Best Calculus Textbooks - 10 Top Choices For Learning Calculus (2022)

Those in engineering, physics, statistics, economics, and medicine will all utilize calculus in their everyday job. To create mathematical models and arrive at an optimal solution, knowledge of calculus is absolutely necessary. The work of the professionals who utilize calculus can be seen in seemingly mundane products that we use every day, such as television and even national defense.Â

Learning calculus can seem overwhelming. While you could always take an online math course, finding the right textbook so you can learn from the experts themselves can be essential. So, what are the best calculus textbooks? Let’s find out!

Best Calculus Textbooks

To study any phenomena involving change, calculus is the way to go. To introduce your mind to this scientific method of analysis, below are the top 10 calculus textbooks to help you maximize your skills.

1. Essential Calculus Skills Practice by Chris McMullen

Best Calculus Textbooks - 10 Top Choices For Learning Calculus (1)

In this #1 best-selling calculus workbook, Ph.D. Chris McMullen teaches what he’s learned in his twenty years of teaching calculus to physics students. This book is a comprehensive textbook and workbook with solutions for each problem. In this, you’ll have all of the essentials that you’ll need to master calculus, including trig functions, polynomials, and more.

Further, McMullen also explains trickier concepts like the chain rule, second derivatives, and multiple integrals. The goal of this book isn’t to cover each tedious concept within the study of calculus, but instead to provide the essential skills needed to apply calculus to any field, such as physics or engineering.

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2. Calculus for Dummies by Mark Ryan

Best Calculus Textbooks - 10 Top Choices For Learning Calculus (2)

In this user-friendly guide created for beginners in calculus, you’ll have access to tools that will allow you to feel more confident while solving mathematical problems. In this, Mark Ryan explains how to build a solid understanding of complex ideas within calculus. He leads you through solving problems each step of the way, eliminating jargon and making it easy to follow.

(Video) 10 Best Calculus Textbooks 2020

In this, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of new concepts, important operations, and their solutions. Not only will you know how to solve calculus problems, but you’ll know the implications of each answer as well.

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3. Cracking the AP Calculus BC Exam by The Princeton ReviewÂ

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The Princeton Review created Cracking the AP Calculus BC Exam to help you score a 5 on the test in no time. In this updated edition, you’ll have access to practice tests and proven techniques to help you assess your skillset and improve accordingly. This book also goes into what the test will look like, how to use the book for the adapted exam, and which content is most important.

Not only is this a comprehensive tool for review, but a great book to put your skills to the test. With the practice tests, content reviews, strategies for each question type, and online bonus help, you’ll be more prepped than ever for your AP Calculus exam. Even if the exam isn’t in your near future, this book will help you sharpen up your calc skills in the meantime.

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4. Calculus by James Stewart

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If you’re looking to succeed as a calculus student, this is the book for you. This book is filled with clear, accurate, and real-world examples of the applications of calculus. Not only will you be introduced to the utilization of calculus in day-to-day life, but you’ll be introduced to the helpful practice that you need to ace your course.

In this updated 8th edition, Stewart helps you develop the skillset that you need to succeed. Further, he explains the importance of calculus, and how to develop an intrinsic appreciation for the subject to make it more enjoyable.

(Video) 10 Best Calculus Textbooks 2019

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5. Applied Calculus by Laurence Hoffmann

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Applied Calculus has been created to help anyone who uses calculus in business, economics, social sciences, and life science. In this expanded edition, you’ll gain an understanding of the fundamental concepts that all students need to succeed and apply calculus. As you pursue a career in business, econ, or any similar field, learning up on calculus is more important than ever.

Many students have gained success in calculus from this book, praising its real-world approach, straightforwardness, and concise writing style.

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6. Calculus with Applications by Margaret L. Lial

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In this revised 11th edition of Calculus with Applications, math is made both relevant and accessible to students of business and the sciences. This book prepares students for their professional careers by explaining the current applications of calculus, interpreting complex data, and explaining new ways to learn the material.

Along with the text and its examples, you’ll have warm-up activities to assess your preparedness for each section.

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(Video) 3 SUPER THICK Calculus Books for Self Study

7. Calculus Deconstructed by Zbigniew H. Nitecki

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Calculus Deconstructed was created to be a second course for those in first-year calculus. This rigorous exploration of calculus serves best as a self-study guide for those in Honors Calculus. Both a textbook and reference book, this includes standard topics and techniques of calculus, as well as the best teaching methods within each.

With its numerous examples, your knowledge of calculus will continually be reinforced as you make your way through this text. By the end, you’ll have both a practical and theoretical understanding of the subject.

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8. Calculus and Its Applications by Larry J. GoldsteinÂ

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For students majoring in business, social sciences, and life sciences, this book is created to help you ace your calculus course. In this, you’ll learn how to combine intuition with key concepts of calculus to apply your knowledge in the most effective way possible. This book is strategically organized to introduce the easiest topics first and get more difficult as it continues.

Due to this organization, students using this textbook to improve their skills will be able to easily study according to their current knowledge. This book also includes comprehensive exercise sets to help you improve your score on tests and gain an overall understanding of your calculus course.

