Many students cringe at the mention of ‘math.’ This is rather unfortunate, bearing in mind how important math is in many aspects of life.
Today, most institutions of higher learning will have one or more foundational math courses as pre-requisite courses for all disciplines. This aside, you need and use math in your everyday life, from budgeting to shopping and so on.
It is therefore prudent to shed any misconceptions and misgivings you might have about math and give yourself the best opportunity to perform well at it.
If you are unsure about how to go about this, here are tips and tricks from top math students to help you get on track.
1. Have the Right Mindset
The attitude you have towards something determines how you handle it and impacts the outcomes. This is true for math. Unfortunately, the most common misconception around the subject is that it’s difficult to handle.
Much too often, students begin their math classes with this mentality and almost giving up on it long before their cases start. You will be greatly disadvantaging yourself if you go about it in this way.
Like any other course, math will have some easy to grasp and challenging topics to handle. Either way, numerous students get through their math courses and perform superbly. This could be you as well.
It will require hard work, commitment, and dedication, but a good math grade is well within reach.
2. Take Charge
The best way to learn anything is by being an engaged, active participant. This is important when learning math.
Be keen on your progress and knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Then, in class, ensure to ask questions and seek clarifications when you get stuck.
Do this in your study groups as well to ensure you do not fall behind. Finally, if you need help with your homework, visit this website for more specialized help.
Taking Charge ensures you are in Charge of your learning at all times. Unfortunately, class size can make it difficult for course facilitators to track each student’s progress.
As a result, you can fall behind. On the other hand, if you steer your learning, you can better flag budding issues and take corrective measures before they get out of hand.
3. Learn Systematically
This seemingly simple tip is essential in math and other math-related courses like accounting and statistics.
The syllabus will always begin with simple, foundational knowledge, which builds up gradually to more complex topics. If you are to study math effectively, you need to follow this sequence.
Move chapter after chapter, ensuring you have internalized and understood a topic or a concept before moving on to the next. This will ensure you have the foundational knowledge to build upon.
Skipping topics in between can be confusing and can make the topics and chapters ahead that much harder to master. Think of it as a ladder; climbing a ladder with some steps missing makes the whole experience much harder than if you had all steps possible.
4. Practice, Practice, and then Practice Some More
Everything you learn in a math class is geared towards helping you solve related math problems.
One way to track progress is by testing your knowledge by solving as many problems as possible. Ideally, you should be able to complete a problem from start to finish without looking at your notes and formulas. Anytime you are unable to do this, this should signal that you need to work on a topic a bit more until you gain proficiency.
Again, begin with the simplest problems and work your way towards more complex problems.
Get a workbook that provides answers so that you can check your answers and gauge your understanding.
5. Find Different Ways To Study
Watching a teacher solve problems on the board can get boring, and you might find yourself losing concentration.
What you can do is find different ways to study so that you remain engaged and learn better. The internet is one place to look. Here you can find Vlogs that explain math concepts in a fun manner. There are also online games that test your math knowledge and award points based on your proficiency.
These are some ways you can augment your math lectures to help you absorb more.
Group study is also an essential part of this.
At times, individual study sessions can get monotonous. You might also find yourself stuck if you are unsure of how to solve problems.
Study groups are great for accountability and for bringing a healthy mix of knowledge. Explaining concepts and teaching group members to solve problems also helps you internalize concepts better.
6. Know Where You Study Best
For the longest time, it was believed that people only study optimally when doing it at a quiet spot.
While this is true for some students, it’s not universally true.
Some students are known to study best with background noise, others when pacing, and so on.
What matters most is that you determine the best way to study and study in that way. However, math takes a bit more concentration and brainpower, so it’s best to schedule your math study during times of day when you feel energized and fresh.
7. Understand the Principle
Math is applied to solving real-life problems.
Therefore, the best way to study is by understanding the underlying principle and the applications in real life. Once you understand this, you are learning at a deeper level of understanding. This means you can internalize what you are learning much better than you would if you did not take this approach.
Learning in this way also prevents memorization. While this might work in some instances, memorization stores information in short-term memory. This means you are only regurgitating what you have crammed instead of working from the point of knowledge. This can disadvantage you in exams and later on once you begin your career life as well.