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Very basic maths help/advice wanted

  1. Sep 2, 2015 #1
    Hi, I'm not sure where to post this so I apologize if it's in the wrong place.

    I’ve decided that I want to brush up on my maths and science skills (starting with maths).

    Although my maths knowledge is enough to get me through most of the everyday situations that I find myself in, I am extremely out of practice with anything beyond the basics (I did pass my maths G.C.S.E at school but that was years ago and I’ve forgotten most of it since then). Because of this I was planning on starting from scratch; reviewing everything and basically seeing where that takes me. Hopefully at least some of it will come back to me once I get going. *fingers crossed*

    I have tried searching for threads on this but the general idea of ‘basic math’ on this site is (understandably) much higher than the lowly point that I am thinking of starting from. :frown:

    Is there a recommended order for learning maths? What would you recommend for someone starting from the basics who wants to improve?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to PF!

    Can you give us an idea of the level of math you are comfortable with?

    The MathIsPower4U website has a collection of videos on a wide range of basic math from pre-algebra to Linear Algebra and Differential Equations.

    You could use the sites table of contents to determine what level of math you are currently comfortable with.

  4. Sep 2, 2015 #3
    I can do simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division without a calculator and I have enough familiarity with angles, fractions and decimals that I could probably feel comfortable with them if I spent a little time reviewing them. Other than that...well...I don’t even know what I don’t know really.
  5. Sep 2, 2015 #4
    Try Khanacademy! :) Their website is packed with videos and practice problems with feedback. I recommend their iPad/tablet (not for smartphones) version as well.

    Good luck!
  6. Sep 3, 2015 #5


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    I'd recommend finding a used Pre-Algebra textbook from amazon or somewhere else online. Then go through it, section by section, and do 10-20 problems from each section, including some of the word problems. Just follow the book and don't skip anything. If you get stuck, just go back to the instructional part of the section and see if you can learn from there. If you're still stuck, post the problem on PF's Homework subforum (using the provided template and making an effort to show any work you've tried) and you should be able to get some help.

    Online sources are alright, but there's nothing like a plain old textbook full of instructions and workable problems.
  7. Sep 3, 2015 #6


    Staff: Mentor

  8. Sep 8, 2015 #7
    Thanks for the recommendations everyone. :smile:

    I've had a look at Khanacademy and it seems like it might be a good place for me to start.

    I've also been looking into the possibility of doing a maths course, but unfortunately there don't seem to be many options for mature students who have already passed their G.C.S.E. The few that I have been able to find are also prohibitively expensive for me . :frown:

    Edit: I think I've seen Khanacademy before...must have slipped my mind. lol
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  9. Sep 8, 2015 #8


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    If you're interested, I'm working on a project of my own called LearnMathsFree -- a series of Khan Academy-style videos, but focused on maths only. My primary focus is undergraduate stuff, but at the moment I'm also working on making a series for the kind of level you're talking about (i.e. GCSE to A-level). I also do video requests, so if there's something you'd like to see on there, then give me a shout. :)
  10. Sep 8, 2015 #9


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    I'm assuming you've checked the local community colleges if you have any?
  11. Sep 8, 2015 #10
    Yes, I’ve checked my local colleges. There are entry level courses designed for people who need/want help with day-to-day maths (or who want to progress onto a G.C.S.E course) and there are G.C.S.E courses which are primarily geared towards people who failed it at school and need to retake to get a ‘C’ grade for Uni or work. Other than that there’s not much available really.

    I have way too many gaps at the moment to even consider trying an A level course, so it looks as though I'm stuck on my own for a while. :frown:
  12. Sep 8, 2015 #11


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    Well, I'd say you have some pretty good suggestions already, so I'll wish you good luck!
  13. Sep 8, 2015 #12
    Thanks Drakkith. :smile:

    I'm sure I'll get there eventually, even if it does take a bit longer without the structure of a course. :cool:
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