I'm not sure if this a valid question to ask on meta, but at what point (academically I guess) would one find themselves to start answering questions more frequently than asking them in Math.SE? I was browsing questions and answers of the site and the quality of the the answers provided, for relatively simple questions I could answer, is usually beyond that which I would find myself capable of providing currently.

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    $\begingroup$ you're not going to get in trouble for answering questions if you know the answer :) if you want to answer and you have valid answers then nobody will stop you. $\endgroup$
    – Justin L.
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 6:47

2 Answers 2


There isn't a uniform level at which one is "ready" to answer questions. There are high school students posting great stuff, and graduate students posting not-so-great stuff. Not to mention the huge disparity in the level of questions.

If you don't see opportunities for you to answer questions, there are other ways to contribute:

  1. asking questions (obviously)
  2. voting on questions and answers
  3. editing (if you have 2000 points) or suggesting edits (otherwise)
  4. identifying duplicates and flagging them as such

And here is some further reading:

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    $\begingroup$ Adding to this answer: moreover, people use this site for different purposes. Some people use MSE primarily to ask questions, some (like me) ask few questions and simply like to help people with their math. Many are in between. It's very possible that people don't transition at all from primarily asking to primarily answering (or vice versa). $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 5:41

I think that everyone should try to answer questions, at least from time to time, once they have completed at least a portion of their first elementary algebra or geometry class.

If you look at the questions on the site, you will see that they indeed range from elementary school level up through graduate school level and occasionally beyond. Most likely you are capable of answering some of these questions, so you should give it a try.

If your answer is lousy, someone will probably come up with a better one.

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    $\begingroup$ Agreeing in general, I'll add a word of caution. Browsing old questions, I saw a few where a completely incorrect answer was confidently stated, and remained the only answer given, for months or years. When an answerer is unsure that the answer actually works, it's better to say that, and identify the questionable step(s). The chance that someone will improve the answer will be greater then. $\endgroup$
    – 40 votes
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 17:03

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