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How do you guys study Calculus and such subjects?

  1. Dec 23, 2007 #1
    I don't know how I should study Calculus and math related subjects. Here's the routine I follow as of now: After I come back from school everyday after goingto Calculus class I read through the notes and do all example problems. Then I start and finish the assignment the next day.

    However, should I do some problems everyday from then on until the final so I don't have to cram the nights before the exam? I did this for the last unit and it worked fairly well. Although the problem is I run out of practice problems (even the review ones) for the odd numbered questions (the ones with answers). Should I just buy another book and do problems off there?

    Do you guys find it helpful to get ahead of your class and read the chapter/ do example problems before lectures? Please tell me how you guys study for pop-quizzes, mid-terms, and final exams (without having to cram). Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 23, 2007 #2
    A helpful hint whenever studying math, physics, or chemistry: do as many problems as possible. I've personally found that except in a few individual cases, there aren't that many special tricks or cheats when studying these subjects. Basically the more problems you do correctly, the better you get. So I'd say that you should study however you study best, but with this guideline in mind. If your personal study habits make you do more problems, then they are probably good habits. If they cause you to do fewer problems, then they probably aren't so good.

    Anyway, this is just my personal observations, I'm by no means a teaching expert.
  4. Dec 23, 2007 #3


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    If you want more sample problems do yourself a favour and buy the Schaum's outlines books (this holds true for just about any subject).
  5. Dec 25, 2007 #4
    I find it best to get an introduction through lecture rather than studying ahead.
  6. Dec 26, 2007 #5
    Make sure to read the chapter/section you are on, too, not just skipping ahead to the problems.
  7. Dec 27, 2007 #6
    usually its a lot more important to udnerstand what you are learning than to read through the notes blindly. For math classes i just listen in class and do my homework, which is mroe than enough for me.
  8. Dec 27, 2007 #7
    Make sure to do every single problem that has an answer to it. Idc what anyone says, it doesn't take that long and it isn't that painful.
  9. Dec 27, 2007 #8
    Yeah, reading the chapters/sections really does help. It can fill in the blanks for you.
  10. Dec 29, 2007 #9
    I usually waited until after lecture to even look at the material. After lecture I'd go straight to the problems & do as many of them as possible. If I ran into a problem I couldn't figure out, I'd go back & read the material. Though this method probably only works if you have a really good & thorough lecturer. To get a wider variety of problems I used multiple books, usually you can find them in the library or get used ones pretty cheap from internet book stores.
  11. Jan 2, 2008 #10
    How do you guys study for your finals? I'm having a Calculus I final soon (limits up to integration with logs and inverse derivatives) and I do not know how I should review most efficiently. Should I do the review problems at the end of each chapter and see where I need review the most or just go from the beginning with a prep book?
  12. Jan 2, 2008 #11
    Well if I were you I would first look at your assignments/midterm(s) and see what you got wrong, and focus on those areas. Read through all of your notes and try some review problems (either from the text or ones the prof might've given?). I don't know how much free time you have to study but I like to make flash cards of the main techniques/ideas covered in the course. They're useful for cementing your knowledge and becoming extra confident come exam time.

    In a nut shell, focus on the things you had problems with, but still review everything else.
  13. May 6, 2010 #12
    I HAVE to read the lecture material before hand. If I don't, it is a wasted class, I learn basically nothing. Even if I don't understand the reading material, I will at least have a vague idea of what is going on and stuff.

    Then I go to lecture, hopefully with a big jump start, or at least a little heads-up. When I get home I work on the homework. Every few days you probably need to go over the notes, and go back and do some problems that you haven't done yet, or that you don't have memorized the solution. You WILL forget how to do the problems within a week.

    Also, I find that it helps to learn the material, do some problems. The next day, come back and do more. I can do more than one "lecture" per day, but it takes me at least two days to understand a lecture. My mind has to have 24 hours to process the stuff. I usually find that I come back the next day with a clear head and I am actually better at the problems than when I first learned the material (I guess that's not TOO surprising lol).
  14. May 6, 2010 #13
    I do pretty much the same as everyone else but I have always found that trying to prove the equation/formula/theorem I am dealing with helps me a lot. I mean, if you can get the formula from scratch you have a much easier time remembering it and applying it.

    For example there are like 20 rules for taking the derivative of the function but all of those rules come from 1 simple concept the slope of a function when the distance between the 2 points goes to zero. From there you can easily get Newton's Quotient, and from Newton's Quotient you can get the all of the formulas. Also many of the formulas are special cases of a more general formula, being able to realize that helps a lot.

    I'm just in high school but I've found that doing this works for me. I didn't even need a teacher to explain calculus to me it just kindda fell into place after a while. All you need is some dedication and interest.
  15. May 7, 2010 #14

    Here's a link that will not only benefit the author of this thread of everyone in general!
    1. Read
    A. FIRST PASS: Skim (like before lecture)
    B. SECOND PASS Read WITHOUT going over examples (maybe just after lecture)
    C. THRID PASS: Re-read everything WITH examples (a day after lecture)
    2. After skimming and reading go into solving problems.
    3. Do this a section per time (it is too much to do a chapter per time)

    I hope this is useful!
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