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Struggling with higher level maths

  1. Jan 6, 2013 #1

    I am a second year math major here. I took calc III, linear algebra, and differential equations so far, and I realized that I don't have very good study habits.

    I went to a public high school and I was smart enough to get by without developing good studying skills.
    During the break, I tried to study ahead for this numerical methods class I'll be taking this semester, but I wasn't able to learn as much as I had wished.

    If there are any successful (grad) students, post-docs, or educators out there, what are some study habits or advice that you can give to an aspiring mathematician?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Practice tutor someone in a math subject that you know and notice how they ask questions or where they get hung up on a problem.

    Then begin tutoring yourself, ask yourself questions and write them down and then try to find good answers for them. Studying is noticing the techniques used in solving problems, being able to reconstruct the solution from your knowledge looking for the best way to solve problems.
  4. Jan 7, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Hey stgermaine.

    One piece of advice I have is don't be afraid to get involved if you need to.

    Use all of your resources at your disposal including forums, textbooks, professors, lecturers, colleagues, friends and so on.
  5. Jan 7, 2013 #4

    Stephen Tashi

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    If you don't spend much time studying, analyze how you do spend your time. Maybe that will tell you that you really want to do something besides become a mathematician.

    Drill and understanding are two different things. You can understand a topic but not be able to do work its problems rapidly. If you had an easy time in high school, perhaps you never had to drill yourself.
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