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I am in final year of my undergraduate in mathematics from a prestigious institute for mathematics. However a thing that I have noticed is that I seem to be slower than my classmates in reading mathematics. As in, how muchever I try, I seem to finish my works at the last moment and I rarely find any time for extra reading. Is there any suggestions or tips that I could try that you know of? Or is it advisable to skip details in favour of saving time?

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    $\begingroup$ This question might suit math educators.se. $\endgroup$ – J.G. Oct 14 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks everyone for the answers. I think I was a bit down and needed some motivation which is one of the reasons for the off topic question. Again thanks everyone for responding. And sorry if it was really off topic. $\endgroup$ – Deepakms Oct 14 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for asking this question. I thought I was all alone lol $\endgroup$ – RyRy the Fly Guy Oct 14 at 20:48
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The question and information given is maybe a bit vague to give a satisfying and meaningful answer. But that shall me not stop from still trying:

I think everyone of us knows that there these phrases in math like "easy to see" or similar ones that can occupy ones attention for hours and clearly will lead to take longer to finish a text then just taking that for granted for example. So if you take that effort and your fellow students for example didn't. Sure everything is fine. Also are you trying to understand every proof with every detail while you reading a text for the first time? I am pretty sure not every of your peers is doing that. And I found there are just different "types". For example I tend to need a rough overview of what I am dealing with first before I can deep dive into more involved proofs and details. I also like to go throw a text many times because I have a bad memory and this makes me repeat stuff, but of course this also means my first reading will be quite quick but also quite shallow. (So I first take the birds perspective and then go into the frogs perspective).

But even if you hypothetically would be "objectively" slower then everyone else but still get it in the end, what would be the problem with that? Math is a big part of my life and it is many things for me but certainly not a competition. And I certainly don't think you need to be good and quick to find a meaningful occupation.

Also you mentioned you studying in a prestigious university (whatever that means), so being "slower" is still a relative term, right? Also you mentioning in your undergraduate studies. So to be frank here, you very likely just scratched on the surfaces on modern mathematics. And I think that is good and bad news (at least I am conflicted about it). Because so far you are only subjected to the well disgusted content of mathematics so maybe you will excel at more recents developments. I wrote at some here before but I am fairly certain that studying math is not a sprint but a (lifelong) marathon and a bachelors is from what I am experiencing only the first few kilometers.

That is all to say: Hang in there and keep trying. The very reason that you care enough to ask this here indicates you are on a good path anyway.

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  • $\begingroup$ You "like to go throw a text many times"? Poor text. =P $\endgroup$ – user21820 Oct 30 at 7:46
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I am in the same position as you, @Deepakms. I'm always the last to finish on a math exam, the last to turn in the class assignment, etc... with that being said, I typically ace every exam, and I'm usually the one with the highest grade in the class.

People who invest more time in cultivating a rich understanding of a topic generally do not progress through material quickly. However, when they do finish, they are more often correct, able to teach and explain concepts with greater facility, able to build on prior knowledge more easily, able to generalize what they've learned to diverse situations, and able to be more creative/innovative with what they've learned.

So there is definitely a trade off, and I don't think you should beat yourself up over "taking longer" if the reason you are taking longer is to enrich your understanding or check your answers. If mathematics is a passion of yours or important for your career, then you certainly are not wasting your time.

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It seems to me that over time you will know more about mathematics than your fellow students. What should happen is that you have a certain cultural sense of mathematics and that you probably read much more than what you need to do your homework while the other students focus on what they are asked for and nothing more.It happened to me like lake, I ended up knowing more math than my fellow students but they outdid me on homeworks Am I wrong?

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I'm similar to you.While reading mathematics,I always think it over deeply until I thoroughly understand the full meaning.Knowing the connections between different math concepts clearly will be good for your further study in mathematics.Because undergraduate mathematics is just the beginning of real mathematics,and strength your basic knowledge will help you understand the graduate courses easily.If you wanna speed up your reading,I think you can skip some details when you don't understand them ,leave them behind for now and read it again when you are inspiring.

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