Let’s face it; Mathematics is a tricky subject. We’ve all spent a lot of time honing our skills, solving many mathematical problems, only for it not to be the right solution.
Sometimes, some people might even wonder why other people seem gifted when it comes to math. Others say that it comes with genetics, while some claim that they develop it through hard work. Either way, it doesn’t change that math is one of the most challenging subjects in school.
This begs the question: how exactly do we improve our mathematical skills? Are there proven and tested ways to improve this skill? And how can we retain the knowledge that we have regarding the subject? Read this article to have all of your questions answered.
1. Attendance is a must.
This first piece of advice might seem a little silly and unnecessary to you, but math is a subject where if you miss just one class, it will be tough for you to follow the subsequent lessons.
Mathematics is a subject that relies heavily on formulas and equations, and if you cannot retain those formulas inside your head, exams will be confusing for you.
According to this article, “Math know-how is cumulative, which means it works much like a stack of building blocks.” Imagine if you were to miss just a single class, it would make the foundation of that “building” really weak.
If you’re serious about improving at math, you would be doing yourself a favor by attending every class and by paying really close attention to the lessons.
2. Ask your teacher for help.
As scary as you think your math teacher might be, they are there to help you grasp the concepts of the subject.
Teachers are just waiting for the students to ask them for help, and that is especially the case when it comes to your math teacher. They do realize that their subject is challenging. Armed with that knowledge, they are also just waiting for someone to ask them for help.
The common reasons why students are afraid of approaching their math teacher are as follows:
- They seem too serious.
- Some math teachers look like they are having a hard time themselves
- Some teachers are too strict
Most of these reasons from this source are just isolated cases. What ruins the good name of math teachers is the stigma that follows them regarding their personalities. Get to know them better, and you might be surprised how much they’re just like you and me.
Do you want to improve your skills in math? What better way to do that than to go straight to the person who is knowledgeable about it?
3. Share the load
So you’ve considered asking your teacher for help but are still afraid of him/her for some reason. You still have another option. You can start a study group with your friends.
The phrase “Share your best practices” didn’t just come out of nowhere; it has a logical basis. Forming a study group with your friends will make the task easier, and you will pick up new knowledge that you didn’t have before.
Math is hard enough as it is if you just tackle it alone. Having friends with you while solving the same problem eases the tension and makes the whole experience fun.
However, do not turn this into a competition. You’re all there for the same reason: to improve at math. Just keep it fun, keep it informative, and before you know it, you’ll be solving problems like Einstein.
4. Always find opportunities to apply math in everyday life.
What do we mean by this? Math is something that can be practical as well since we use it in our daily lives. Did you buy something from the store? Instead of whipping out your phone to open that calculator app, why not just compute the total yourself?
Doing things like computing the total of your purchase or subtracting money spent from the content of your wallet develops the skills needed to condition your mind into improving in math.
Math is a practical subject, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Other people do not see the point in studying this subject because they think it’s unnecessary. What they do not realize is that there is no escaping math. If that is the case, embrace it, and commit yourself fully to it.
5. A subtler approach
So you want to study, but you’re timid when there are a lot of people around, there is still an option for you: tutoring.
Tutoring has become a viable option from your standard classroom setting. It allows for a more personal touch to studying, enabling shy students to learn as well.
Tutoring is also one of the more lucrative lines of business these days. Since you are not only limited to face-to-face tutoring, you can opt to have online tutoring as well.
Here are some of the advantages of tutoring
- Self-paced learning
- Builds the confidence of the individual
- The one-on-one setting ensures the focus of both the tutor and the student
- A more personal touch
There is no reason for you not to improve in math since there are many options to learn.
6. Practice makes perfect
Mathematics is a subject where if you practice diligently, you will reap the rewards later on.
A lot of things take practice to perfect. The human brain itself is designed to improve as you practice different things. The same thing goes with math.
Repetition is the foundation of building a solid base for any skill, and math is a skill. Therefore, repetition is the key to improving in math.
The task is not an easy one, though, so be prepared to spend countless hours improving. But, once again, through diligence and constant practice, you will attain your goal.
7. Back to basics
Mathematics is like a puzzle, where if you don’t have the right pieces, it will never be right. You should always be knowledgeable about the basic principles of math to understand more complex ones.
Making sure that you have the right foundation is one of the keys to improving in math. Much like knowing our ABCs before we can pronounce complete sentences, knowing your 123s and your basic MDAS (Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) is guaranteed to make you solve complex problems in no time.
Brush up on your basic mathematical formula, and have a good mindset towards math, and you’ll see the improvements in no time.
8.Lock it and load it
So you’ve gone through numbers 1 through 7, and you already feel confident about your math skills. Examination day is tomorrow and you still haven’t reviewed anything. You tell yourself, “I’ve been practicing a lot. I’m sure I have retained all of that knowledge!” When you get the results, you’re shocked to see that there are still no improvements in your grades.
Confidence is good, but too much confidence will not help anyone. Allot 3-4 days before the test to extensively review the things and formulas you have learned so far. It’s not enough that you have been practicing a lot. The most important thing is retention.
Most of the things that we study tend to become stale if we do not revisit them. This is the case, especially with math. 3-4 days before the test is the perfect amount of time to remember what we have learned.
Do not give yourself a reason to fail. To improve in math, you need to give it your all. Being ready for the test ensures success in the test itself and cultivates discipline in you.
Mathematics is complicated; that’s a fact. But much like anything hard to do or face in life, when you put a lot of effort into conquering or mastering it, chances are you will end up getting it.
Path Finder Tuition is one of those companies that are there to help you put a lot of effort into your subjects such as math or physics. Ready to unleash your inner mathematician? Give us a visit to our website.
With these things in mind, we hope that you get to conquer your fears and improve your skills in math in no time.