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What's the best way to study maths?

Discussion in 'Education, Learning, Books' started by hoponthebop, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. hoponthebop
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    hoponthebop New Contributor

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    Hey!

    This kinda off topic. Im in my last year of high school and I have no ideia how to study maths.

    I mean I always good at maths. Always a straight A student with minimum effort until last year when my math grades just (idk if it was anxiety or depression but i can cope with that stuff now but my grades wont go up) and Im having a C now, with not much left for it to drop to a F (I dont think it will but im afraid it will though)

    I have no ideia how to study for maths but i want to raise my grades. I've tried many methods. I've tried like just reading the book and doing exercises from the book, i've tried self explaining concepts, i've tried watching videos and reading about it and my grades still didnt go up

    What do you recommend me to do to learn maths?
     
  2. Tubs
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    Tubs You'll never see it coming Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Try reading the book 'A Mind for Numbers' by Barbara Oakley. It'll teach you how to learn the concepts more efficiently, rather than just cramming.
     
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  3. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I found the best way was to look at past papers then figure out how to answer the questions.

    Some tips here too:
     
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  4. scottmsul
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    scottmsul Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Back in undergrad I always learned best by reading the book and doing exercises, to the point where I would deliberately skip lectures but spend more time reading/practicing than anyone I knew (I did very well grade-wise). If I needed help understanding the intuition behind a concept, I would sometimes watch Khan Academy videos. But as far as time spent, the balance was very skewed towards reading/exercises.

    In order to get a high grade you need to succeed at exams. To succeed at exams, you need to be good at the skill of solving the relevant math problems. Like any skill, the best way to advance is through practice. If you were taking a piano class, and the exams consisted of playing difficult recitals, you would practice playing the recitals, instead of watching other people playing.

    I know you mentioned you already tried reading and doing the exercises, but how much? Have you tried a focused hour every day? Focused meaning no cell phone, internet, facebook, etc.
     
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  5. Ernman
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    Ernman Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    This will sound counter intuitive, but stop worrying about your grades and focus on learning. RELAX! In five or ten years, nobody will give a rat's butt about your grades in calculus, trig, matrix algebra, differential equations or any of the other math disciplines. And depending on what you do in life, you may not care either. Learn math for the joy that it can bring in understanding things and solving problems.

    I remember the first day I solved a real life problem using basic math principles. What a wonderful experience.

    This is very much like a crucial underpinning of our Fastlane culture. Don't chase money, attract it. Learn for the joy of learning and the grades will happen.
     
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  6. ZF Lee
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    ZF Lee Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I read it.

    The surprising part is what she recommends:
    - do a list of math questions every day
    - leave the ones you can't do first, and come back later to attempt them again

    This is somewhat similar to the copywriting editing process, which is supposedly right-brained, as opposed to math's left-brained stance.

    In my econometrics class at uni, I will take a formula, and break it down.

    Maybe it could be OLS or Gauss Markov assumptions.

    I might ask myself these:
    - what's this variable for?
    - can it come in a different unit?
    - are there other ways to get this or that variable?
    - what happens to the formula if I can't give this or that variable?
    - can this formula be obtained from a simpler set of formulas? Is so, then how? (proving and derivation)

    Then after that, I do exercises.

    It's actually no different than succeeding and failing in a business.
    So if you can built up competence in math, doing business should be no problem.

    BTW, on a side note...
    For kids who want to 'run away' to business or arts school, away from the horrible STEM subjects...
    It's not the best move to make.
    Math is simply everywhere, even for business ( accounting, finance and analytics)
     
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  7. ApparentHorizon
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    ApparentHorizon Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Have you tried a tutor?

    What are you specifically having trouble with?
     
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  8. Kevin88660
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    Kevin88660 Bronze Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    You need to understand that when you go to higher levels math ceased to become math.

    Math is like going to gym to build muscles.

    You need to drill practice questions. Then gather insights on the problem solving process. “For this type of problem I usually need to solve using these two steps...”

