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    I'm struggling to understand the process of tackling a random 1st order differential equation.

    I know the following 5 methods of tackling 1st ODEs: Direct integration, separating variable, substituting y=vx (for homogeneous equations), using integrating factor for linear 1st ODE, and also bernoulli equation method.

    And I understand you would look at the form of the equation and apply one of the above methods appropriately.

    Where my question comes in is, what about exact and non exact differential equations? Where do they fit into this? Are you meant to test any equation for exactness before doing anything else? And only if its not exact then apply one of the 5 methods above??

    Thanks so much )
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    (Original post by Lid-the-squid)
    Where my question comes in is, what about exact and non exact differential equations? Where do they fit into this? Are you meant to test any equation for exactness before doing anything else?
    You should be able to do this by inspection in a matter of a few seconds. Although you should be able to identify the other 5 in a matter of a few seconds as well, they all follow basic forms of the ODE, just learn them.
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    for exact equations, even in an exam, the typical question would present an equation, ask you to verify it is exact (or otherwise) and if it is, solve it - but as Phichi indicates - the speed of identification comes with practice!
 
 
 
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