How to recap high school math within a month?
February 5, 2009 12:50 PM   Subscribe

What are some good resources to recap high school math very quickly?

It's been several years since I've had any math instruction. Before college, I had aced all of my math classes, and during all of college, I only took two calculus courses in my freshman year, both of which I've entirely forgotten. Actually, I think it's safe to say I've forgotten any structured form of math.

I've recently made the decision to pursue a different career path and go to graduate school, but I wanted to get some recommendations as to where I could quickly relearn math to prepare for (1) the GRE math portion, and (2) math for programming.

I'm the type of person to make sure I got my bases down first before I get rolling, so I'm looking to make sure I still got all my basic math down. I'm probably going to take some community college courses for the calculus portion, but I really don't want to spend more than a month for all the high school math stuff (algebra, geometry, trigonometry).

So I'm looking for a resource, preferably a single book, that would help relearn all of high school math in a very concise and simple manner. Something like a 1-2 paragraph explanation, 2-3 examples, and 5-10 practice questions per concept. Something that can be looked at and finished within a few weeks.
posted by NeoLeo to Education (6 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Try a prep book for the level 2 math SAT subject test. That should cover through pre-calculus.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 1:22 PM on February 5, 2009

Shaum's Outlines are pretty good. But you may need several of their books to cover all of high school math.
posted by zippy at 1:33 PM on February 5, 2009

When I took the GMAT, I roamed around WH Smiths (the UK equivalent of Barnes & Noble) looking for a math book that I liked the approach of. Math is a very individual subject: different people learn from different ways of presenting the material. A quick scan of Amazon showed two books that I would like (YMMV):
Kaplan GRE Exam Math Workbook and GCSE Maths to A (GCSE in a Week). The GCSE is the UK equivalent of SAT tests. Also see Understanding Maths: Basic Mathematics Explained (Studymates). I like the look of the last book, but the US Amazon reseller price is a bit of a ripoff. You could order it from the UK or search on eBay.
posted by Susurration at 2:50 PM on February 5, 2009

The Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook is pretty good. It has a few pages for each topic, then about 15 sample problems, then about 25 harder word problems. I've graduated from college and I'm kind of re-learning/strengthening basic math. Its kind of cool to go over this stuff for the first time in a while, and now that I'm older I've realized how much easier it is. There is a lot of easy review that you'll remember, but also a lot of small stuff that helps a lot that you probably missed the first time around.
posted by amsterdam63 at 2:56 PM on February 5, 2009

How about Forgotten Algebra?

I haven't worked with it, but I have an older edition of another book in the series (Forgotten Calculus) that I found very helpful when I was returning to school. Like you, it had been a number of years since I had taken any math courses, but I wanted to jump right into Calculus III. The book, combined with auditing a Calc II course, set me up well enough that I was able to do well in Calc III and then Linear Algebra.
posted by SomePerlGeek at 2:06 PM on February 6, 2009

Thanks guys!

I also found these: Cliffs Quick Review (Math Series). Got good reviews at Amazon.

Also, Cliffs Notes' website and have some free pointers.
posted by NeoLeo at 8:42 PM on February 6, 2009

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