In this post, we will try to provide general tips on how to get better at math. If you stick to these elementary rules, you’ll notice improvements very soon.
Skills and Knowledge for a Lifetime
Can you immediately tell the answer to the question like, “What is eight times nines?” Some people may get stuck. One should answer such questions in their sleep. To make the learning process fun and simpler, teachers may come up with flashcards, use different math applications, and practice more. Many adults still do not remember multiplication tables by heart. It reflects the low literacy rates of the nation.
Remaster Algebra 101
If you need to learn how to be good at math, focus on narrower fields of this subject, such as algebra, geometry, and calculus. However, students should not be forced to study those disciplines. They should take each of these courses one-by-one, starting from the easiest part like arithmetic and moving on to calculus. If you manage to study mathematics and all of its branches, you’ll gain and develop the necessary skills:
- Systems of equations
- Simplification of radicals
If the grade per course is lower than C (60%), one should re-take the class. The good idea is to quickly pass a summer course to move on when the fall semester comes.
Build up Relationships with a Tutor
Your teacher is the one who should explain to you how to do better in math. Tutors should not spend more time than they are paid for, but if you manage to establish a great relationship with the mentor, they might find some time for you. On average, a high school instructor has to take care of more than 150 students per day. It is difficult to dedicate enough attention to each of them.
Even if you are not a high achiever in math, show your interest in this subject by introducing yourself from the first day in class, stay active by asking questions, and try to do every homework assignment. You may discuss the drawbacks with your tutor after class. It is their job and duty to help every student to understand math-related topics. To express your interest and convince your teacher that the subject matters to you, pay attention to every single word of your teacher. Ask your parents or other family members to attend Back-to-School nights or contact your teacher via email or phone as it is necessary to show that your entire family cares about your performance.
Recognize and Analyze Each Mistake
Many students skip proofreading and editing stages while working on their assignments. They usually postpone homework to the last minute, and they don’t have sufficient time for revisions. We’re living in a perfection-focused environment, and it’s especially true for academics. Never pass over a mistake – analyze it, trying to memorize to prevent the same error in the future.
A student should spend some time putting down the typical mistakes and evaluating them as most people learn from their mistakes. If the teacher does not explain your grade, ask them to provide you with comments in order to highlight and understand the mistakes, and avoid them in the future. Every tutor should be able to create no less than one paragraph of reflection to interpret common issues. That is how to get better at math in college.
Review the underlying concepts
Your thinking can be shaky. That is when one should dig deeper into the textbooks and observe the lecture notes and materials provided by the teacher. Many How-to-guides and YouTube videos can make things clearer for you. You may have to detect buzzwords from your assignment description to get accurate solutions.
Break down Complex Problems into Smaller Cases
The idea is to define the concepts, highlight keywords, isolate concepts, and practice a lot. For instance, if you have to find the sum of two or more numbers, you should possess the knowledge of summation and fractional exponents. Focus on those two. If you lack understanding of one of them, first, do research to learn more, and then the problem will be clear to you.
So, how to become great at math when solving complex problems? You might want to exclude the fractional exponent and work on the task without it (to get back to this part later). Start with an easy part, leaving the tricky for to the end. While working on the assignment, begin with those parts that deal with simple numbers. Starting with tasks that include small, whole numbers that let you zero in on the concepts and ideas.
Work out Additional Problems
We understand that students might get tired after their classes, having no desire to study more. However, if you dedicate an hour of your weekend time to solving some problems on your own, you’ll see how to get really good at math on your own. Define one or more areas of mathematics that you struggle to understand and find some related assignments in your textbook or on the web. It is enough to solve three similar problems on average to completely understand the topic and stop hesitating. Make sure that you have the answers to compare the results.
For example, when preparing for your geometry class, you suddenly discover that you have difficult times rotating and reflecting shapes around axes. Begin with simple tasks and make the way through to the complicated ones, follow the guidelines, and compare the answers all the time. If you are here to understand how to become better at math, do not give up each time you find out that the expert answers do not match yours. Sit down patiently and detect where you slipped up. Dig deeper into the topic to avoid such gaps in the future, and keep on practicing.
Do Not Skip Classes and Homework Assignments
If you believe that you’re are a great self-learner, you are wrong. With a mentor or expert in your life, you can master any field much faster. Thus, it is critical to attend ALL classes or lectures related to this discipline to realize how to get better at math in your head. Homework is not a choice – it’s a must. It is the best way to try your knowledge and theory in practice and evaluate the results. Also, it is the only effective way for a teacher to rate your performance and grade your works and effort correspondingly. Experts recommend setting up a regular time and location for doing homework. It must become your daily habit.
Do your best not to skip lectures. Tutors only explain new topics in class, so you risk falling behind your peers if you refuse to attend them. Without a mentor, it will be difficult to get to the point and learn the topic on your own. In class, one of the best ways to get better at math is to make friends with someone who is good at it and agree upon the time after school that you can meet and solve problems together. You may team up to get ready for the tests.
Now you understand how to get better at math. These rules work for most of the high school classes and college courses — apply them anywhere!