I am an undergraduate student in maths and lately I have been having lots of thoughts on how best one should learn maths (probably unwisely). I am going to restrict myself to the topic of 'time management' as I don't think this has been explicitly discussed on here whereas questions of 'how to study' have already been asked. But if you have any more thoughts on how you study maths I would love to hear them also.

Do you think it is important to allocate how much time to spend doing a specific part of maths and then moving on to something different? I have found that if I don't do this I end up spending far too long on one problem or trying to understand a little bit of theory. However if I do this I feel I might be restricting myself in some way.

Also what proportion of time (roughly) would you suggest doing problems compared with doing theory?


  • $\begingroup$ see : math.stackexchange.com/questions/260824/studying-schedule/… for some ideas. $\endgroup$ – faith_in_facts Dec 17 '12 at 18:37
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    $\begingroup$ It depends very much on your individual circumstances, personality and learning style. Without knowing you it's very hard to give useful advice, other than something like "spend as much time as you can on what you find interesting, and as much as you need to on the rest." $\endgroup$ – Robert Israel Dec 17 '12 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ @RobertIsrael thanks for your comment. I realise that how people learn is individual to them and questions like this have no concrete answer. Hard work and effort are probably the main things in doing anything well. $\endgroup$ – Sam Forbes Dec 18 '12 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ @MSEoris Thanks for giving me a link to your previous post. I agree that there are no magical answers to questions such as these. $\endgroup$ – Sam Forbes Dec 18 '12 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ There is a blog post by Terence Tao on time managemant. It might be interesting for you. terrytao.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/on-time-management $\endgroup$ – user44400 Aug 29 '15 at 15:03

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