Problem subject math, what to do to improve?
A common problem subject that is shared by many students is math. Of course, there are some who find it totally easy and fun to set up and solve complicated equations, but the majority find this subject a thorn in their side.
Therefore we have asked all our math tutors for their tips on how to improve in math. Here are the best of them:
1. Do your homework
Everyone knows that homework is a chore because when you have already spent 6, 8 or even 10 hours at school, all you really want to do is rest and not have anything to do with school. But especially when it comes to math, homework is a good way to practice and consolidate what you learned at school. It is best to set up a regular time and place so that doing homework becomes routine.
2. Make an effort not to miss classes
The math class progresses quickly and teaches a new concept every day, building on the one from the previous class. That is why is it not advisable to deliberately skip math classes, no matter how tempting it may seem.
3. Find a learning partner
Sometimes an absence cannot be avoided, either you are ill, have an important appointment or other things that cannot be postponed. For exactly such cases it is good to have a learning partner at school who takes notes and passes on homework. This is a good practice for the real world, where building positive relationships is necessary to thrive. In more advanced classes, it is a good idea to form a study group to study together for tests.
4. Build a good relationship with the teacher
High school teachers have up to 175 students, so it is important to distinguish yourself. Introduce yourself during the first week of school and let your teacher know that you are interested in her or his subject. This is best done by actively participating in class, asking questions and answering the teacher’s questions.
5. Analyze and understand every error
Our culture is focused on perfection, and it is tempting to ignore our mistakes, just pass over them or sweep them under the carpet. But it is important to correct mistakes and understand why they were made, otherwise, we are doomed to repeat them. Take time to find out what is behind a mistake and figure out how to get the right answer. Ask the teacher if something is unclear to you. In advanced classes, it can be helpful to write a reflection section on why mistakes were made.
6. Get help quickly
When you realize that something is difficult, you should get as much help as possible quickly. Teachers are usually receptive to requests for additional help. Clear up misunderstandings before they turn into snowballs. Besides school, it is also advisable to think about hiring a tutor. Especially in math, tutoring can work wonders, as tutors focus on the needs of the student in order to support them in the best possible way.
7. Do not swallow your questions
Questions are the vehicle through which we learn. If you have one, ask it, because chances are that many of your classmates have the same one. Asking good questions is an important skill that can help you throughout your life and school is a safe place to practice. The more questions we ask, the easier it will be. A good teacher will respect all questions and answer them to the best of his or her knowledge. If you feel that your teacher is embarrassing you because you have asked a question, talk to your parents and let them tell the administration; this is a serious problem.
8. Basic knowledge is essential
Quick: What is 9 times 7? To be successful, you must be able to answer this question correctly in your sleep. The multiplication tables are the basis for most math problems in secondary schools. If you don’t know them, you need to practice them! Make flashcards, buy a computer program and then it’s practice, practice, practice.
9. Algebra I must be mastered.
Skills in Algebra I, i.e. calculating with unknown variables, are crucial for later mathematics courses. Students must master skills such as solving systems of equations, graphical representation, gradient and simplification of radicals. Students should not be urged to take Algebra I until their teacher says they are ready. And if your Algebra grade is below a 3, you should definitely consider repeating the course. Even in math, most problems consist of one difficult step followed by ten steps of algebra.
10. Understand what the calculator does
It is not enough to know how to use the calculator; you must know what the answer means. You should ask yourself what the calculator does for you and always analyze the answer. For example, if the teacher asks for “the square of -3”, many students will type “-3^2”, which gives the answer “-9”. But the real answer is “(-3)^2”, or 9. Students should play around with their calculators and become familiar with how they work.
These were 10 important tips to improve yourself in math. While it is good to do it all by yourself, it is usually much easier to follow a tailor-made instruction. Good Tutors Finder can be a great help in all of this, as our qualified tutors can tailor to your individual needs. Best of all, the service is available in many cities in Switzerland, including Zurich, Basel, Bern, Zug, Geneva, Lausanne and even online.