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I'm a 2nd year maths student that doesn't quite understand the content

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    I did okay in first year actually, but this was mainly because I was doing past papers so I gained some familiarity of older questions without truly understanding a lot of the content. I'm so scared for the 2nd/3rd year because I know that if I don't start understanding this stuff... I could be really screwed.

    Any tips for actually understanding the content? (Mainly calculus and computing modules)
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    (Original post by TwiMaster)
    I did okay in first year actually, but this was mainly because I was doing past papers so I gained some familiarity of older questions without truly understanding a lot of the content. I'm so scared for the 2nd/3rd year because I know that if I don't start understanding this stuff... I could be really screwed.

    Any tips for actually understanding the content? (Mainly calculus and computing modules)
    The foundation of calculus is analysis, so I suggest you learn non-standard analysis, that is, a system which allows the use of infinitely large and small numbers by extending the real numbers to form the hyperreal numbers.
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    I would suggest reading the book "How to think about Analysis" by Lara Alcock which will give you a really solid foundation for Calculus and will literally open your mind to how maths is studied at university. You'll be able to apply the general techniques learnt from that book to other modules. And if you're still not satisfied, buy her other book "How to study for a Mathematics degree" which is similar but it applies more generally to other areas of maths you might struggle with.

    I'm also a 2nd year maths student, and these books definitely saved my life and made me actually enjoy my degree because now I know I can understand it, I just have to go about learning it in a different way and keep at it.
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    (Original post by HapaxOromenon3)
    The foundation of calculus is analysis, so I suggest you learn non-standard analysis, that is, a system which allows the use of infinitely large and small numbers by extending the real numbers to form the hyperreal numbers.
    This is the worst advice ever. Op will not need (not now, not ever, for any reason other than simply interest) non-standard analysis. Even if extended number systems are a topic of interest, NSA is still a poor choice when he could instead investigate the surreal numbers.

    T.s.r's advice is good. Other than that, You learn through doing. Books develop material by showing you, and you should be working with it, not just reading. No doubt your university offers tutorials, and your lecturer office hours - use them!
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    (Original post by t.s.r.)
    I would suggest reading the book "How to think about Analysis" by Lara Alcock which will give you a really solid foundation for Calculus and will literally open your mind to how maths is studied at university. You'll be able to apply the general techniques learnt from that book to other modules. And if you're still not satisfied, buy her other book "How to study for a Mathematics degree" which is similar but it applies more generally to other areas of maths you might struggle with.

    I'm also a 2nd year maths student, and these books definitely saved my life and made me actually enjoy my degree because now I know I can understand it, I just have to go about learning it in a different way and keep at it.
    Thank you! I will take a look at these books, should've done this a year ago but better late than never!
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    (Original post by TwiMaster)
    Thank you! I will take a look at these books, should've done this a year ago but better late than never!
    Yes, definitely! There's still time as well, 2nd year has only just begun. And I think you can find the pdf version of the second book online. Best of luck!
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    (Original post by t.s.r.)
    I would suggest reading the book "How to think about Analysis" by Lara Alcock which will give you a really solid foundation for Calculus and will literally open your mind to how maths is studied at university. You'll be able to apply the general techniques learnt from that book to other modules. And if you're still not satisfied, buy her other book "How to study for a Mathematics degree" which is similar but it applies more generally to other areas of maths you might struggle with.

    I'm also a 2nd year maths student, and these books definitely saved my life and made me actually enjoy my degree because now I know I can understand it, I just have to go about learning it in a different way and keep at it.
    Could I read the first book and add that in my maths PS for next year lol? And what am I meant to add in a maths PS if I want to apply to Cambridge?


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