    Then repeat. Good insight gathering process allow you to achieve mastery faster but certain repetitive practice cannot be avoided.

    Ask your teacher and those who are good in math. That will speed up the learning process.
     
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  9. Xeon
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    Xeon All Cars Kneel Before Pagani. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    As someone who always failed maths (I suspect I've maths dyslexia), what is the practical use of maths in the real world?

    Unless you're in some engineering or computing field, I don't really see it being applied in daily life for most people. Very basic calculations like plus, fractions, division, multiplications etc....yup, but calculus? Further Maths? And stuff like :

    WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. F*CK.

    Do we really need stuff like this? Because in a real life situation, the correct "answer" would be to just straight-up go and ask Elynn how many cards he had at first, and if he refuse, trade a toy or candy with him.
    Who the hell uses algebra in the real world for a situation like this unless you're a bot? Do you?

    Maybe the whole maths education is a scam to begin with.
     
  10. Yzn
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    Practice by solving all the questions you can get your hands on. Then it becomes automatic on exam day.
     
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  11. ApparentHorizon
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    Math is one of the few which is not a scam in school. There are billionaires built from its understanding. (See Renaissance Technologies.) The world runs on it. Your phone, your sewage system, etc.

    The problem you posted is meant to wire your brain in a way to solve it. Since you only know the end outcome, and you have multiple steps, the easiest way is to start backwards.

    The problem I had with it in school, was that it didn't connect to the real world. It's taught as abstract concepts, which have a hard time sticking into your brain.

    The card problem is meant to relate to the student. Which I imagine is rudimentary algebra.

    But as you pointed out, no one gives a flying fk how many cards there are.

    Now if they would have taught it as, discovering interdimensional aliens bringing in chocolates from across the galaxy. Maybe then you'd have my attention.

    and just for fun...

    Steps in purple

    upload_2019-4-20_16-19-36.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  12. Andy Black
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    Andy Black Any colour, as long as it's red. Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    It hinges on this:
    What will raise your grades?

    At a guess, passing exams.

    When I did my Maths degree I did two weeks studying each year, - just before the exams. I didn’t bother going to lectures. I didn’t bother getting copies of other people’s notes either. I had no intention of “learning”. Just passing the exams and getting out of there.

    I printed out five years of past papers for each subject I studied.

    For one subject I’d chop up all the papers and then bluetack each of the questions on a large sheet of paper on the wall that was laid out in a grid (five across and eight down).

    All eight questions for one year would run down one column. I’d have one column for each of the five years.

    I’d then look at across the question 1s for each year, and rearrange them so they matched. For one year question 3 was the question one for the two previous years. I’d move that up, and move question 1 down.

    It wouldn’t take long to find four full questions that are asked similarly each year. And another couple of half questions.

    I’d then get get a brown file for each of the five questions I figured would come up in my exams, and put all the learning material in that folder. The five exam questions and their answers.

    Once I’d done that for each subject I’d have a stack of brown files to go through. I’d then knock up a calendar on the wall with 2 hours allocated per question. So that would be 10 hours per subject.

    Just two weeks studying each year and I got my 2:2 Honours degree.

    I’m not suggesting you follow this to a tee. I am suggesting you figure out what your goal is and work smart so you achieve it.


    Oh, and as @AgainstAllOdds said, if you’re banging your head against a brick wall then amentor could untangle you in a few minutes of 1-2-1.



    It doesn’t escape me how many parallels there are to business...
     
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  13. The Abundant Man
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    The Abundant Man Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Math is logic. It's problem solving.

    If you figure this concept out. You can use it to figure daily stuff out.
     
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  14. Xeon
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    Xeon All Cars Kneel Before Pagani. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Nope, no correlation to real world, daily problems unless you're trying to figure out why the rocket deviates 0.539215496 inches from the trajectory it was originally planned for.

    The neighbour's dog barks loudly every night but the cops refuse to do anything. Now the wife can't sleep in peace and gets cranky.

