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January 5th, 2015, 12:31 PM   #1
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Finding the right study method?

This year i hope to take a mathematics class equivalent to extension 1 in the Australian high school syllabus.

I'm wondering what works you all of you when studying math, the way i see it i have two options.

Firstly i could attempt to grasp all the content in particular subjects algebra 1/2,Geo,trig,cal.... etc by working through online content for those subject.
but I'm afraid i will be spending too much time on problems that i may never see in my exams and that ill forget all the cool extra stuff that i learn t and will need to re study it all.

Otherwise i could buy a related textbook and just get to working through that before class starts and mundanely learn only what is required.

Any expression of thoughts on the matter would be appreciated, if anyone knows any interesting ways of studying of has any anecdotes of there own studying adventures, please share.
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January 27th, 2015, 12:31 AM   #2
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Hey Marbig.

I am an Australian who did Extension 1 many years ago and I have done both undergraduate and post-graduate coursework in mathematics and statistics.

For probability I recommend you learn it from the Kolmogorov axioms and then tackle the tougher probability problems. Trying to understand probability from the way they teach it is actually not a good idea. You should ask your teacher to explain these to you and you don't need the rigorous kind they expect in graduate school - the simple kind is enough and it will help you actually understand the results and how to use them.

Calculus is basically doing lots of problems but if you understand what the limits are and what the infinitesimals are describing then you can understand any calculus formula - including those beyond high school level mathematics.

All the formulas whether its volumes, areas, and others are basically understood by looking at the infinitesimals (the dx's dy's and so on) and understanding how they are added up.

You add up lengths to get areas, areas to get volumes and so on. Understanding this will help you understand what the formulas are describing.

If you can get an idea of how to get your information in the questions turned into mathematical statements quickly then it will help you answer the question. Understanding how to take a question and to convert it into mathematics is one of the things that separates the really good from the average. You get this with solving lots of problems but you can be aware of it to help you even when you don't have the time to solve lots of problems.

If you have any other questions then I'll do my best to answer them.
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