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I am 30+ graduate in Arts from India. I'm very poor in math. I can do basic math calculations, i.e. addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of simple numbers in writing (on paper only) - I can't do it orally. I want to learn math from scratch, but can't join a local course or institute. My aim is to effectively learn math of 1st class to 10th class "For Teaching Purpose". Please suggest some of the following:

  1. From which very 1st book, video tutorial or online resource, I should start with?
  2. Steps of learning (1st learn this, 2nd this, etc.).
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I've edited your post to remove the unnecessary bold formatting, and to improve the grammar in some places. You will need to explain what "1st to 10th standard" means - is it some teaching standard in India? –  Zev Chonoles Jun 18 '12 at 13:34
"1st to 10th standard" = "Class 1 to Class 10" = "first grade to tenth grade". –  ShreevatsaR Jun 18 '12 at 13:56
Thanks for the explanation, @ShreevatsaR! –  Zev Chonoles Jun 18 '12 at 13:57
thanks @ZevChonoles & ShreevatsaR is right. –  cupcake Jun 18 '12 at 15:14
Please note that lots of bold text is harder to read - bold formatting should be used sparingly if at all. Also, your use of capital letters in words in the middle of a sentence is incorrect. –  Zev Chonoles Jun 19 '12 at 4:28
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1 Answer


is probably your best bet if you want to start out with basic calculations. The practice problem sections on there should especially help, since they're structured so that you can't get to certain questions unless you've done the needed math already.


is also very good. His videos are somewhat shorter, but clearer (at least for me, though I like them both).


not a video series, but a question archive with all kinds of math in it. You can also email professors with whatever questions you may have. As long as you explain yourself properly (what you've tried, where you have trouble) they'll answer questions on any level.

Also youtube. If you have trouble with a concept, someone on youtube has almost definitely made a video explaining it. It's not just the scary part of the internet anymore.

As for steps of learning, I guess that depends on where you're at right now:

If you have standard arithmetic (including exponents, which you didn't mention), then I'd start off after that with some geometry: formulas for area, perimeter, and that sort of thing for various shapes (circles, triangles, rectangles/parallelograms, trapezoids for 2D, spheres, cylinders, various prisms and pyramids for 3D). Pythagorean formula and the distance between two points. Working with angles, especially in triangles.

Then go for integers, if you haven't already: negative numbers are an absolute must for pretty much everything.

After that I'm going to suggest what my high school did, though I'm sure there are many other ways:

  1. cartesian coordinates and graphs. Plotting points in the plane. What a function is, on a basic level. Start out with equations of lines, which get all the main concepts but are easy to work with.

  2. more graphs, this time of parabolas. understanding the more complicated algebra involved in completing the square, factoring, and the derivation of the quadratic formula.

  3. trigonometric functions and identities. Working with sine, cosine, and tangent. Understanding the pythagorean identity and the angle addition laws. Introducing the sine law and cosine law and proving more complicated identities.

--Grade 10 ends here where I'm from, but the rest is worth knowing if you're interested when you get there--

  1. Higher order polynomials, especially drawing graphs and finding roots. Factoring and the remainder theorem. Graphs of sine, cosine, and tangent, as well as their reciprocal and inverse functions. Properties of exponents (if you haven't already), exponential functions and logarithmic functions. Shifts and stretches of graphs. Working with rational functions and understanding asymptotes.

  2. introductory calculus: slopes and rates of change. The definition of the derivative, and higher order derivatives. The use of these to find maxima and minima, and how to use these practically in optimization problems.

  3. basic vector math. What vectors are in the first place. How to add them, graphically and symbolically. Understanding the value/difference between cartesian and polar forms. How to calculate the length of a vector. Basis vectors of space. Dot product and cross product. Projections. Using these to work with distances in 3D, as well as the equations of lines in 3D and the equations/intersections of planes.

This might not be thorough, but it's a rough outline of the 'order of ideas'. keep in mind that this isn't strict: for example, trigonometry could have been moved up in the list without much of a problem. But it's a start, and if something isn't clear then it'll at least give you a sense of what you should be looking for. Also as you learn you'll find more and more resources that deal with the more difficult topics that you're learning, so keep in mind that you'll probably end up with far more reliable resources than you started out with. You're also more than welcome to ask us for any help, as long as you show what you've tried (no free handouts). Best of luck to you!

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Thanks @robert-mastragostino –  cupcake Aug 28 '13 at 5:17
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