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Academic Guidance Academic Guidance - Academic guidance for those pursuing a college degree... what college? Grad school? PhD help?

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February 11th, 2016, 03:03 PM   #1
Joined: Feb 2016
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Too Slow at Math. Advice?

So I gave a brief overview of my situation in my newcomers page post but I'll just paraphrase it here.

I'm a computer science major looking to complete his associates this semester and the last order of business with that is passing calculus II. I don't hate math as some like to quickly say when they get fed up with it. I find the topic interesting and I can appreciate just how relevant it is to everyday life. Not to mention solving problems beats writing essays any day.

The problem is, math and me never seem to get along well at first. I've always had a difficulty in solving problems quickly which in turn hurts my test performance. Tests themselves are another dilemma, as I tend to lose my nerve at times and even end up forgetting basic rules on occasion. I have tried different techniques over the years to counter this and improve my efficiency but none seem to cut it.

Ultimately I wish to find a method to the madness and not just rely on retaking a course a second time in order to get a better grade. My goal is not just simply getting through calculus but enabling myself to succeed in any math course I may find myself in as I continue onward to obtaining my bachelors when I transfer.

So to all you math wizards out there I ask you this. What should I do to better my skills in math? What advice can you offer to help bolster my speed in solving problems? Why does the book never tell you the answers to the even problems?

Thank you!
V3Slayer is offline  
February 11th, 2016, 06:22 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, and you've probably heard this a million times (as have i), but there is no magic wand you can wave to find the answers to questions like "What should i do to better my skills in math". The best thing you can do is study hard, practice practice practice, and more practice. You need to live and breath the topic, get involved in it and be surrounded by it.

As for speed, I want to say that you shouldn't be worried about solving problems quickly. But i know that when it comes to tests/exams it is important.
Always focus on understanding the material first, this is the crucial step (as i'm sure you know).

In a test you want to be able to recognize the questions straight away and be able to tell which topic they're from, what techniques you may have to use etc. Then from there you need to go through the motions, keeping in mind of what it is you're doing of course. For this part, doing lots of exercises can help you out.

Remember that most tests are designed to help you demonstrate your fundamental understanding of the topic, and perhaps some deeper understanding in more challenging questions. Keeping this in mind whilst studying may help to reduce nerves.

I am no math wizard, but this is my 2 cents .
Joppy is offline  
February 12th, 2016, 01:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by V3Slayer View Post
So to all you math wizards out there I ask you this. What should I do to better my skills in math? What advice can you offer to help bolster my speed in solving problems? Why does the book never tell you the answers to the even problems?
Thank you!
I am not a math wizard either. I prefer to self-proclaim myself as a math blood knight. The key is just keep training. Also, keep in mind that there's a privilege in solving math questions not present in most school subjects: It is like a game. If you meet a dead-end, you can try another method. Don't worry about speed, it will come by itself to you when you notice the patterns.
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February 14th, 2016, 12:31 PM   #4
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I'd say leave it... Just give up.

There are more important things to worry about, such as next weekend's football results.
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