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I'm a college freshman studying computer science. I'm required to take up to Calc 3 and I'm currently in Calc 2. At the mid term I have a C( should be lower). I've always struggled with reading texts that are dense, I can't read for more than 5-6 minutes at a time without my mind running. My current test prep method is to look through all the examples in Stewart Calc, memorize them, then basically rewrite them on the exam. This works decently because I got a B last semester but I want to get an A- this one. I know that an A- is possible because we have only taken one test (out of 3) and the final still remains(33% of our grade).

My Calc 2 professor is trying his hardest to make the tests as easy as possible. I was pleasantly surprised when I got the first test because I knew how to integrate well but I completely bombed the volume section.

I'm looking for a book that explains the purpose, and isn't dense like Stewart Calc. I plan on learning the material from the book then working out the examples in Stewart Calc because that's what is going to be on the test. I've tried Spivak and it seems like a book I would like to read eventually but I have other classes so I can't spend all my time on Spivak.