Just like in math, effectively studying and excelling at the subject requires a steadfast formula, putting time, patience and consistency into the equation. As it’s a language in itself with its own formulas, symbols and vocabulary, one can’t simply skip over a concept and expect to be fluent in the next one.
Luckily, there are five study habits that guarantee a steadfast journey to math excellence:
Effectively studying math starts in the classroom. It’s not enough to sit there and listen to the teacher – even if they regularly put up their lecture slides online. The teacher will explain the slides but won’t have written their remarks on the presentation itself. If you hear the teacher say something that helps you better understand the materials covered, then writing it down during class is an excellent way to build upon your math knowledge. Look for key phrases or signs to develop this study habit like:
Distractions hinder the learning process, as you’ll just get tempted to procrastinate instead. Acquire the good study habit of getting rid of distractions when studying, like putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and staying away from screens that aren’t relevant to your learning.
However, you don’t need to be studying for hours on end – it’s good to give you and your brain a break every so often. Repeating this study habit will help make studying more natural and easy to do, giving you a comfortable yet impactful learning experience.
One of the best ways to do well in school is by studying ahead and after your math class to reinforce the knowledge learned. To start, eliminate these bad study habits:
Think of math as a muscle and homework as an exercise machine – the more consistent you are in doing it, the stronger your math skills will be. However, homework isn’t only about getting the right answers and completing it on time – it’s about how you got the right answers. This is why you may lose marks on your homework and tests if you don’t clearly show your thought process and work towards the right answer.
Showing the steps towards the answer helps you identify and review any errors you’ve made. When you fully understand where you went wrong, you’ll be able to steer clear of similar mistakes later on.
After studying the notes and completing homework by yourself, solidify your understanding of what you’ve learned through teaching it to someone else. This method is an incredible study habit for memorization, as studies have shown that ninety percent of information is retained when one teaches others the concept learned. If you feel uncomfortable teaching someone, you can apply the math concept to a real-world problem instead, like the example below:
Example: Alexa spends $200 for groceries, $80 on phone and internet, $650 for rent and $100 for her monthly bus pass for a total of $1,030 each month for her essentials. She spends $100 for eating out, $80 for clothes and $60 for the cinemas, totaling at $240 for her “wants”. With her monthly income being $2000, how much money can she save?
When put in such perspective, the importance of math in everyday life is emphasized, helping you not only understand the concept but reinforce your motivation to better your math skills.
Math is often undermined by students who believe that it just isn’t for them or that it’s just too hard. However, with the right study habits and focus on genuine understanding, math will get easier to study and enjoy – putting you on that path to math mastery. For more educational tips and tricks, sign up for our newsletter through the Contact Us page or follow us on social media!
Citations:A Guide for Studying Math – educationcorner.comHow to Study Maths: 7 Tips for Solving Maths Problems – goconqr.comStudying 101: Study Smarter Not Harder – learningcenter.unc.eduThe 50/50 Rule (How to Retain And Remember 90% of Everything You Learn) – medium.comHow to Study Mathematics Effectively – studyinternational.comA Mind for Numbers: How to Excel in Math and Science (Even if You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley, Penguin, July, 2014.
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