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Self-Teaching Math-When to move onto another subject?

  1. Jan 5, 2016 #1
    I'm using Khan Academy to learn math then when I have a strong understanding, I want to learn Physics.
    I'm starting from as far as I can back (Pre-Algebra / I know lol) but I want to refresh my learning which means starting from scratch.

    This may sound like a stupid question but how should I study efficiently? When do I know to move onto another subject? How long should I spend on one subject?

    Please help, I'm a methodical person and want to approach this as well/planned as i can?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2016 #2


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    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    It's late on the American east coast, very late in Europe, early in Australia ... be patient. Meanwhile you could tell where you're starting at. I mean a little more than just Pre-Algebra. What about Calculus? Together with the basics in Algebra it's needed most. It's probably even more important and not quite as easy as it is to explain linearity or vector spaces.
  4. Jan 5, 2016 #3
    Ideally you should move on when you feel completely comfortable with a unit. I think chapter reviews and practice tests are good for this.

    Is this for school, or just self-study? What were you hoping to work towards?
  5. Jan 5, 2016 #4
    Please, don't do this. Khan Academy is a great resource, but it is not meant to be used as a primary resource, which I assume you're doing. You absolutely absolutely need to get an actual textbook and work through it. Better to get a textbook they use at colleges too, and not the flashy crap they use in high schools.

    How do you know when to move on? Very easy, work through a specific section, then do all or most of the problems. Really, doing problems is crucial, even if it's just drill. You'll need drill because it reinforces pattern recognition which is useful later. You'll need harder more-thinking problems too though. If you can solve those comfortably it is time to move on. It is a good idea to even come back to the section regularly so you don't forget it.

    So stop using Khan Academy. Get a textbook. Read it carefully, understand why things are true. Do the problems. You can use Khan Academy of course as a neat supplement, but your main focus should be on a book. Being able to read math books is a crucial skill you'll need later.
  6. Jan 5, 2016 #5
    I apologise for being completely impatient on this thread, I'm just eager for answers and have to remember that this forum isn't as active as other forums which means replies may take time.

    I appreciate all your replies. I forgot to mention that I'm not just using Khan Academy but a lot of other sources too and textbooks. I'm just using that as a source to them go off and Lear those subjects more in-depth.
  7. Jan 5, 2016 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    What, exactly, is your goal, is this just for fun?
  8. Jan 5, 2016 #7
    For fun/knowledge. Maybe down the road enter it formally.
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