Want to know how to get better at math while spending less time studying? The truth is, anyone can be successful in math. They just need the right strategies that suit them.
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In this article:
How to Get Better at Math in 7 Easy Steps
Comprehend the Underlying Logic
Most of the time, we think about how getting better at math is just memorizing concepts and formulas. However, a far more productive approach than memorization is understanding the logic behind the problems.
Math theories may seem complicated: the Pythagorean Theorem, the quadratic equation’s effect on a logical level, etc. Get yourself a pencil and a piece of paper and try to figure them out. The numbers and theories don’t pose many challenges, but your shaky understanding of the concepts does.
Understand in-depth how and why an equation works, then it will be easier to memorize it and visualize the solutions in a pinch.
Break Down the Problems Step by Step
Math is sequential, but the urge to quickly discovering the answer often haunts us.
Thinking ahead actually slows down the process. Instead of pre-planning the whole process in figuring out the answer, first, identify the concepts, segment the problem into smaller and simpler ones, and handle them one at a time.
If you need to add, concentrate on adding. If you need to divide, keep your focus on dividing.
Complete the problem and reflect on all the steps that have brought you to the finish line. You will be amazed to see how the answer unfolds, step by step.
“If you can’t solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.” — George Pólya, How to Solve It (1945)
Working on things step by step doesn’t just answer the question “How to get better at math?” but also a good mindset that works in real-life situations.
Review Incorrect Answers
To err is human. Yet, to err is … mathematician, too. Even a professional maths guy can make mistakes, so it’s never a bad idea not to review your incorrect answers.
Examine the whole process and identify where your wrong turns were along the way. Go back to these steps and work through them again.
The ultimate goal is not to just find the answer (you can just look it up in the answer section anyway), but to consolidate your knowledge (maybe with some help from the Feynman technique) and remind yourself of common mistakes.
Again, if things are organized in sequential order, it will be way easier to retrieve the concepts and figure out where you slipped up. Dear beloved “mathematicians,” stop wondering how to get better at math! Be systematic and careful!
Practice Makes Perfect
People are often busy finding tips and tricks to get better results in math without remembering this important notion: practice makes perfect!
Exercises are great alternatives to real tests as you won’t get so stressed out as with real ones. Training at home will also help you to narrow the gaps in your knowledge if any.
Check your level with books or online tests. There are great websites that offer different levels, topics, and concepts, including quizzes and Algebra and Geometry tests.
How to get better at math? Do your homework! Do more tests! There’s no shortcut.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask Out for Help
If you’ve tried all the possible options and still feel stuck, ask your professor or teacher for help. Most of the time, the real “x” lies, not on the paper, but within the wrong mindset. Teachers will trace the problems of the mental representations you were using to find the answer.
A good math teacher will offer advice on thinking more effectively or reframing the concepts, if necessary. Slightly different word choices can provide different viewpoints on a tricky concept, making it easily click into place.
If you can’t meet your teachers because of social distancing, there are lots of YouTube videos, online articles, infographics, etc. to resort to. Nowadays, more and more students turn to these online resources because of their accessibility and promptitude.
In maths, do not hesitate to ask out for help.
Online Tools to Help
If your teacher and (online) textbooks still can’t help to get solutions to your problem, consider these online tools:
These useful tools can help you from specific problems in the textbook your math class uses for any math problems by offering detailed step-by-step instructions (free or paid).
Regardless of what you pick, try to solve the problems yourself first and make good use of these tools to benefit your studying.
Enjoy Your Equations
Don’t limit yourself by believing that only gifted individuals have the ability to be good at math. Learning math can be enjoyable. Take your time to study. Your effort will surely pay off.
“I don’t believe in the idea that there are a few peculiar people capable of understanding math, and the rest of the world is normal. Math is a human discovery, and it’s no more complicated than humans can understand.” – Richard Feynman.
How to get better at math? Enjoy solving your problems!