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Honing your quantitative skills

LSE-Study-Toolkit-honing-your-quantitative-skills-iconA great many of the disciplines taught at LSE rely on quantitative skills, as can be seen by the large range of degree programmes that require quantitative courses such as Mathematical Methods (MA100) and Elementary Statistical Theory (ST102) in their first year. As with everything you will be studying during your time at LSE, adopting an active approach will be essential to developing your skills in these subjects. Active learning requires you to be more pro-active in your approach to study, and this can take a number of forms.

Plan / pace your study

Quantitative skills are ones that you will best develop by continued practice over a long period of time. They do not lend themselves to cramming. Each week's lectures tend to build upon earlier ones so that the farther you fall behind, the harder it will be to catch up. Moreover, the longer you give yourself to work with the concepts and methods of a course, the deeper ingrained will be your skill.

Therefore, try to make sure you plan your studying to keep up with the lectures. It is much more effective to do a little work, but regularly, rather than a large amount of studying at the end.

Do the reading

Make sure you do all the required reading; do not expect to obtain all your answers from lectures or classes. However, do not passively accept what you read (nor what you are told). Even for quantitative subjects, you must employ critical analysis when studying. Finally, do not be afraid to read farther afield than the core texts in support of your critical reading.

For more on reading for the quantitative disciplines, see Reading mathematics.

Do the homeworks

Quantitative subjects typically rely on weekly assignments and classes to supplement the lectures.

While you may feel that the workload this entails is substantial, both the classes, and the work covered in them, are invaluable tools to support your learning.

You cannot develop your quantitative skills without doing questions, so make sure you take full advantage of the opportunities that such assignments give you.

For more on doing quantitative subject homeworks and problem solving see Doing the homework.

For some tips on solving quantitative problems, see Solving quantitative problems.

Review and reflect on your learning

Periodic and frequent review of the progress of your studies should be an integral component of your learning strategy for any subject. While there shall be many opportunities to review and reflect upon your development throughout your studies here, ultimately whether this happens is entirely up to you! Weekly homeworks, of course, will do this, but only of the current topics in a subject. Be sure to review prior topics as your course progresses to make sure they are not forgotten or overlooked.

For more on reflection and review, see Review and reflect on your learning.