A mathematical exercise is a routine application of algebra or other mathematics to a stated challenge. Mathematics teachers assign mathematical exercises to develop the skills of their students. Early exercises deal with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of integers. Extensive courses of exercises in school extend such arithmetic to rational numbers. Various approaches to geometry have based exercises on relations of angles, segments, and triangles. The topic of trigonometry gains many of its exercises from the trigonometric identities. In college mathematics exercises often depend on functions of a real variable or application of theorems. The standard exercises of calculus involve finding derivatives and integrals of specified functions.
Usually instructors prepare students with worked examples: the exercise is stated, then a model answer is provided. Often several worked examples are demonstrated before students are prepared to attempt exercises on their own. Some texts, such as those in Schaum's Outlines, focus on worked examples rather than theoretical treatment of a mathematical topic.