I'm in my second year of high school and I chose to follow math studies and based on our first lesson "Logic" I'm starting to question my abilities in doing Maths. I never got any help from any tutor and I'm still keeping my vow to try and do Maths on my own. But this time I'm really stuck in this lesson I don't know what to do ! I want to continue no matter what and I don't want to feel that I'm useless but I'm afraid if my volition isn't enough too.

That's why I thought that maybe this site could be more helpful if I use it just like a tutor in Maths ?


closed as primarily opinion-based by Najib Idrissi, Shailesh, Surb, JMP, Watson Oct 5 '16 at 10:49

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ It is not very clear to me what specifically you want to ask, but at a glance it seems your questions are fairly well received, so your usage seems fine. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 4 '16 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry if it's not clear, all what I'm asking is can I for example ask for help in a lesson if I find it hard to learn by myself $\endgroup$ – Manuela NIEVES Oct 4 '16 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ It is not clear what specifically you mean with "ask for help in a lesson." You should be careful to try to ask a specific question. Linking to a document of several pages length and asking "please explain" will not work. But as long as you manage to ask a self-contained question about the content here it should be fine. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 4 '16 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ Anyway, give it a try, one question at a time and watch the feedback you receive and try to react on it. Generally the site is not shy to push back on content that is not acceptable. To decide in abstract can be hard though. $\endgroup$ – quid Oct 4 '16 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ If you're looking for something like a tutor in Maths, why not hire a tutor in Maths? $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Oct 4 '16 at 22:35
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    $\begingroup$ On first glance, I misread the title here as "Can this site be just as useful as being tortured?" $\endgroup$ – Barry Cipra Oct 5 '16 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ You can always self-study and ask some question on this site. $\endgroup$ – suomynonA Oct 7 '16 at 1:00

In principle, absolutely not. As mentioned in other answers, there really is very little interaction between the OP and the answerers. If you are an OP, you ask a question. It gets answered by somebody. You may or may not understand the entire solution provided. Not only is the answerer not under any obligation to help you further, but (s)he is discouraged from doing so here.

In reality, I have found that there are folks on this site that, for whatever reasons be it too much free time on their hands, overeagerness, desperation for rep score, lack of self-confidence and awareness,..., that are more than happy to provide free tutoring services to those lucky and/or manipulative enough to recognize they are being served by a sucker. So if you see someone who keeps answering your follow-up questions, no matter how little work you are willing to do on your own, congratulations!

(I am still amazed that some of these free service providers have tried to convince me that this is our duty to tutor random, lazy people on this site endlessly! Does time not mean anything to these people? Do they have any dignity?)

So, please, use this site first and see how far you can get on your own. If you continue to be stuck and need to ask a lot of follow-up questions, then you likely need a tutor.


"Tutor" implies heavy back-and-forth interaction with a human being — the sort of thing that the stackexchange network explicitly discourages on the main sites, is not designed to support, and to some extent is actually designed to prevent. (e.g. that's why comment threads don't look like forum posts)

From the tour,

Avoid questions that ... are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

However, the site does include chat rooms. I can't say how useful they are or how they compare to dedicated discussion forums.

However, if you can distill your problems down to self-contained questions or prompts for exposition within sufficiently narrow constraints (or even questions about how to ask questions!)... well, that's what the site is meant for!


I think it all depends on what you want. If you want - someone to introduce you to a topic - someone to review a specific topic - someone to guide your studies then I think a tutor is what you want. In particular a tutor should be someone who can distill a topic and make sure that you catch certain important high points. Many math books can be used for self-study, but they can contain much more information than you necessarily need/want.

This site can help you answer specific questions about in specific topics. The key is that your questions is well defined and not open ended. There are examples of nice larger context questions such as asking for examples of something or applications of something. You can also ask for references and book recommendations, but these should be as specific as possible.

So, in my opinion, what is most useful is dependent on what you want.


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