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9. Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach by Morris Kline

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(Video) The Most Famous Calculus Book in Existence "Calculus by Michael Spivak"

In this textbook, you’ll figure out the powerful relationship between calculus and science. You’ll also have access to in-depth explanations of the derivative, integration of the powers of x, the chain rule, and more.

With its clear-cut explanations, helpful drills and extensive examples, this book will help you score higher on your next calculus test and improve your knowledge in the course as a whole.

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10. Calculus by Michael Spivak

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Perfect for both beginning students in calculus and experienced mathematicians, this book will help you understand why each answer is correct and the purpose behind its application. Instead of memorizing mundane equations and drills, this book will explain each concept in an easy-to-follow manner to help you gain an understanding.

By reading this, you’ll understand why each theorem works and how to apply your new knowledge to the next calculus problems you see.

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Final Thoughts: Best Calculus Textbooks

Ultimately, reading up on calculus isn’t just beneficial for students in a math course. Being able to apply your knowledge of calculus is beneficial in a wide array of fields, from computer science to business.Â

Article Contents

  • Best Calculus Textbooks
    • 1. Essential Calculus Skills Practice by Chris McMullen
    • 2. Calculus for Dummies by Mark Ryan
    • 3. Cracking the AP Calculus BC Exam by The Princeton ReviewÂ
    • 4. Calculus by James Stewart
    • 5. Applied Calculus by Laurence Hoffmann
    • 6. Calculus with Applications by Margaret L. Lial
    • 7. Calculus Deconstructed by Zbigniew H. Nitecki
    • 8. Calculus and Its Applications by Larry J. GoldsteinÂ
    • 9. Calculus: An Intuitive and Physical Approach by Morris Kline
    • 10. Calculus by Michael Spivak
  • Final Thoughts: Best Calculus Textbooks
(Video) 10 Best Calculus Textbooks 2018

FAQs

What is the best resource to learn calculus? ›

Open Web Resources
  • Math.com - Calculus. ...
  • Mathway - Calculus. ...
  • NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions. ...
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. ...
  • WolframAlpha. ...
  • Wolfram Functions. ...
  • Wolfram MathWorld. ...
  • Wyzant - Calculus. Calculus resources from a general tutoring website.
23 Jun 2022

What should I study first in calculus? ›

In some sense, the prerequisite for Calculus is to have an overall comfort with algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. After all, each new topic in math builds on previous topics, which is why mastery at each stage is so important.

What order should I learn calculus? ›

You learn calculus concepts in a very specific order: limits, derivatives, integrals, series, higher dimensions, etc. Cool thing is that there's actually a reason for this. It's like learning to walk by taking one step at a time before you start to run and jump.

Can I teach myself calculus? ›

You can teach yourself calculus if you have a growth mindset instead of believing in misconceptions about how difficult it is to learn math. You should be familiar with Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry, choose your sources, come up with a schedule, and stick to it. Calculus is the mathematics of change.

What is the best free online calculus course? ›

edX Calculus Courses are some of the best around (as well as free)! Created by Harvard and MIT, edX is another popular massive open online course (MOOC) provider.

How can I learn calculus fast? ›

Understand Calculus in 10 Minutes - YouTube

Can I finish calculus in a month? ›

The short answer is no, you cannot. You can probably learn the basic rules of differentiation (although probably not the why), but when you get to integral calculus, you're going to get slowed down by an order of magnitude.

How can I improve my calculus skills? ›

How to improve grades in calculus – 13 Tips
  1. Establish a solid foundation. ...
  2. Do insightful studying. ...
  3. Understand the concept of limits. ...
  4. Grasp the fundamental theorems of calculus. ...
  5. List things to memorize. ...
  6. Understand the problem-solving approach during class. ...
  7. Solve a load of new problems. ...
  8. Analyze and understand every mistake.
12 Apr 2022

Is college calculus hard? ›

Calculus is hard because it is one of the most difficult and advanced forms of mathematics that most STEM majors encounter. Both high school and college calculus are a huge jump in terms of difficulty when compared to the math courses students have previously taken.

What is meant by early Transcendentals? ›

Early transcendentals: introduce polynomials, rational functions, exponentials, logarithms, and trigonometric functions at the beginning of the course and use them as examples when developing differential calculus.

How many hours does it take to learn calculus? ›

Learning high-school calculus in a high-school class takes roughly 150 hours + 100 hours of homework/studying. Learning the same in a college class takes roughly 40 hours + 80 hours of homework/studying.

Why is calculus so hard? ›

Most of the reasons students have difficulty learning calculus is because they don't study daily after lessons, can't focus in class, have gaps in their math knowledge, and think learning calculus is a waste of time. Here are the steps you can take to make calculus a breeze: Stay curious. Ask questions.

What are the 4 concepts of calculus? ›

The main concepts of calculus are :
  • Limits.
  • Differential calculus (Differentiation).
  • Integral calculus (Integration).
  • Multivariable calculus (Function theory).

