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Should I take a semester off to

  1. Mar 26, 2012 #1
    This is a very serious question to me and I would like some advice...
    I am thinking of taking an entire semester off (4 months total) to study math on my own.
    Currently I am taking calculus 2 averaging 97%, although many people might consider that gratifying, which I'm not saying it isn't, I don't feel like my skills are where I would like them to be. If I decide to take a semester off I will study

    Algebra: https://www.amazon.com/Elementary-A...9064/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332801226&sr=8-1

    Trig: https://www.amazon.com/trigonometry...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332801381&sr=1-1

    Calc 1,2 : https://www.amazon.com/Calculus-Ear...=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1332801498&sr=1-5

    Geometry: Never taken a class.

    University Physics I: Mechanics

    and (IF I have time) discrete math or elementary lineary algebra.

    My goal is to gain a solid foundation by filling in any gaps that I have, by doing this I hope to gain a higher understanding of math which will benefit me when I have to take upper level math classes, physics classes and academia in general.

    Currently I have not decided on a career path but I know it will fall in the line of mathematics and in my opinion, with a stronger foundation will come a much greater understanding in the material I will face through the upcoming years of my education.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2
    I think your foundations will grow upon taking more advanced classes, like a rigourous Real Analysis class. I don't know if four months of solving integrals will add much to your foundations(?)
    But more sensibly, why don't you use your vacation time for that then?
  4. Mar 26, 2012 #3
    I don't know if this applies to you or not but one thing I'd suggest is to make sure you won't have to start paying back student loans if you take a semester off.
  5. Mar 26, 2012 #4
    This is true, but I will be taking other classes during this time.. I might have to take fewer classes over summer so I have more time for math.
  6. Mar 27, 2012 #5
    Maybe you could just take a lighter courseload and use your free time for studying? I think you'd be better off doing things like linear algebra and discrete math in a course setting, and clearly your foundations are at least adequate for your current pursuits if you're getting that high of a grade in calculus.
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