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How many problems should you do when teaching yourself?

  1. Oct 15, 2005 #1
    I've decided to start taking self-study seriously, and stop just skimming books and putting them back.
    My question is, for those who do work hard at self-study, how many problems in the tet do you do? All of them? Half? None?
    I'd like to know what a reasonable amount is to set as a self goal, because if I say I'll only do problems until I feel comfortable, I know I'll just get lazy and wind up doing barely any.
    So how do you guys handle this? Help me out PF!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2005 #2
    Well if you are capable of grasping concepts very well there is no need for you to do problems. Otherwise problem solving is important to develop your understanding of things. Some people only need theory to grasp all the concepts and others some problem solving.
  4. Oct 15, 2005 #3
    May I ask what you're self-studying?
  5. Oct 15, 2005 #4
    Does it make a big difference?
  6. Oct 15, 2005 #5
    No I was just curious. Speaking from personal experience, I've found the need to work a lot of problems in certain courses, but not in others.
  7. Oct 15, 2005 #6
    I ask because, naturally, I intend to teach myself more than one subject.
  8. Oct 16, 2005 #7
    When I did the self-study, I usually look for the problems that I have difficulties with so you can master that topic deeper. I usually skip the problems that I know how to do them. Hopefully this kind of system can work with your self-study. Good Luck.....
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  9. Oct 16, 2005 #8
    This is generally good advice. However, make sure you occassionally attempt one of those problems you think you're capable of doing - sometimes they could help you realise little things you've missed or haven't given any thought about.
  10. Oct 16, 2005 #9
    Also, from my experience, doing the problems makes you really learn definitions. Oftern when I am self-studying topology, i use the problems as a way of testing myself on simple definitions by writing them in the actual problem, then going after them that way. They also help you integrate theorems. I'm finding that not just a few of the topology problems I do can be mostly solved by a simple "consider theorem X.Y..."
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