I am currently a 1st year undergrad in UK studying mathematics with interests in entering the academia. Yesterday when I was looking for some problems in analysis, I came across with this IIT JEE stuff, and found it very interesting. Sure these are really just some tricky A-level mathematics that's not very conceptually difficult, but I believe that one does need to spend time learning some of the standard tricks/techniques to solve these sort of problems.

Since I had always been an enthusiast in competition mathematics, most of the pre-calculus materials there aren't quite attractive to me, but the board does seem to cover some topics in calculus which seem rathere unconventional, so I was wondering maybe I should spend some time learning these techniques?

But the problem is that I have also set some other targets for me to finish in this year such as finishing rudin's pma and pugh's real mathematical analysis, as well as herstein's algebra and hoffman's linear algebra etc. So I was wondering that would these tricks in JEE calculus be covered in a standard analysis textbook? If not, would it be worth it for me to invest time in doing these materials, or would it act as a hindrance for me to focus on learning more advanced maths?


closed as off-topic by user223391, Michael Medvinsky, user149792, user147263, hardmath Dec 18 '15 at 0:03

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  • "Seeking personal advice. Questions about choosing a course, academic program, career path, etc. are off-topic. Such questions should be directed to those employed by the institution in question, or other qualified individuals who know your specific circumstances." – Community, Michael Medvinsky, user149792, Community, hardmath
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  • $\begingroup$ In addition to mathematics, it seems that the IIT JEE also covers chemistry and physics which might not interest you as much although some physics problem might need calculus to solve instantaneous acceleration problems for example. The JEE main page seems to have a "Mock Test for Computer Based Examination" link that might interest you: jeemain.nic.in/webinfo/Public/Home.aspx $\endgroup$ – cr3 Dec 17 '15 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ I have difficulty viewing "is it worth investing time" as a question that can be resolved through mathematical reasoning. For some it might be rewarding, in a sense of personal accomplishment, and for others it will not be for a variety of reasons. I think personal advice, even with the caveat that you've "always been an enthusiatist", would be misplaced on this site. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Dec 18 '15 at 0:02

You can't compare the JEE stuff to the material you would cover in an undergraduate course in Analysis. The intent is completely different, those problems aren't designed so much for understanding mathematics as they are for knowing quick tricks that help you get past someone else. Different focus altogether. Plus those tricks are mathematical mutilation sometimes. Especially on differential equations.

  • $\begingroup$ Can you elaborate on what tricks are used on DE that are bad ? $\endgroup$ – Quality Dec 17 '15 at 19:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It's been a while since I took that exam, but when they introduced Differential Equations, you were encouraged to use this one generic formula for linear differential equations, and homogeneous differential equations without proper understanding of either. It just seemed that they pulled it out of thin air. $\endgroup$ – Kesav Krishnan Dec 17 '15 at 19:25

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