1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Studying What is the best way to learn calculus?

  1. Nov 8, 2016 #1
    I didn't take calculus at school so I'm going to learn it during summer holidays before doing it at uni.
    The thing is, the only reason I got so good at General Mathematics is because I didn't follow the step by step to doing a problem and just remembering the rules, I took the time to ask lots of questions to teachers to find the logic behind formulas etc...
    Is this applicable to Calculus? Which books would teach similarly?

    Thank you in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Yes, and, books are not good at answering whatever question you try to ask.
    I'd suggest finding lots of examples and trying an online set of notes about the rules like Paul's Calculus.
  4. Nov 8, 2016 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    First take care of the prerequisite knowledge. Learn elementary and intermediate algebra very well. Be sure you are not fooling yourself about that. Go through courses for real. Once done, go through a semester course on Trigonometry, preferably a real course; not just through self-directed study. Keep everything in a well-learned state. You should be ready for a course on Calculus, to learn about limits and derivatives and to begin learning about integration. If you are trying this in a self-directed manner, find any typical good textbook, like as written by Larson & Hostetler, or whatever anyone suggests as a beginners textbook which you may find.
  5. Nov 8, 2016 #4
    When I said " Which books would teach similarly?" We can leave out the part about asking questions, i was just hoping you'd see the learning style I want :)
  6. Nov 8, 2016 #5
    Some of our students are having great success with the online Calculus One course (free) taught by an Ohio State prof through Coursera as a practice run before taking an accredited university 1st semester Calculus course.
  7. Nov 9, 2016 #6
    It is good to clear the concept first. Mastering calculus also needs a lot of practice solving all kinds of numerical exercises. You need to have sound knowledge of Trigonometry and Algebra.There are ample online and offline material available for this. For beginners I also recommend Khan academy videos.
  8. Nov 9, 2016 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    I'll disagree with Simon here. A decent calculus book will provide the reasoning behind the methods and techniques you're learning. Of course, you need to be able to read and digest the material. (Many students can't do this, and you'll often hear them complain that "the book sucks!")

    That said, being able to discuss concepts and problems with someone else is invaluable to the learning process. You should see if you can find a study partner to learn calculus along with you.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: What is the best way to learn calculus?