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Should I be a math major?

  1. Jul 13, 2008 #1
    Hi Everyone.

    I often surf around various forums here to gain some insight into different mathematics, so I'm not entirely new to this environment. However, I've been wondering about whether or not I can cut it with my math major based on generalized tests. Here goes:

    I've taken just about any free IQ test you can think of online. From the ones that are deemed legitimate by many, I've scored in the range of 125-130.

    Several years ago, when I took the SAT, my best math section score was a meager 600.

    Additionally, my personality type has been determined to be ISFJ, which is not a personality that many logical/analytical thinkers contain.

    Do these assessments suggest that I will struggle in deeper math courses?

    That being said, I have done well in my math courses up to this point. Thus far, I have earned As in Calculus (differential, integral, multivariable), Linear Algebra, Discrete Math, and Intro to Proofs w/ set theory. Much of my success up to this point can be attributed to hard work and patience to peruse over material until I have a thorough understanding of it. However, I don't have that natural ability to grasp material on the fly in the manner that many math prodigies/ high IQ individuals have. I wonder if that will prove detrimental as I pursue math courses that are considerablely more difficult (Real Analysis, Diff. Equations, Abstract Algebra).

    That being said, I posted this here because I presume most of you are highly intelligent, sophisticated individuals who have insight on situations such as these. In case you're all wondering, I elected to be a math major because I felt as though it was my strongest subject throughout high school. Thus far, I've done fine, but I'm unsure as to what the next few years will hold for me. Responses would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2008 #2
    Hard work and patience is really all you need to succeed in anything. I think you'll be fine.
  4. Jul 13, 2008 #3
    IQ tests are irrelevant. If you are doing well in math and enjoy math, continue.

    Disclaimer: I am not a mathematician. I just think this is good advice for any aspect of life.
  5. Jul 13, 2008 #4
    That pretty much sums it up right there.

    I think I got a 580 on the math portion of the SAT six years ago, and I just finished a B.S. in Math with an A or A+ in every math class I took. Hard work was the key.
  6. Jul 13, 2008 #5
    maybe your enjoyment of math is a better criterion?
  7. Jul 14, 2008 #6
    Mathematicians are not intellectual demigods. They are real people who really like mathematics. If you enjoy mathematics, work you butt off, and keep focus, then you can and will probably succeed in mathematics.
  8. Jul 14, 2008 #7
    i have low IQ and i still succeed in Maths... i think. It is the hard work and love toward maths that makes you succeed.
  9. Jul 14, 2008 #8


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    I got a 700 on the math SAT yet I've never had a math class that I found 'easy' or even enjoyable! In fact I've always had to study my @ss off, with only mixed results. I agree with what everyone here is saying - if you love it, go for it.
  10. Jul 14, 2008 #9
    To clear things up, first of all we are not highly sophisticated intelligent people. Science and Maths is not a domain restricted to a bunch of people who are lucky to have their neural network in their brains in a specially connected way that they can grasp things on the fly.

    I would better describe scientists and mathematicians hard working and curious people, who develop a sense of intelligence through this process, some are lucky to be geniuses (this is to do with the neural network) and unfortunately only a handful of them are sagacious.

    How scientific or mathematical is an IQ test or a Personality test?

    If you enjoy it and most impotantly curious about it do it.
  11. Jul 14, 2008 #10
    Math Man, Im in a similar position. I am quite good at math or so people tell me, and I graduated with 2 prizes in math from high school and a scholarship. I am doing rather well in my college level courses, although Im only in differential equations.

    As far as intelligence goes, I dont believe an IQ test is the standard of being a mathematician. Einstein didnt have the highest of IQs, and from research some say musicians have the highest IQs.

    I am currently a math major as well, and mathematics is my life's passion, but am considering changing majors to engineering or some other math-related field. Maybe you could do something similar.

    But in my opinion succeeding in math is just a matter of hard work, atleast relating to most fields. Maybe only the fields of pure mathematics like number theory and analysis require great intelligence and some superhuman intuition. But the rest of the fields arent necessarily like that.

    Hope that helped.
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