    Jane is upset after finding out her bestie Liv cheated on her with Josh, her boyfriend. She is enraged and wants to get back at them.

    Tony's product launched 2 months ago, but he got only one sale. Now he needs to figure out his next course of action before he uses up the remaining $2k in his bank.

    Good luck with using algebra or any form of math formulas or calculus crap to solve any of these real world issues, or even apply those to these.
     
  15. JScott
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    That has nothing to do with the original example. The original example was about using logic to generate a model (in this case, an algebraic equation) that you can use to solve the problem.

    I can't speak for others, but I create models every day to solve problems in my business. More importantly, I create models that allow me to measure the results of my efforts in my business -- these allow me to make my business more efficient.

    You want a perfect example of how being able to use logic to generate a model can help a business?

    Read this thread (especially the last 1.5 pages):

    https://www.thefastlaneforum.com/co...in-sales-but-having-cash-flow-problems.85844/

    The OP is has had many issues with cash flow management -- basically, he hasn't done a good job of forecasting how much cash he'll need at various point in time to ensure that he can meet his financial obligations.

    This is a common problem in business. And the best solution is building cash flow models that allow you to forecast when you might run into issues paying your bills. This requires logic, algebraic equations and a good grasp of some basic math.

    This is just one example of where running a business can get complicated if you're not good at modeling and you're not good at logic and math. There are plenty of others. Anyone who runs a successful business will eventually run into these types of situations, and not being able to grasp the logic/math required to forecast/solve these issues may cost you a lot of money.

    In fact, the OP in that thread might actually lose a lot of orders and a lot of money because he didn't/couldn't do that modeling.

    Are you really arguing that because SOME problems in this world don't require logic/math that logic/math are not important. That's a perfect example of where not understand logic has already failed you.

    And btw, your example about Tony's product launching and not getting much traction is another good example of where using logic to build mathematical models is valuable. Do some research on A/B Testing models to understand why.
     
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  16. AgainstAllOdds
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  17. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    I, 100% disagree. In fact your problem stated is fairly easy to solve. See you would assign each person a variable to the number of cards, like E, F and G. Then when some gives Fiona as many as she has, now you know she was 2F in cards. Greg has 2G. Elynn has 2E. And you know F + G+ E = 336. Now I'm not 100% positive my variables are right here, but this is exactly how you would solve this problem. You would write it out given your data and figure out a course of action.

    Now your other problem, "Tony's product launched 2 months ago, but he got only one sale. Now he needs to figure out his next course of action before he uses up the remaining $2k in his bank."

    Again, this is a problem solving problem where you need to identify the variables and assign values to them. Let's say you got some data, Tony has received 1000 visitors on his website, 50 add to carts and 1 sale. What is his next course of action with his remaining $2k ?

    Let's add some more information for Tony.
    Google CPC averages $.40
    Google conversion rate is 2% on CPC
    Facebook CPC averages $.85
    FB conversion rate is 3% on CPC
    Website redesign that may increase his conversion rate by 25% will cost $1000
    Profit margins are 50% and his product costs $50.

    So @Xeon if Tony told you this and asked what he should do with his $2k, how would you advise him here?


    It's not about the actual math... it's really about being able to think about a problem by assigning variables to every day issues.

    You know Elon Musk when he started his Boring Company asked the current manufacturers if the limitation on their boring machines was due to power or heat and they didn't know. They didn't know why their boring machines had a maximum boring rate of XX ft/hr.

    Elon was asking a fundamental physics question that was entrenched with math. If it was a power limitation then he could just strap larger engines and batteries to it. If it was a heat issue, then he needed to figure out how to dissipate the heat. But step one was to find the limiting variable. He knew the right question to ask.
     
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  18. biophase
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    biophase Legendary Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Actually, I do have an actual math problem from just 3 weeks ago.

    I had a product on Amazon that had enough inventory for 2 days. I would be out of stock on day 3. This product made a profit of $250/day.

