www.time4education.com/time_Mathrubhumi/iitjee_engg&medical.asp [Broken]
    Ask IItians : http://www.askiitians.com//iit-jee-online-coaching.aspx

    Other courses except the above are mess.

    Which coaching are you joining ? And which is better - FIITJEE or Resonance.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  17. Jan 15, 2012 #16
    The list is nice. They provide good material. But first make sure you get a look at the modules of any friend who has joined these institutes before you subscribe.
    I am planning to join Bansal Classes. Can't tell whether FIITJEE or Resonance is better. Resonance has a lot of strength, FIITJEE provides long coaching hours.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  18. Jan 19, 2012 #17
    Now I have decided to join FIITJEE because in Lucknow , majority of people are recommending it. Now what to join : FIITJEE class room 2 years program OR FIITJEE integrated course 2 years ?

    FIITJEE class room 2 years program : 3 days a week and 4 hours/day
    So 12 hours a week

    FIITJEE integrated course 2 years : 6 days a week and 4 hours/day
    So 24 hours a day and lot of time saving also.

    One can cover both boards and IITJEE course in such long study hours. There will be no imbalance , I think.

    Yet which one will I join ? Please tell with a suggestion....

    Bansal classes , I think is not that good but still better in Kota.
  19. Jan 19, 2012 #18
    If you want to do integrated, go for it. Everyone has their viewpoints. Just stick to yours.
    Bansal, even now, is one of the best. I think it is the most respected one also since it were Bansal's who started the first institute.
    So, go for your choice only.
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