Placeboo123
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I was just wondering how important is it to read around the subject you intend to study in university, specifically mathematics?

At the start of the year I saw this '52 books in 52 weeks' sort of resolution and I thought it'd be a good idea to apply that and perhaps read all or most of the books of Cambridge reading list for maths.

I suppose it'd look well on your personal statement, as well as improve your knowledge.

So far I've read 3 and I seem to quite enjoy it and find it interesting, maybe even feel as if they've benefited me in my A-level.

Problem is; they take up so much time! I mean I probably don't spend half as much the time on revision as I do on them.

So do you think it's worth reading all these books, having extra knowledge and something nice to put on personal statement sacrificing a lot of hours that could be put into revision?

Thanks :*
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zetamcfc
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Revision first, then broaden you knowledge.
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physicsmaths
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I agree with the above


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DJMayes
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A book a week is by all means a worthwhile endeavour but don't expect it to improve your application - especially given that when many books will cover a bit more than what is covered in an 8 week lecture course, finishing it in a week would likely suggest you have understood it superficially at best - if this is not the case and you can get through the books in a week and understand it all then you have nothing to worry about anyway.
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inthechaos
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Use more time for revision, no point reading up on a subject for uni if you don't get the grades to get in.
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TVIO
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The Cambridge reading lists are for first years I believe. I'm astonished (and a bit skeptical) that you've managed to get through those before you've even done maths A level. Save it, doesn't matter just get the UMS in maths and your other subjects. Next year, continue to not bother with it, focus on STEP and grades. I'm getting a reading list soon and I won't be touching it until after exams as meeting the offer is far more important than getting the degree done a year early!
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Muttley79
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If you want to read some maths books then I'd read some of Rob Eastaway's or Simon Singh's not a uni reading list.
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Placeboo123
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(Original post by TVIO)
The Cambridge reading lists are for first years I believe. I'm astonished (and a bit skeptical) that you've managed to get through those before you've even done maths A level. Save it, doesn't matter just get the UMS in maths and your other subjects. Next year, continue to not bother with it, focus on STEP and grades. I'm getting a reading list soon and I won't be touching it until after exams as meeting the offer is far more important than getting the degree done a year early!
I said I intended to read my way through their reading lists
Besides you doing a maths degree I presume? What uni?
Any books you'd recommend too?
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TVIO
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(Original post by Placeboo123)
I said I intended to read my way through their reading lists
Besides you doing a maths degree I presume? What uni?
Any books you'd recommend too?
Nah I'm a CompSci with maths offer holder for Cambridge. I think all offer holders get a reading list from them for their subject, but I don't really have the time/inclination at the moment to make any progress on that. Getting the A level grades (and STEP prep especially) takes priority. I've read 0 books on my subject and I got an offer just fine, so if that's the only reason you're doing it, don't. My friend who got an offer for Maths at Cambridge had similarly not read any books on it (though the occasional article of something interesting here and there of course). Maths takes a while to digest, so a book a week seems like you'd only be getting a cursory knowledge of it all so wouldn't be that useful. If you want to make progress on the reading list, then do so by all means but a book a week just seems far too much as there's no way you'd be able to absorb all that information in such a short time space.
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physicsmaths
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(Original post by Placeboo123)
I said I intended to read my way through their reading lists
Besides you doing a maths degree I presume? What uni?
Any books you'd recommend too?
If you are really keen read enrichent books like BMO books and the handbook series from UKMT. Assuming you are wanting to do maths.


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physicsmaths
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Those are the only books i read. General known proofs are good to know.


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Placeboo123
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(Original post by TVIO)
Nah I'm a CompSci with maths offer holder for Cambridge. I think all offer holders get a reading list from them for their subject, but I don't really have the time/inclination at the moment to make any progress on that. Getting the A level grades (and STEP prep especially) takes priority. I've read 0 books on my subject and I got an offer just fine, so if that's the only reason you're doing it, don't. My friend who got an offer for Maths at Cambridge had similarly not read any books on it (though the occasional article of something interesting here and there of course). Maths takes a while to digest, so a book a week seems like you'd only be getting a cursory knowledge of it all so wouldn't be that useful. If you want to make progress on the reading list, then do so by all means but a book a week just seems far too much as there's no way you'd be able to absorb all that information in such a short time space.
That's exactly why I didn't like the idea of 1 book a week when it comes to maths books.
I always come across something that seems really interesting and research into it more deeply which takes an awful lot of time as well, but that's when I actually fully get it.
That's another reason why I didn't want to read one a week, coz I wouldn't get the most out of them.
What's your and your mate's offer?
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MathsLover28
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Rather than books.. You can search some of the MIT OCW videos on YouTube which relate to different courses on a Mathematics oriented degree. For example single variable calculus may be a good place to start, but the videos are based on lecturers taught at MIT, so it's ideal undergraduate preparation.


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james22
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A maths book a week is way too fast if they are not opoular maths books or you aren't doing the course on them. You need to take it slower and really understand the book to get the most from it. This includes doing several exercises from it. I would recomdend a concise introduction to pure mathematics (very popular book for prospective maths students and also very good).
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TVIO
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(Original post by Placeboo123)
That's exactly why I didn't like the idea of 1 book a week when it comes to maths books.
I always come across something that seems really interesting and research into it more deeply which takes an awful lot of time as well, but that's when I actually fully get it.
That's another reason why I didn't want to read one a week, coz I wouldn't get the most out of them.
What's your and your mate's offer?
My offer is A*A*A*A and 1,2 in STEP II and III. My friend's is A*A*A 1,1 in STEP II and III.
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TVIO
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(Original post by james22)
A maths book a week is way too fast if they are not opoular maths books or you aren't doing the course on them. You need to take it slower and really understand the book to get the most from it. This includes doing several exercises from it. I would recomdend a concise introduction to pure mathematics (very popular book for prospective maths students and also very good).
Does this cover multivariable calculus? I've been meaning to get a good book on that
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physicsmaths
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(Original post by MathsLover28)
Rather than books.. You can search some of the MIT OCW videos on YouTube which relate to different courses on a Mathematics oriented degree. For example single variable calculus may be a good place to start, but the videos are based on lecturers taught at MIT, so it's ideal undergraduate preparation.


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Oh I am subscribed to them. They have brilliant videos.


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james22
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(Original post by TVIO)
Does this cover multivariable calculus? I've been meaning to get a good book on that
It doesn't, multivariable calculus is more of an applied course (doing it the pure way is far more advanced than a first year topic, at least beyond the basics).
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MathsLover28
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(Original post by physicsmaths)
Oh I am subscribed to them. They have brilliant videos.


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They really help... Also do the exercise sheets, that level of competency would be required at UG. Also you can try the statistics and probability courses aswell.. But don't bother with multivariable calculus / analysis / topology or anything of that sort.


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Placeboo123
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(Original post by TVIO)
My offer is A*A*A*A and 1,2 in STEP II and III. My friend's is A*A*A 1,1 in STEP II and III.
What subjects are you taking?
Also what was the interview at Cambridge like?
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