Hello, I am a 29 year old trying to transfer to a UC or other college of some type to study physics. My problem seems to be really bad math skills. I know that some of the issue is self-confidence which can go a long way to conquering a problem. But I've just been through a introductory quantum mechanics class (final in one week from today, snarfff..), and I pretty much got served by the simplest examples we did. That is after taking math 15 (first course in differential equations) and while concurrently enrolled in linear algebra. The homework was too hard - it was full of super-hard looking math- and the exams upped the ante . I just got squished. Yep. That's the word for it - squished. Felt like I got thrown into a rough sea. And its made me feel really thick and stupid. So anyways. Without trying to sound too depressed (I'm not sad about it, really, I was taking a chemistry class and working so time was a factor) I do believe I have some sort of serious issues with mathematics. I will do mindless mistakes like mess up the minus signs, just working my algebra. I write numbers the wrong way around as well. I was in my linear algebra exam trying to find a matrix that will convert from one basis to another,and I got everything back to front and it pooped out pretty badly. I studied it carefully I thought... I don't know how I ended up doing it wrong in the exam. I did the freaking homework and reviewed it . That's just the tip of the iceberg as far as my math ineptness goes. Any time I see things like differential operator arithmetic (we use operators quite a bit in Q.M.), I just don't understand why that proceeds one bit. You can just move a d/dx around onto whatever you want, multiply both sides by them, etc? (Don't answer that question... . its an example of how confused I feel is all.) So let me throw some question out there. Lets suppose you are, one of those countless physics students that professors complain "they dont have the background mathematically". Then what would you do about it? Because I cant think of anything. I bought shankars basic math for science students, figured I'll try to work through it, I dunno, I wondered if there is an online test you can take to rate your math skills and help you figure out what level you are really at and what you will benefit the most from studying. I really dont know where to start. I wish being able to move y's and x's around was all I had to worry about =p.