    My supplier gave me 3 options for shipping:
    DHL 3 days - $2700
    Fedex 5 days - $2000
    UPS 7 days - $1800
    Sea shipping 21 days - $1000

    Which one do I choose? This was a tough one, because I lose $250/day every day that I am out of stock.

    Let's use sea shipping as a base cost. $1000 is the cost I have to spend no matter what.

    So now my costs look like this:
    DHL 3 days - + $1700
    Fedex 5 days - +$1000
    UPS 7 days - +$800

    So DHL would seem like a no brainer because I would have no loss in sales.

    But then you see that Fedex is $700 less and only 2 days later. I would lose only $500 in sales and save $700, so Fedex is +$200 vs. DHL

    UPS is 2 days after Fedex. I would lose $500 in sales and save only $200, so UPS is -$300 vs. Fedex

    So in this case I chose the middle one, Fedex 5 days. Sea shipping was clearing a losing choice.

    Anyway, just thought I'd point out this little problem solving event that I had to do a few weeks ago.
     
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  19. Xeon
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    Tbh, I was haemorrhaging with rage as I was reading JScott's post, but after reading Bio's post, I started to see where these guys are coming from (the ecommerce example is relevant).

    I still don't agree with the whole "business mathematical models" thing, because there's so many variables in life that you simply cannot use maths models to accurately predict them. But folks like JScott is in investing if I remember. I guess investors do need to look at complex graphs and all that stuff, but for the rest of us.....can maths models predict the next recession? Anyway.....

    I failed maths in every grade all the way to 19 yrs old where I don't need to take math anymore, but let's analyse this. It took me a while tbh.

    Google & FB CPC are at different rates, so let's figure out Google's first:

    $0.40 gives 2% conversion. We convert 2% to decimal for easy calculation, so it's 0.02.

    $0.40 CPC gives 0.02 conversion
    $0.10 CPC gives (0.02 / $0.40) = 0.005
    $0.85 CPC gives ((0.005 / 0.10) * $0.85) = 0.0425

    0.0425 switch back to % is 4.25%. Therefore we conclude that for each $0.85 / CPC in Google Ads, the conversion rate is 4.25%.

    And the FB conversion rate for the same $0.85 is 3%.

    Therefore, Tony should continue to scale his Google ads. I would even go as far as to say drop any FB ads he's doing to focus on his Google ads to maximize his ROI.

    "Website redesign 25% conversion rate will cost $1000" needs no calculation. He needs to start on that asap to get $$$ in. With increased sales, he might even get more positive reviews, which he can put on his website / social media for more sales.....these factors are outside the realm of maths.

    I guess beyond a certain grade, students should be given a choice to opt-out of maths if they don't intend to go into STEM fields. *shudders*

    Add to that, I believe for most schools in the world, you need to provide a very specific set of solutions to arrive at the answer. If the process or working method is "unorthodox" and does not fit in with the model answer, it's considered wrong even if the answer is correct.

    When faced with scenarios like these, have you ever tried to simplify things and "go with your gut instinct"? Or ask the supplier to figure it out for you since you're the client?

    Just curious as you're into eComm and some of us here like myself are too.

    I find your out of stock example above to be very interesting and don't mind spending an entire afternoon to work it out, but not the Elynn cards type of problem sums we used to get in schools back then.
     
  20. JScott
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    I'm not just an investor -- I own businesses, I've run businesses for Fortune 10 companies and have been advising business owners for a long time. I've seen plenty of business owners who "go with their gut instincts" -- some of them have good gut instincts and do very well. Some of them have bad gut instincts and find themselves out of business very quickly.

    And you know what generally leads to good or bad gut instincts? Understanding the math. Business instinct isn't something that's in our DNA; it's something that is developed and honed over time.

    Warren Buffett can probably decide in 2 minutes if a business might be worth buying -- it's not because Buffett has some innate instinct for buying businesses; it's because he spent years/decades meticulously doing it by studying, understanding the math behind the business, understanding the less tangible things, etc. Eventually, that rational and logical understanding turned to instinct. It didn't start that way.

