Mathematics is a subject that has been detested by students for a long time now. A roommate of mine testified to the fact that right from primary school, she had developed hatred for the subject. There are a lot of factors contributing to this hatred for Mathematics. Amongst those factors are lack of motivating teachers. Most Mathematics teachers have always been known to be too serious. Having a sense of humour is most times a thing of lack in Mathematics teachers. Another factor contributing to the dislike for Mathematics by students is bad foundation. It is very mandatory for students to have the knowledge and full understanding of the subject before getting to secondary school/college if they will have a good grip of the subject later in subsequent classes. Another factor contributing to these is that most students do not show interest in it. Some students actually like the subject but because they do not know it, they lose interest in trying to know it. The sad part of the story is that Mathematics is inevitable in life. One time or the other uneducated people would have applied it in their day to day activities and they still keep applying it; not to talk of you been a student and come to talk of it; a Maths student. These are ten steps that can improve your math skills:
1. The thought of Mathematics being a difficult subject should be erased from memory. Having the belief that the subject can be understood will make things easier. Everybody has the tendency to or capacity to assimilate calculation concepts if they put their mind to it. Be determined. Know that you can know it.
2. When about to work out Mathematics, do it in an environment conducive enough for you to focus. Mathematics for students is a subject whereby if you do not focus, going forward in the calculations may not be easy as it will require your thinking. Only Maths experts can solve in any environment.
3. Solve out your workings step by step. A step-by-step approach to Mathematics avoids complications. Do not rush to arrive at your answer. Going the normal way saves your time instead of looking for impossible shortcuts. Of course, there are Maths shortcuts to get answers but they are reasonable. Because of laziness, students try impossible shortcuts which lead to cumbersome Maths.
4.Avoid the frequent usage of calculator . students have been so addicted to calculator usage such that even small mathematical operations become difficult if there is no calculator. Trigonometric functions; statistical calculations like the standard deviation, variance, correlation and regression. Those and some others are inevitable without calculator . you can’t do them off-hand.
5. Before embarking on a journey, you know all the paths and road map. You should likewise study, understand and digest any Mathematical problem before attempting to solve. Misunderstanding and misconception may lead to the wrong path in your workings. You quickly tend to give up when you notice nothing is coming out of your workings; this should be strictly avoided.
6. Apply the principle of perseverance when solving Mathematical problems. Students who tend to give up easily may not go far in a mathematical problem that wants to prove difficult. Students with the phlegmatic temperament, procrastinate and postpone difficult Maths questions. Students like this will have to work on that negative side of their temperament to make Mathematics easy.
7. Try to know all the methods used by the teacher in a Maths topic. An example is the Maths topic `quadratic equations’. There are about four methods used with which you can use to solve this topic. These are completing the square method, completing the square method, quadratic formula method and factorisation method. Knowing all these methods will aid your understanding ability of the topic. If in case a question is being treated and you notice a method is not working out, you can easily switch to other methods.
8.Try as much as possible questions after a topic has been treated in class. Mathematics teachers always give out assignments. Make sure they are done promptly. Expose those you don’t know or understand to people who know better or better still your teachers. Dedicate yourself to personal homework. Solve all questions you come across under a particular topic before the teacher introduces you to another topic. Carry over work will not help in Mathematics. Piling of Mathematical questions will also not help because as your exams draw near, panic sets in.
9.Have a separate note for Mathematics formula especially on statistical problems. These are notes you can easily refer to when need arises. Important points to note should be written In the note. A very good example is the topic `Longitude and latitude’. There are a lot of things to know before you can effectively solve Maths problems pertaining to it. You have to know what a longitude is; what a latitude is; their differences; small and great circles; what meridians and parallels of latitudes are; the radius of the earth just to mention a few. All these should be taken down in a separate jotting note apart from your class note.
10.Do not guess Mathematics answers from the questions. Work it out. It helps a lot. There are some things you presume to know which when working out you find out you are stocked somewhere along the line.
In conclusion, do not relent; work Maths. You can know it if only you want to because it is one of the simplest subjects. Continue working it out.