For many students, math classes seem like a whirlwind of numbers, symbols, and operations that constantly elude their grasp. And I can understand why. More than any other subject, math requires cumulative learning and once you fall behind or don’t understand a certain concept, confidence and comprehension can fall apart fast. I’ve outlined 4 tips that will help you improve how you study and feel about math.
Do lots and lots and lots of math problems
When learning new skills, your brain requires spaced repetition to make the needed brain cell connections for learning to occur. In math, this means practicing the types of problems that you will be tested on over and over and over.
Solve easier problems first
The difficulty with the first tip is that you can’t practice the types of math problems you will be tested on if you don’t understand the underlying concepts that make up the bigger problem. This goes back to the cumulative nature of math concepts. The key here is to break down the complicated equation into the smaller concepts and make sure you understand those first. Practice those concepts over and over until you have them mastered.
Don’t trick yourself
If you take good notes or use websites like Symbolab.com which detail out step-by-step solutions to different math problems, you could be tricking your brain into thinking you understand if you are just passively reading over the steps. True math mastery comes from being able to solve a problem without referring to notes or solution manuals. This means you have to understand why and how you do each step of a math problem and have to be constantly challenging and pushing your brain to figure out what it really knows. Good notes and solution manuals can be used after you have pushed your brain to the limit.
Believe in yourself
A core belief at Universal Achievement is that you have the power to change and influence how your brain works. Math is no different. Math was a human discovery and is not reserved to be understood by only a few “geniuses.” Starting with the smaller concepts and working your way up will lead to improved confidence that will continue to build on itself and change how you feel about math. It will no longer be something to be afraid of, but just another problem that you know you will be able to figure out through patience and practice.
If you or someone you know needs help with math or any other subjects, please visit www.uatutoring.com to see how we can help with your educational goals.