    And that's why math is important. I don't find the problem "interesting" at all -- it's the type of problem that businesses owners will run into every single day. And if it takes you more than 30 seconds to figure out the right answer (from a purely financial perspective, go with the 5 day shipping), you likely have other big problems in your business that you don't even realize.

    Btw, I don't say these things to make you "haemorrhage with rage" -- I'm just trying to get you to see what is obvious to a lot of people who have been running businesses for a long time.
     
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  21. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva aspiring 大君 of the bourgeoisie Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    math is essential and the way it is taught in most american schools is laughable. THe nordic model is better in this regards. I can say though some resources that helped me in engineering was MATHTutorDVD a guy named jason from texas absolutely phenominal. I high recommend investing in his website (i am sure you can find his dvds and such "elsewhere") but dont be a prick. THe guy is top notch.
     
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  22. hoponthebop
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    hoponthebop New Contributor

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    I've tried for like 1-2h everyday for 4 straight weeks and I got a C on the exam lmao. Im starting to feel like im dumb
    The problem is that I dont know how to learn!
    I mean I also dont think I will ever use calculus or stuff like that but i still gotta learn it to have good grades
    So like in the core i should just solve past exams?
    I've tried it and I didnt work quite well :/




    ALSO I dont have a tutor and I wont ever go to a tutor because they all suck hard here. Everyone I know goes to a tutor and they cant even get more than a C!
     
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  23. Ernman
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    Excuses, excuses, excuses. You're not dumb - that's an excuse to help you feel better or not take responsibility. Why do you want good grades? Are you chasing grades or learning? You don't have a tutor because, "everyone I know goes to a tutor and they can't even get more than a C" BS, BS and more BS! Find the students getting A's and ask them to tutor you. Find different tutors. Learning is what our brains do all the time. Right now you're fixated on a particular learning outcome. Stop with the excuses and find a way to solve your challenge. You've had many great examples here and you'll no doubt get more. But stop making excuses.

    If you're still reading I'll provide an example from my own life. In order to complete my masters degree in oceanography I had to understand a math subject called, partial differential equations. I was failing miserably and I had every excuse in the book: the professor was no good, my new born was taking all my time, my wife was having an affair (she really was, but that's a different subject), and the list went on. Two days before the final exam I finally shared my concern with a classmate that I knew was getting A's. He spent the next few hours teaching me. Some times it took 3 or 4 attempts to re-explain the principles, but it finally sunk in. I re-did every homework problem and quiz and aced the final exam. I had to get out of my own way, stop making excuses and find a way.

    None of us can tell you how to learn, anymore than we can tell each other what product to sell. All we can do is give you examples that have worked for us or others we know. Maybe in those example you'll find an answer. I hope you do.

    I may have missed it in the thread, but what is the math subject that is causing you such a challenge?
     
    astr0 and AgainstAllOdds like this.
  24. hoponthebop
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    hoponthebop New Contributor

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    Read that all. Maybe its excuses but seriously I've tried it all!

    Atm its calculus even though I understand the concepts I cant solve problems/exercises
     
  25. AgainstAllOdds
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    AgainstAllOdds Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Did you follow along with a pencil, calculator and paper?

    Basically:

    1. See the Problem.
    2. If you think you can solve it, then solve it.
    3. If you can't solve it, then watch the solution.
    4. Rewind to the start of the problem.
    5. Try to solve the problem by showing all of your work the exact same way that Sal did. If you can't, then watch the video again. Repeat the process.
    6. Move onto the next problem once you solve the previous one and understand it completely.

    It's not like you just watch one video and it clicks for you. You need to actually do problems and work through them. The video is there to guide you when you're stuck.

    From the looks of it, it seems that you've made this thread so that you have an excuse to fail math, whether that be on purpose or subconscious sabotage ("Oh, I tried everything, so it's not my fault that I suck).

    Put the work in. Take out a piece of paper and pencil. Or accept right now that you'll have a bad grade.
     
    ZF Lee likes this.

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