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How to use math textbooks

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Amie Khalifa


( 6 months ago )

I'm a higher schooler who was recently gifted a book by my teacher (Schaum's outline of advanced calculus) which is really awesome and I've started working my way through it.

I have run into a problem though. It is so incredibly different from high school textbooks! In high school, most textbooks (I've used) have like max an 80-20 exercise-theory ratio (with that I mean for every 4 pages full of exercises you have 1 page with theory. This book however (and I believe most university math textbooks have) has it extremely differently: first you get a couple of convoluted pages full with theorems/methods/rules (i.e. an information overload) and then you get dozens of exercises. So, I have a couple of questions:

  • Did anyone notice the difference too, or am I the only one?

  • What would you advise me to use as a supplement to this book?

  • Any general tips for a high schooler was has to go through this change alone? (p.s.- I'm extremely motivated to do this! Just skimming the book makes me so excited it's unbelievable. I just need some directions, and I hope I could get them here)

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