Most students find a subject like Mathematics taxing to the brain, a frustration builder and annoying. It is not surprising that most students hate the subject altogether. The reason to all of these reactions is simply that they find arithmetics quite puzzling and tough. This is a similar case with most students and you are no exception either. But if the subject is difficult then following these simple steps will prove useful to anyone out there harboring a dislike for this particular subject. The key to excelling in a subject like arithmetics is to develop a positive attitude towards it and to enjoy it. I know this sounds hard at first but there is a way and it is through practice, perseverance and patience.
Tip 1. Usage: if you are playing the ignoring game with arithmetics like you sometimes play with people, “stop it, stop it right now !” Because there is noway you are ever going to escape mathematics as it is all around you. Even if you are reading the time or buying snacks like chips or a coke it involves basic mathematical calculations.
Tip 2. Develop a Positive Attitude: first and foremost don’t hate it, as it is going to do you no good. The only thing you will achieve is the frustration building up.Hating a subject like mathematics only makes things harder and no matter how much you ignore it, it will keep following you until and unless you do something about it. Therefore do something about it and don’t waste any more time then you already have. You can start by paying attention to and following what you are reading right now. You need to look at the subject as if you are solving a sudoku puzzle, i.e. you need to learn to like it.
Tip 3. Change your view about Mathematics: students should realize that arithmetics is not a dead subject. Subjects that are mainly theoretical in nature can be learnt via rote learning but for a subject like mathematics rote learning doesn’t help because it is purely based on your understanding of the concepts or simply common sense. Mathematics cannot be learnt by simply memorizing the concepts, therefore it is essential that students understand the concepts first before attempting to solve mathematical problems.
Tip 4. Get your Concepts Right: if you find arithmetics challenging or difficult, it is probably because you haven’t completely understood the concepts. Understanding concepts is important because as you proceed to other topics they become difficult as these topics are built over the previously taught topics. So if your basics are not strong the topics will become more and more difficult as you climb the ladder.
Tip 5. Practice: once you have a clear understanding of the concepts don’t just sit there, you need to practice. The more you practice the better you are going to become at it. When practicing you should refer to solved examples first. If students are referring to solved examples it is absolutely essential that students go through the solved examples and understand them as it is most likely that they will see a familiar pattern that similar sums follow whilst you solve them. Students should also practice challenging sums as this will help you to understand the topic better. Apart form these aspects it is advisable to try to look for alternative ways to solve problems and if possible try and come up with short cuts or easier ways to solve mathematical problems.
Tip 6. Teach: don’t hesitate when you get an opportunity to teach someone. Because this will help you to understand the topic better as you are teaching it to someone. This activity will even highlight the aspects of the topics that you have not fully understood thus you can clarify it with your professor or a friend. This also acts as a repetition of what is learnt thus ensuring that you don’t forget the concept.
Tip 7. Form a group: many students find it worth their while to either join or form a study group because it gives them a platform to resolve and solve different types of arithmetic problems. Usually there will always be someone who finds the concept difficult to understand, so you should try to help them with the understanding of the concept.
Tip 8. Don’t Hesitate: whilst resolving arithmetic problems; you may come across certain sums that are challenging, at times like these it is advisable to seek assistance from your professor, tutor, parent, sibling, friend or classmate. It is preferable to ask your professor because they are usually more than happy to help you because it shows them that you are understanding what is being taught. They generally prefer students to ask questions for the very same reason discussed earlier. Even if you are struggling with a concept, you can always seek help as no one expects you to understand everything by yourself.
Tip 9. Draw a Picture of the Problem: similarly lots of students find it easier to comprehend the word problem by drawing a picture about what the question is asking. Since most of us are visual learners drawing pictures helps us to notice aspects of the problem that weren’t clear due to the question being written in words. It is important for students to realize that the answer to the problem usually lies within the question itself hence reading the question carefully helps in resolving the problem.
Tip 10. Make Notes: when reading word problems it helps to note down all the information that is given to you in the question. Therefore make sure you note down all the possible information that is given. This will assist you in drawing possible solutions. This is probably why our maths teachers insist on jotting down all the information that is given to us from the question. So you might as well use it, if it will help you to understand what the question is asking for.
Tip 11. Don’t Procrastinate: the more you put of the task of improving your numerical ability the more harder and embarrassing the task will get if you wish to rectify it at a later point in time. Therefore, to quote Karen Lamb, “ A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
Tip 12. Multiplication Tables: it may seem trivial but memorizing your multiplication tables right up to 15 and if possible your 20 times tables will be a wise decision as this will reduce the number of calculations that you need to do while you attempt to solve arithmetic problems.
Tip 13. Perseverance: it is important for students to keep trying until they succeed because nothing comes easy and no one has got as far as they have without trying therefore try, try until you succeed.
Tip 14. Patience: Apart form these tips the key element to succeed in all of these tips is none other then patience. For a subject like Mathematics patience is the key ingredient to master it. So practice patience and you will score well.
If students follow these simple tips, solving mathematical problems will no longer be such a challenge and you will definitely be able to enjoy the subject thus you will learn to like the subject. Before I end I would like to quote Jaspher Kantuna, “ Practice as if you are the worst, perform as if you are the best.”