How to Learn Calculus at Home

Good academic discipline helps in learning calculus at home.
••• Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images

Whether you're taking a calculus course or simply want to review the knowledge you've forgotten over the years, books and websites can help you learn calculus at home. Before you start learning calculus, make sure you've got a firm grasp of algebra and pre-calculus, since many of the concepts taught in calculus rely on this prior knowledge.

    Purchase a calculus textbook, such as "Single Variable Calculus" by James Stewart. Read through each chapter and copy important theorems and formulas, such as the Chain Rule, the Squeeze Theorem and Simpson's Rule. Complete each practice problem and compare your answer with the one provided in the book.

    Supplement your learning by watching free online calculus lectures. Visit the University of Houston's Video Calculus page (see Resources). The Video Calculus page contains dozens of free university lectures on calculus concepts, such as calculating limits and finding derivatives. To watch the video lectures, you need Apple's QuickTime video player, available for free on the Video Calculus website.

    Get help with calculus concepts you don't understand at the Karl's Calculus Tutor website. Work out the sample problems and see how they are solved step-by-step. The site also provides explanations for calculus concepts and a forum where students can ask questions.

    Test your knowledge by taking an exam. The University of California Davis has a math page that contains final exams that were actually given by professors at the University. Click on any of the exams that say "Calculus" or "Brief Calculus."


    • Memorize important concepts in calculus, such as the Chain Rule and the Squeeze Theorem. Although memorizing isn't exactly fun, committing the fundamental rules of calculus to memory helps you solve problems more efficiently.

      Do not move on to the next topic in calculus without understanding the topic you just studied.

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