# How many months should I give myself to learn Calculus I-III

geologist
Hello,
I'm interested in learning calculus in order to apply it to my current field of geology (by doing more advanced statistics and groundwater modeling). Considering that I'll study 10 hours per week, about how long should I realistically take to get through the material in Calculus I through III. I have a full time job (environmental consulting) and family (2 kids). I also plan on learning some basic programming (python then R).

I'm currently going through Calculus I on Udemy (Krista King) and also have a few calculus texts for additional detail and practice problems (including Calculus with analytic geometry-Howard Anton and 1000 calculus problems). I'm comfortable enough with algebra to not need to spend time dedicated to it (aside from mini-interludes). I will at some point while going through calculus I go through a review of trigonometry.

Mentor
Also consider using the mathispower4u.com free resource. 10 minute videos on all things Calculus 1,2,3 and Diff Eqns, Linear Algebra and Statistics.

This really depends on you and how much sticks as you review it. For me the core piece of Calculus one was application of the differentiation laws. That’s pretty fast. I had trouble with the notion of limits though.

For Calculus 2, it’s about integrating strategies and to me this was an art form. Later you realize, that integral tables are the way to go and the way most professionals who use Calculus do their work. You also need to learn about changing dx to du and those kinds of transformations.

For Calculus 3, assuming you have a good background in precalculus and Calculus 1,2 then you’ll need to understand how to integrate multiple variables and how to apply them to lines, surfaces and volumes as well as switching coordinate systems from x,y,z to spherical or cylindrical and how to use the Jacobean. There’s a lot to learn up to and including Vector Calculus.

I’m guessing 3-5 weeks for Calculus 1, 10 weeks for Calculus 2 and 15 weeks for Calculus 3. That’s just my guess.

geologist
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Compare to what is typically offered at universities and colleges. One semester is about 18 weeks. Calculus 1 through 3 is three semesters, so as a student, if you were attending, this is 54 weeks.

Looking at a few course syllabuses from some colleges might help guide you on topics, units and chapters to study.

Picking Calculus 1, you may want or need to spend between 10 and 12 hours per week, for 20 weeks, reading and doing exercises, including example problems. You should study at least six days per week, so figure on about two hours (OR MORE) each day. Be sure to do most of your studying through the guide of a good instructional TEXTBOOK.

Moving on to Calculus 2, handle the same way. The same with Calculus 3.

You might want more than "54" weeks; or you might need less.

geologist
geologist
Sounds good. I have an old calculus with analytic geometry (Howard Anton) and calculus an intuitive approach (Morris Kline).

Mentor
There’s also the Keisler Calculus ebook online. It uses a simpler more intuitive approach to derivatives based on hyper reals.

Homework Helper
Gold Member
Sounds good. I have an old calculus with analytic geometry (Howard Anton) and calculus an intuitive approach (Morris Kline).
I have a copy of that Howard Anton book also. Studying from it or reviewing from it is not so easy. Other books may be better, but if you have the Anton book, keep it as an alternative. You will find some of it useful.

geologist
There’s also the Keisler Calculus ebook online. It uses a simpler more intuitive approach to derivatives based on hyper reals.

thanks, I actually came across that book after this topic from a blog post (from micromass, I think). I'll go through this one and supplement with videos from the udemy and edx course I'm registered for. My main goal for learning calculus is to be able to go through the textbooks "Principles of Planetary Climate" and "Applied Groundwater Modeling," both books will require that I also review classical physics.

geologist
I have a copy of that Howard Anton book also. Studying from it or reviewing from it is not so easy. Other books may be better, but if you have the Anton book, keep it as an alternative. You will find some of it useful.

Given my math background, I'll use this one as a second reference as my ability improves.

Mentor
Don’t forget Schaums outlines Calculus. It has many worked examples.

geologist