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Studying How would I self teach myself Calculus

  1. Mar 10, 2016 #1
    Hey everybody, I am currently trying to find the best way to teach myself Calculus. I would like to be proficient in the field and I would like to study physics later at college. Has anybody had experience teaching themselves calculus and if so how did you do it. Also I am open to any suggestions of what would be the best way to. My resources are James Stewart's Calculus 5e, also having online resources such as Khan Academy and other things. I dont really like the idea of sitting and reading a textbook because I get confused easily with one and I find it boring. I would also like to teach myself in less than 3 months. Thank you so much for the advice ahead of time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2016 #2


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    " I dont really like the idea of sitting and reading a textbook because I get confused easily with one and I find it boring. I would also like to teach myself in less than 3 months."
    "There is no Royal Road to Geometry" Euclid
    You need to remember the quote above. Calculus does come easily to some, however, to most, it is tough and requires homework and lots of persistence. Be prepared to do problems. Your current textbook is fairly well regarded. I would also buy an REA problem guide in Calculus and depending upon your previous math experience a Pre-Calculus problem solver too.
    You are giving yourself 3 months. When you self-study, unless you have no other distractions, I have found, I need MORE time, not less to finish a semesters worth of work ie 3 months is often allocated for a one semester Calculus I course. Calc II, III and IV often take two years of normal class time to finish. How well are you prepared for your current text book?
  4. Mar 10, 2016 #3
    I would like to say I'm pretty well prepared, I reviewed trig and algebra before
  5. Mar 10, 2016 #4
    The best way is to open up a textbook and start working. Take your time on each section, and let your brain absorb the information. Don't zip through a chapter in a day or two. Don't just differentiate functions of x over and over; do the challenging problems.

    Much of what you'll be doing is studying and answering problems from a textbook.

    May I ask why you're insistent on studying everything in three months? If you want to be proficient, I would advise against cramming everything into three months. Calculus is essential for studying physics, so you don't want a choppy understanding.
  6. Mar 10, 2016 #5
    I'm not sure how far down Calculus you want to go into, if you're just planning on staying within the range of your textbook 3 months might be doable if, as mentioned before, you are one of the people who it comes naturally to, otherwise I think constraining yourself to 3 month will only lead to disapointment. My adivice is to just start learning it, with as many resourses as you can, the thing with calculus that a lot of people struggle with is that it's not immediately obvious, a lot of ideas particularly with infinity don't come natural to most. Start studying it and let those ideas marinate in your head and before you know it you'll be a natural. One advice from someone who taught himself Calculus in highschool is (if you're still in highschool) try to apply some of the ideas you learned to problems in class and play around with it, trust me getting familiarized with it this way is worth 1000 problems.
  7. Mar 11, 2016 #6
    Hello everyone, I was interested in teaching myself calculus at a university level. I was wondering what would be the best way to do so and I have James Stewart's Calculus 5e. Suggestions could include personal stories, online resources, and just the best overall way to get a good grasp of Calculus (as I really love the subject). I looked into Khan Academy but I heard they were very computational heavy rather than explaining conceptual reasoning. Thank you so much for the responses in advance.
  8. Mar 11, 2016 #7
    Didn't you make this thread just yesterday? It has four replies one of them being you even.
  9. Mar 11, 2016 #8


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    Threads merged. :smile:
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