For a student, what is the optimal usage of a solution manual?
- Never use the solution manual before trying everything else; talk to friends, visit the professor, go to class and listen (!), check the internet. Once you use the solution manual for a problem, the potential gain from that problem is significantly and irrecoverably reduced.
- Use the solution manual to check your work. (Duh.)
- For problems you aren't planning on solving, you can use the solutions manual to create flashcards and other learning aides (if the course material is anemable to such a construct).
- If you have a friend/roommate/spouse/trained monkey who can compare your answers to the manual for you, such that you don't actually read through the manual, that may be useful for certain topics.
- You can make some good money selling it when the semester is over 🙂