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I wouldn't be surprised if this held true for particular subjects that are generally thought of as "hard" as well. My favorite is mathematics.

A new favorite quotation of mine about mathematics learning:

"Mathematics must be written into the mind, not read into it. 'No head for mathematics' nearly always means 'Will not use a pencil.'" Arthur Latham Baker, Elements of Solid Geometry (1894), page ix.

Hat tip to the Bay Area Math Circle for the quotation reference.

As I have commented before here, mathematics is a skill and needs practice. If you don't work examples and problems you won't learn math, at best you will learn about math. I taught myself first-year calculus twenty years ago, but didn't keep up with it. I have recently started reviewing it, and because I sat down and worked things through, it is actually coming back pretty easily (more so than I expected at least).

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