Is Trig harder than calculus? ›

In most cases, mathematicians will tell you that calculus is more complex than trigonometry. That's because calculus brings together several different branches of math together. It uses geometry, algebra, and trigonometry.

Can I learn calculus without knowing math? ›

Algebra is one of the important foundations of calculus. Algebra is the language of calculus. You can't do calculus without knowing algebra any more than you can write Chinese poetry without knowing Chinese.

Where can I study calculus for free? ›

684 results for "calculus"
  • Free. The University of Sydney. ...
  • Imperial College London. Mathematics for Machine Learning. ...
  • Free. University of Pennsylvania. ...
  • Johns Hopkins University. Differential Calculus through Data and Modeling. ...
  • Johns Hopkins University. Algebra: Elementary to Advanced. ...
  • Free. ...
  • Johns Hopkins University. ...
  • Free.

Is coursera legit? ›

Coursera has a long-held reputation for keeping its users safe and their information private. It is a completely legitimate site and will not try to scam you. The partners of Coursera include: Yale, Stanford, Duke University, University of Michigan, Google, IBM and many more.

How do you ace a calculus test? ›

How to Take a Calculus Test
  1. Show what you know.
  2. Don't invent new math.
  3. Don't contradict yourself.
  4. Do the easy questions first.
  5. If you don't know how to do a problem, start by writing down relevant things that you know are true in general.
  6. Break difficult problems into manageable pieces.
20 Oct 2011

Which is harder calculus or physics? ›

Physics is absolutely harder than calculus. Calculus is an intermediate level of mathematics that is usually taught during the first two years of most STEM majors. Physics on the other hand is a very advanced and difficult and highly researched field.

Is calculus easier than algebra? ›

Calculus is harder than algebra.

They're about the same in terms of difficulty but calculus is more complex, requiring you to draw on everything you learned in geometry, trigonometry, and algebra.

Is Khan Academy a good place to learn calculus? ›

Yes, Khan Academy is good for learning math.

How many hours a week should I study calculus? ›

You should be spending about 12 hours a week studying calculus; that's 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. If you need to make adjustments in your academic or work schedules, do so now.

Is precalculus harder than calculus? ›

Is Pre-Calculus Harder than Calculus? Pre-calculus is equally as hard as calculus. Although calculus is more advanced and complex it is not necessarily more difficult. The jump in difficulty from algebra II to pre-calculus is similar to the increase in difficulty between pre-calculus and calculus.

How do I prepare for college calculus? ›

How to prepare for college calculus - YouTube

How do you not fail calculus? ›

How to Pass Calculus
  1. Get Ready to Study. Effectively studying calculus can take a lot of time. ...
  2. Work with Other Students. You should try to make use of study groups if you can. ...
  3. Give Yourself Time. Make sure you give yourself enough time to study for your exams. ...
  4. Complete Practice Problems. ...
  5. Use Online Resources.

How do you study for a final calculator? ›

5 Tips On How To Pass Calculus In College - YouTube

Can I learn calculus online? ›

Online Calculus Courses and Programs

Edx offers basic calculus courses and advanced programs designed to help you learn calculus in an engaging and effective online learning environment complete with video tutorials, calculus problems, quizzes and more.

How do you ace a calculus test? ›

How to Take a Calculus Test
  1. Show what you know.
  2. Don't invent new math.
  3. Don't contradict yourself.
  4. Do the easy questions first.
  5. If you don't know how to do a problem, start by writing down relevant things that you know are true in general.
  6. Break difficult problems into manageable pieces.
20 Oct 2011

What are the 3 main topics in calculus? ›

The Three Calculus Concepts You Need to Know
  • 1) Limits. Limits are a fundamental part of calculus and are among the first things that students learn about in a calculus class. ...
  • 2) Derivatives. Derivatives are similar to the algebraic concept of slope. ...
  • 3) Integrals.
20 Apr 2018

Why is calculus so hard? ›

Most of the reasons students have difficulty learning calculus is because they don't study daily after lessons, can't focus in class, have gaps in their math knowledge, and think learning calculus is a waste of time. Here are the steps you can take to make calculus a breeze: Stay curious. Ask questions.

What are the 4 concepts of calculus? ›

The main concepts of calculus are :
  • Limits.
  • Differential calculus (Differentiation).
  • Integral calculus (Integration).
  • Multivariable calculus (Function theory).

What percentage of people fail calculus? ›

Calculus Is the Gateway Course for STEM Majors

For the 66 percent of students who pass calculus, they can go on to take more advanced coursework in their field. On the other hand, the 34 percent who fail calculus may retake the class until they pass or change their major to one that doesn't require calculus.

How long should I study for a calculus exam? ›

You should be spending about 12 hours a week studying calculus; that's 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. If you need to make adjustments in your academic or work schedules, do so now.

How hard is it to pass calculus? ›

Calculus is a class that can be quite difficult for students. Calculus II, in particular, is notorious for being a weed-out class. The key to success in calculus, much like any other technical class like physics or microeconomics, is to understand, deep down, what every topic is getting at.

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