Sign up ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm a high school student who is trying to figure out a complete course of self study for each year of high school. Is there a way to self learn grades of math without devoting too much time? For example, I was wondering whether there are suitable textbooks that have detailed explanations and progressive practice problems. This is a complex issue for me as other students at my competetive high school have tutors and the like. Could someone please give a corresponding textbook that could work for self study for each area of high school mathematics such as:



Trigonometry and Analytic Algebra

Pre Calculus

BC Calculus

Other people have been able to skip entire grades of math due to help from tutors and parents. Would it be possible to cover all of geometry and trigonometry in 8 months without going insane and be able to skip a grade?

share|cite|improve this question
Tutor teach nothing other than what's stated in books. But the way of teaching may be different. But i have seen people excelling classes without instructor especially at maths unlike any other subject. – BigSack Aug 25 '12 at 6:30
Check this question out!… – aditya menon Sep 30 '13 at 9:10

5 Answers 5

If you master pre-algebra, then you can figure out almost any other branch of mathematics using the appropriate study material. Geometric formulas will be second nature to you. Trigonometry and Calculus are not required to graduate from every high school. If you are strong in Algebra, then your college placements scores will exempt you from college preparatory courses.

College preparatory courses are great if you want to master the fundamentals. I suggest you take all the college preparatory courses in your field if you are going to specialize. For Mathematics, you should take discrete mathematics.

Because of the way the brain works, you will gain better dominion of subject matter by studying for a few hours everyday rather than cramming. Yet, you seem to have found out how some high school experiences are less adequate than independent studies.

You might want to go for the General Education Development test, then transfer to a college or university. A community college offers more advantages for students. You can get an associates in arts degree and transfer to a university from there to get a four-year college degree and postgraduate degrees. (You will need to pass college algebra and another college level mathematics course to get your associate in arts degree.)

Have you ever skimmed or read from a GED preparation workbook? You should go a college library and take it out. It's similar to the SAT workbooks. These books will give you detailed explanations. Yet, what do you mean by progressive practice problems? The word progressive can have many meanings; do you mean updated versions? That's up to the student to send in suggestions and report errors to the publishing company.

Remember, it's what you learn that counts. Most things we believe to be requisites are psychological exaggerations. Remember, being a student is a profession.

share|cite|improve this answer

You probably won't find one book that covers everything, but in all honesty if you're a good math student you could probably skip through trigonometry with ease. I'd recommend Algebra Demystified and Trigonometry Demystified. They have a good amount of practice questions, and go through the motivations of the topics involved (especially in trigonometry). You could also find more than enough around the internet, say through Khan Academy which has plenty of videos and more importantly a decent practice section.

While I'm not sure what the curriculum is where you are, in my high school we did:

Grade 9: Cartesian coordinates and linear equations

Grade 10: Quadratic Equations (factoring, expanding, completing the square and the quadratic formula) and basic trigonometry (working with definitions of $\sin$, $\cos$ and $\tan$).

Grade 11: Functions, factoring higher-degree polynomials, proving trigonometric identities, shifting/stretching functions, graphs of trig functions.

Grade 12: More functions, inverses, exponentials and logarithms, inverse trig functions, secant,cosecant and cotangent functions, how to divide polynomials the long way and with synthetic division, the remainder theorem and rational root theorem.

I don't think that's quite everything, but it's more than enough. Stroll through google books (you can see quite a bit of the books on there, including whole sections and practice problems) and the internet at large if you want more. Also see this wonderful list of legitimately free textbooks and/or course notes.

share|cite|improve this answer

stewarts precalculus, mathematical Ideas and stewarts calculus.

share|cite|improve this answer
I was asking about a complete high school math self-study list. I will definitely look those books up and maybe purchase them when I get to that level. – Fyri Aug 25 '12 at 1:43
That is a complete guide – dREaM Aug 25 '12 at 20:29

Have a go at the book Mathematical omnibus. Thirty lectures on classic mathematics by Dmitry Fuchs and Sergei Tabachnikov. This book will engage your mind and point you to very interesting mathematics.

Another good book to try out is this one: Vladimir Arnold: Problems for children from 5 to 15.

share|cite|improve this answer

You can check out the following books for "detailed explanations and progressive practice problems":

Schaum's Outline of Review of Elementary Mathematics

Schaum's Outline of Elementary Algebra

Schaum's Outline of Intermediate Algebra

Schaum's Outline of Geometry

Schaum's Outline of Trigonometry

Schaum's Outline of Precalculus

Do note that these books from the Schaum's Outline Series are not intended to replace traditional textbooks on the subject matter, but are meant as supplements. Personally, I have obtained the best-possible benefits from these books by reading some other introductory textbooks on the subject matter, supplementing my readings with further material from the Schaum's Outline Series books, and then trying to solve the practice problems afterwards.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.