# How long does it take to learn calculus?

• jduster
In summary, learning calculus to an advanced level can take anywhere from 180 hours to 495 hours, depending on the level of depth and understanding desired. This includes taking calculus courses, studying related topics such as linear algebra and differential equations, and self-study. However, it is important to note that the time it takes to learn calculus can vary greatly depending on the individual's learning pace and resources available.
jduster
I already have a below average high school knowledge of math (algebra), but I plan to teach myself up to calculus. How long will it take to learn calculus to an advanced level. I understand everybody is different, but generally...

50 hours?
100 hours?
250 hours?

How much calculus do you want to learn: 5, 10, or 12-13 college hours (which includes learning multivariable calculus: partial derivatives, multiple integrals, vectors, Green's function)?

Calculus is an endless topic. At some point it starts to get called analysis, but you could literally spend the rest of your life learning it.

i want to learn it at an advanced level, but not a professional level.

If you really want to understand it you need a proof based approach, which typically means you take calc I – III, an ordinary differential equations class, linear algebra, and then you start getting into the proof based approach.

If you want to be able to do calculus, taking I – III would allow you to solve most problems you run across.

James M
JonF said:
Calculus is an endless topic. At some point it starts to get called analysis, but you could literally spend the rest of your life learning it.

JonF said:
If you really want to understand it you need a proof based approach, which typically means you take calc I – III, an ordinary differential equations class, linear algebra, and then you start getting into the proof based approach.

If you want to be able to do calculus, taking I – III would allow you to solve most problems you run across.

This indeed is the best answer. If you want to have a deep mathematical understanding of calculus (the limit problem, whether a functions converges or diverges, groups, sets, complex functions, ... ect.) and beyond... than analysis is your goal.

If you want to be able to understand physics equations, than calculus along with differential and partial differential equations- along with linear algebra; some group theory; and tensor analysis is what you're looking for. These courses are central to understanding the mathematics that aid in learning the basis of physical equations.

Last edited:
Learning high-school calculus in a high-school class takes roughly 150 hours + 100 hours of homework/studying. Learning the same in a college class takes roughly 40 hours + 80 hours of homework/studying. (College is faster-paced.) Self-studying probably takes half again as long as learning in a class, so 375 hours at a high-school pace or 180 hours at a college pace.

If you want to extend this to basic college calculus, add another 90 hours + 180 hours of homework/studying or 405 hours of self-study.

To extend this to include undergraduate analysis, add 60+120 to 270 hours on the same scheme as the above.

To extend this to graduate analysis, maybe 90+240 hours to 495 hours.

How much do you want to know?

If you want a "survival" amount of calculus, you can learn the basic concepts and a handful of methods in a few hours.

If you want to be a competent high school graduate, you probably want to take a semester.

If you want to be an engineer, about four semesters worth of it should suffice. (Though more is better).

How can anyone answer this? What takes one person hours to learn may take another years.

I think these numbers are too high IF
you can find and afford a good tutor.

I can teach you basic differential and integral Calculus in 60 hours.
That is 20 hours of instruction and 40 hours of homework.

BUT I doubt you can afford the time and money it would take to learn it
or find a teacher who knows it so well and is willing to do it so quickly.

You can learn most of HS Math at purplemath dot com.
I suspect there is a similar site for Calculus, but I do not know it.

## 1. How long does it take to learn calculus?

The amount of time it takes to learn calculus varies depending on the individual's prior knowledge and learning style. Some may grasp the concepts quickly and be able to learn calculus in a few months, while others may need more time and practice and may take a year or more.

## 2. Do I need to have a strong math background to learn calculus?

Having a strong foundation in algebra and trigonometry is helpful when learning calculus, as many of the concepts build upon these topics. However, with determination and hard work, anyone can learn calculus regardless of their math background.

## 3. Can I learn calculus on my own or do I need a teacher?

It is possible to learn calculus on your own, but having a teacher or tutor can be extremely beneficial. They can provide guidance, explain difficult concepts, and give feedback on your progress. Additionally, having someone to ask questions and discuss ideas with can enhance the learning experience.

## 4. How much time should I dedicate to learning calculus each day?

The amount of time needed to learn calculus varies, but it is recommended to dedicate at least an hour each day to studying and practicing problems. Consistent practice and review are key to understanding and retaining the material.

## 5. Is calculus difficult to learn?

Calculus can be challenging, but with dedication and perseverance, anyone can learn it. It may take time and effort, but the satisfaction of understanding complex mathematical concepts and being able to apply them is worth it.

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