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Master the 'monster mathematics' with these easy steps

Sep 7, 2017 16:03 IST
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Master the 'monster mathematics' with these easy steps
Master the 'monster mathematics' with these easy steps


Mathematics has long been considered to be a nightmare for many a students. So much so, that there is actually a thing known as 'maths anxiety' which means the uneasiness and nervousness you feel when someone asks you to solve a maths problem, forcing you to make mistakes.

Most university courses have mathematics as part of their curriculum at some or the other level.
Whereas, almost every profession uses maths in some form on a daily basis. The problem many students have is that they don’t know how to study maths to get good results. You may be practicing mathematics for hours without any fruitful result.

But practice is the key when it comes to a subject like this. That's the great thing about math - you can do math. You can't simply 'do history'.

Let us look at some steps which will make the maths classes and exams less dreadful for you.

Practice makes perfect

As mentioned before, practice is something which will  sail your boat when it comes to mathematics. This is not a subject you can learn merely by reading or writing. The more you practice answering maths problems, the better. Before sitting for an exam, it would be advisable to solve as many problems as you can in as many ways as you can so that you know the usage of all formulae. Practice   is an inevitable aspect of getting good at mathematics. It is often useful to understand how a formula is derived rather than just memorizing it. Things will make more sense, and it is often easier to remember just a few simple formulas and how to derive more complicated ones from them.

Review Errors

Practicing without reviewing your mistakes and correcting them can make the entire process inconsequential. It’s important to work through the process for each solution and if you have made any mistakes, you should review them and understand where your problem-solving skills let you down. Also important is to start studying early so that you do not panic towards the end. Do not wait till the last minute. As for the day before the exam, do not be stressed and just relax. Clear your mind when you sleep and you will definitely do well.

Do your homework smartly

Try to find other problems that are similar to those that were assigned for homework. Take this opportunity to finish off an entire page if the assigned homework was a portion of that.  Find or download workbooks in the area and level of math you're revising. Try the questions as doing this will give you extra knowledge, and you may face that problem next day. Ask your teacher if your math book has an online website. Sometimes online textbooks can help by providing quizzes and additional instructional material.

Manage time

Get to know the format of your exam so that you can manage your time accordingly. If you only have 40 minutes for a 100-point test, then you can optimally spend 4 minutes on each 10-point question. Then plan to attack the easier questions first, leaving yourself enough time to spend on the more challenging ones. Go through the previous year question papers to get a better understanding of how the exam will look like.

Choose your stationary wisely

Don't underestimate the effect stationary can have on your maths practice sessions. Try to use a pencil instead of pen while practicing maths because you will definitely make mistakes in the process and when you do, you will want to completely erase your mistake and write over it. This will lead to a paper that is hard to read, and the scratch-outs will actually increase your anxiety about solving these problems. Pencils have cleaner lines and the separate eraser allows you to erase more cleanly. If you make a mistake, you can start over again, hence reducing the build-up of tension around it.

Take it one step at a time

Avoid solving the entire problem in your head before starting with it. By doing so, you will inevitably be stuck to one process or way of doing things which will hinder your while exploring other options. Begin to solve the problem one step at a time. Write down even the simple things. For exaple, if you are solving an equation and you subtract '10' from both sides, write that down. Then in the next step actually do that subtraction. Repeat the process for all other steps. This gives you a paper trail to check your work and also it allows you to break the problem down in to bite sized chunks.

Ask someone to give you problems to work out

Get them to draw out similar examples from your textbook or ideas from online sources and reveal the answers to you if you're finished or seriously stuck on them. Don't try to create your own study sheet since you're not challenging yourself enough.

Lastly, enjoy practicing maths as this is the only thing which will keep you motivated. No matter how hard you try, you are going to fail in your efforts if they are not backed by considerable inspiration. We hope that this article was beneficial for you.

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