How to improve your math skills?

October 04, 2019

Love it or hate it, mathematics is a subject you can’t ignore it in your school or college level. Our education system has placed a pronounced emphasis on Science, Technology, English, Arts, and MathematicsSTEAM Education” in the curriculum. Besides academics, most technical jobs require application of math skills to solve problems.  That’s why students must improve math skills along with other academic subjects in order to achieve academic excellence.

You don’t have to be Sheldon from Big Bang Theory to improve your math grades. Even if you don’t enjoy math  in school or think you cannot be good at math, the good news is with our easy tips and tricks, you can level up your math skills. Thankfully, there are several effective ways to boost math skills, become good at it and earn better grades. Keep on reading this blog if you really want to improve your math skills.

Have a positive attitude

Albert Einstein Quote

Many students develop this idea that “I am not good at math” or  think that they are not inherently gifted in mathematics.

Eventually, their own belief holds them back from practising math, and in the long run, it limits their ability to learn more and develop additional math skills. You may be a person who hate math or bewildered by your math curriculum in your school. But it’s important to have a positive attitude about your own ability that you can develop strong math skills.

We know that just like you learn to read and write in your preschool, you can learn math skills. You need to stay positive, confident and believe that you can be really good at math, with some hard work and practice. Instead of saying, “This is something I’m not good at”, you should be willing to  try math problems and practice regularly. Eventually, if you keep a positive attitude and work on it, you will be able to learn and improve math skills.

Stay organised for learning math skills

Here are some tips for you to stay organised for learning math skills.

  • Make sure you attend every math class. Also, ensure that you are prioritising enough time for your school homework and other activities such as sports, friends, and extracurricular activities
  • To boost your math skills, make notes on each chapter. Also, include working note on the right side of your notebook to remind yourself about the concept and process of solving difficult math problems. 
  • Identify what you want to learn and be good at. Then, set a realistic short term and long term goals for upgrading your math skills. 
  • Be responsible for your learning. To stay organised, you can use homework diary, or notebook to record your school assignments and upcoming test.

Practice, practice, practice

To borrow from Keith Devlin, the author of “Mathematics Education for a New Era”,- “Mathematics is an activity. It’s not the stuff you know, it’s the things you DO (and can do). Natural selection equipped us supremely well to learn actions by actually doing them. In fact, any other way is hopelessly inefficient. Eg. Try learning to ride a bike by sitting in a lecture or reading a book – or even watching a video! It doesn’t work.” Therefore, you need to practice, practice and practice!

There is no shortcut, you can only become proficient at mathematics by practicing it. Set a study time for practicing math on a regular basis. Moreover, to improve your math skills, you need to spend at least 30-60 minutes each day practicing math questions.

When you are practicing math problems, try to explain yourself how you solved the problem. Furthermore, you can write a summary on what you have learned before and after solving the math problem. This practice of self explaining helps you retain the process in your long term memory. 

Master the topic you don’t understand before you move on to the next topic

This sounds simple, but you need to understand this- the school level math exercises are built on the specific sequences, from a beginners level to an advanced level. In other words, improving your math skills is like becoming good at Fifa, initially, you start at the beginner mode, as you progress further, you learn new skills, strategies and beginner mode will become too easy for you. So you move to  ‘amateur’ mode, and so on to ‘semi pro’, then to ‘professional’, to ‘world class’ and finally the toughest of all, ‘legendary’. Just like fifa you need to acquire skills gradually to progress on the next advanced level. 

but as you gradually progress, it can be a tricky.

Similarly, when doing maths, you need to understand the easy topic first before you start tackling the next complex problems. 

Many students are more likely to give up or go on to the next topic, however, if you are having problems with initial topic, you must continue working on it, before you move on to the next topic. On the other hand, if you find yourself struggling a lot with your math problems, you can get help from your teachers, friends or make use of your school learning resources. For instance, online education websites such as Khan Academy is a great place to start to level up your math skills.

Work on example problems with every lesson

One effective way to improve math skills is “learn by example”, you can begin working on example problems of your textbook, check your answers with every illustration and eventually move on to the next section. Note that you can start with easier problems and gradually work on complex problems.

Consider you are doing arithmetic problems, as you read the questions in a sentence form, you are more likely to map out a path to answer in your head without writing it down. Instead of figuring out the answers at first, begin with reading out the question loud and try to understand the question at first. This gives you some idea, and try to break down the question into parts. You can look back to similar questions in your textbook, notebook and see the examples to get yourself familiar with the explanation. Even if you are not able to solve the problem correctly, you can look at the approach you have used and learn from it.

If possible, start with drawing a picture based on the question description. Human beings learn anything faster visually, and drawing a picture helps you internalise and figure out the solution.

Try explaining the topic to someone as best as you can

To quote Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” The best way to improve your math skills is to teach someone else. When you explain the topic to someone else as best as you can, not only you will have a better understanding of the subject matter, but also you will learn twice. Next time, when you are doing group study with your friends, if someone is struggling with math problems, do not hesitate to help your friend.

Most importantly, just like learning any new skills, you can learn math skills. If possible, try to think about how you can apply math to real world problems that will be beneficial for improving your critical thinking skills too. At Samriddhi School, our teaching method is focused not only to improving grades but also, we emphasize study smart techniques that really work for our students learning style. Our learning resources and facilities create a unique learning environment beyond the traditional classroom that aims towards exploring the full potential of our students. For more information about our school in Kathmandu, please visit our website or Contact us– 014390590/ 4383777.

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