Math is one subject that many find to be difficult or tedious. However, I believe you can be good at math with the right mindset, practice, and effort. But how do you go about it?
The best way to be good at maths is to practice regularly and to ask questions if you are confused. Furthermore, it is essential that you are determined to be better.
So, if you want to know why you struggle with math, some simple hacks or tricks on how to be good at it, and how to prepare for any incoming math test or exam, then read on.
Why do you struggle with math?
Most people believe you are either talented in math or not. Others believe they are dull for not knowing it at all. However, studies have shown that no one is dull or incapable of learning maths.
There are a number of reasons why you find yourself struggling with math. They include;
1. Lack of concentration
If you are solving math, you must focus on the tasks. This is because you make mistakes when distracted, which may affect the answer.
Over time, making these same mistakes on regular bases lowers your interest in learning further.
2. Lack of understanding
Many math classes start with a teacher giving an example to the class, followed by a method to solve it. Most people simply adapt to the teacher’s technique without further understanding.
When they encounter a more complex equation, they try the same technique they know.
However, this problem can be solved using a notably different technique they have no prior understanding.
It can be quite demoralizing to think you understand how something works than to see something more complex.
SEE: Find out if math is a good major
3. Having math anxiety
Math anxiety is a phobia that takes hold of you when encountering complex math problems. This phobia may come with physical symptoms, such as nausea and shaking.
You mostly have this fear when you have an assignment due or when you have a math test coming up.
4. Lack of patience
Although it is quite natural to spend more time with math exams than other subjects. This is because math involves multi-step processing that many find tiring, and this mentality plays a huge row in the struggle to understand math.
SEE: Discover Profitable Careers in Applied Mathematics
How to get better at math?
There are a number of tricks or steps that can help you or your child to be better at math. They include;
1. Understand a topic before moving to another
Much like English, mathematics follows a prescribed calendar that requires understanding to progress. Just like it would be hard for one to read and write fluently without prior knowledge of the alphabet.
Spend time understanding a topic; go to tutorials or watch YouTube videos until you can comprehend it fully. If you cannot comprehend better, feel free to seek a math teacher’s guidance.
2. Master the basic skills
Understanding basic mathematical skills is a crucial step to being good or better. These basic skills include; addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.
Furthermore, you can try more advanced ones like fractions and decimals.
3. Have a regular practice
The adage says, “practice makes perfect or better.” The more you practice, the easier it becomes to tackle different math problems.
Register for online classes, or you can get more help by talking with the teacher about it.
Establish a routine for yourself to solve problems and master the concepts. That way, you’ll have more confidence when encountering similar problems.
4. Understand the problem
You do not dive into a river without knowing how deep it is. Take time to read the question, know what you are asked, its difference, simplification, addition, subtraction, etc.
After understanding the problem, devise a plan, execute that plan and check again for mistakes.
5. Try practicing mental math
Mental math is not a complex thing, it is just regular math that is solved without a calculator, pen, or paper. This way, your brain power is boosted, and you better understand maths concepts.
For example, you can calculate how much a waiter would get if 10 people tipped him $5 each. This calculation can be done without using a calculator, pen, or paper and helps boost your brain speed.
6. Don’t memorize a solution
This is a mistake many people make. Do not memorize a process, instead, try to understand each step. Do not move to a more complex aspect if you still struggle with the basics.
You will be good at math if you understand the “why” behind every solution and not just the “how.”
7. Learn to celebrate your mistakes
Think of it this way, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you’ll keep making that same mistake. If you figure out where you’ve been mistaking, celebrate the mistake with a positive mindset, it shows you’re improving.
SEE: Why Does Nursing Require Math?
How do you prepare for an incoming math exam?
If you have an aptitude test, exam, or even an interview coming up, you can use this guide to aid your study.
1. Study days before the exam
Do not let cramming a night before the big day become a habit for you, it is bad practice. Instead, try setting aside 60 minutes daily to brush up on your math skills.
Spend 40 minutes accessing your notes and understanding how each equation works. Afterward, use the remaining 20 minutes to do a quick self-assessment of what you studied.
SEE: How Long Should You Study?
2. Study in groups if need be
To get better, it would help if you had colleagues to work with. Try puzzling each other about questions that perplex you. Also, you can try practicing past exam questions.
3. Always get a good night’s rest before the big day
You do not want to go into the test hall feeling tired and stressed, it causes math anxiety. To avoid this, ensure you get a good night’s sleep to be more relaxed and focused when the exams start.
SEE: What To Do with a Math Degree
How can you make math fun for your kids?
The best ways to make math fun for kids are; trying out puzzles, quizzes, or game-based maths learning tools online.
Can you be good at math overnight?
No, you can’t. It takes time to build a fortress; spend time practicing more, and you will get there soon.
Why is math difficult for you?
It is probably difficult because you find it hard to concentrate or have math anxiety. Try being more focused and relaxed, and practice more.
Do people inherit mathematical abilities?
No, they don’t. Mathematical abilities are not inherent, you can become proficient also if you put in the appropriate effort.
How can you understand math easily?
Simply take time to break each problem, know what the question is asking, make a plan then execute the solution.
Conclusion: How to be good at math
The best way to be good at math is to practice regularly, stay focused, and ask an experienced teacher for further clarity. You can also follow the tips and guidelines mentioned in this article to get positive results.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, you should also see how to make money as an accountant with your math skills.
Thanks for reading.