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Maths advice at uni

Wondering if anyone could help me out and give some advice.

I am a first year studying maths at uni. I am really struggling with how best to prepare and revise for my summer exams in 7 weeks. All I currently am doing is reading through the lecture notes for each module and highlighting key stuff, then word documenting all the theorems, definitions etc.. I go to try do questions after each chapter/topic and often can't do many of them. I'm not sure how long I'm meant to spend trying to do a question but lots of the time I would have never gotten the solution anyway, especially in Analysis. I want to prioritise doing lots of questions but it is very demoralising when it does not go well. For some modules there seems to be barely any questions to do with solutions so I can't know if I have done things correctly. I just feel like I am not improving and have no idea how to with university maths.

I have spoken to my tutor about this before but there was not much success there. My uni is very strict and very much 'leave the students to it'. In sixth form I really loved my subjects and also asking lots of questions, but that seems impossible at uni.

Please don't tell me maths isn't for me. I really am willing to work, but I just don't know specifically what work to do to do well.
Hi
Im a first year student studying maths as well
which course do you do
Is there any past papers that ur lecturers have put to help you prepare for them
Reply 2
Original post by mathsblah
Wondering if anyone could help me out and give some advice.

I am a first year studying maths at uni. I am really struggling with how best to prepare and revise for my summer exams in 7 weeks. All I currently am doing is reading through the lecture notes for each module and highlighting key stuff, then word documenting all the theorems, definitions etc.. I go to try do questions after each chapter/topic and often can't do many of them. I'm not sure how long I'm meant to spend trying to do a question but lots of the time I would have never gotten the solution anyway, especially in Analysis. I want to prioritise doing lots of questions but it is very demoralising when it does not go well. For some modules there seems to be barely any questions to do with solutions so I can't know if I have done things correctly. I just feel like I am not improving and have no idea how to with university maths.

I have spoken to my tutor about this before but there was not much success there. My uni is very strict and very much 'leave the students to it'. In sixth form I really loved my subjects and also asking lots of questions, but that seems impossible at uni.

Please don't tell me maths isn't for me. I really am willing to work, but I just don't know specifically what work to do to do well.


I presume you have access to past papers (if not solutions). It's important to be doing some of those, and practising them timed. Also discuss this with other students - agree to separately try a paper - so that you're not just working through the questions alone. TSR people will help too.

Exam technique is important. If there are last parts of questions that stump you, make sure not to waste precious exam time on them and to mop up all the marks you can readily get from the exam. For tougher parts it can be good to spend a little while on them then move on, perhaps returning to them later. It's surprising how often a second look at a question bring new ideas, as if your subconscious has been pondering the problem for you in the meantime. Depending on the style of your analysis exams, bookwork may be very important. So knowing proofs of the standard theorems is vital. Analysis is found hard by most people; the subject "clicks" when you begin to appreciate why a proof essentially HAD to look the way it did, given the definitions. So it's important to know the definitions intimately and precisely. Know how to work with the quantifiers and not be fazed by them.
Reply 3
Original post by isara8482
Hi
Im a first year student studying maths as well
which course do you do
Is there any past papers that ur lecturers have put to help you prepare for them


Hi, I am at Warwick, how about you?

We have some past papers and hopefully the solutions. For my January exams most of the past papers and worksheets didn't even have solutions.
Reply 4
Original post by RichE
I presume you have access to past papers (if not solutions). It's important to be doing some of those, and practising them timed. Also discuss this with other students - agree to separately try a paper - so that you're not just working through the questions alone. TSR people will help too.

Exam technique is important. If there are last parts of questions that stump you, make sure not to waste precious exam time on them and to mop up all the marks you can readily get from the exam. For tougher parts it can be good to spend a little while on them then move on, perhaps returning to them later. It's surprising how often a second look at a question bring new ideas, as if your subconscious has been pondering the problem for you in the meantime. Depending on the style of your analysis exams, bookwork may be very important. So knowing proofs of the standard theorems is vital. Analysis is found hard by most people; the subject "clicks" when you begin to appreciate why a proof essentially HAD to look the way it did, given the definitions. So it's important to know the definitions intimately and precisely. Know how to work with the quantifiers and not be fazed by them.


I am trying to learn and understand the proofs currently but I am working through the material so slowly. I haven't look at past paper questions yet as my exams are roughly 6 weeks away and I don't feel so confident about the content yet. I have these worksheets though with questions which I go through. Should start looking at past papers now anyway but keep one or two for timing closer to the time?
Reply 5
Original post by mathsblah
I am trying to learn and understand the proofs currently but I am working through the material so slowly. I haven't look at past paper questions yet as my exams are roughly 6 weeks away and I don't feel so confident about the content yet. I have these worksheets though with questions which I go through. Should start looking at past papers now anyway but keep one or two for timing closer to the time?

I don't think revision is an exact science, but also I think it's important not to be too focused on notes, and not be practising past papers. It can be a difficult balance, I agree. Are there some topics you have revised completely? In which case attempting some past paper questions on that material would give you a fuller sense of how things stand.

Could you describe what is making the progress through the material so slow? Or more so than you expected?

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