Maths is a subject about which one is seldom neutral. Either you love it, or you hate it. The problem is that even if you love it, there’s often a chapter or two which stumps you!
Well, love it or hate it, math is a very important subject, and something worth being skilful at. Let’s see some tips on how to study maths.
- Practise a lot.
Maths is one of those subjects where it is not enough to have simply understood the concept. Application of the concept and solving questions is where the marks lie! It is therefore most important that you solve lots and lots of questions of various types. Your speed of calculating becomes faster, you make fewer silly mistakes and your confidence increases as well.
- Figure out the ‘types’ of questions.
It is often seen that questions can be asked on a certain concept in a few different ways. But once you are familiar with the types of questions, it becomes very clear that a certain type of question is tackled by using a certain method, so you do not stare at the question blankly, wondering how to tackle it!
- Explain the question to yourself by rephrasing it.
Many times there are paragraph type questions, where it is difficult to understand what the question is asking of us in the first place. If you rephrase the question, or even better, translate it into your mother tongue, the question becomes much clearer, and thus easier to solve.
- Visualize the theorem.
What comes to mind when you think of the Pythagoras Theorem? It is most definitely a right angled triangle which you ‘see’ in front of you. And from this mental picture of the right angled triangle, you can easily construct the statement of the theorem. Hence, instead of memorizing theorems, try visualizing what the theorem is all about. That makes it much easier to remember and apply.
- Review your errors.
When you get a question wrong, just take a moment to see where you made the mistake. Was it a calculation error? Did you make a mistake when you skipped a step? Or was the formula itself written wrong? Only when you know the problem can you fix it.
- Revisit basics.
Many times the reason why someone fears maths is that there are some concepts which were covered in lower classes that one hasn’t fully grasped. It is not unusual for students to be a wee bit confused about concepts like fractions, exponents, logarithms or trigonometry. It helps tremendously to go through those basics once more. The stronger your foundation, the more accurate and confident you get.