Math is a subject many students all over the world struggle with. This is often due to misconceptions about and wrong attitudes towards the subject. Can you change this trend for yourself? Sure you can!
Here are 6 tips to make math a fun subject for you:
1. Kill the anxiety:
Math anxiety seems to be a general fear of the subject, not just restricted to math tests. Research shows no clear indication that poor math performance is responsible for math anxiety1. In other words, though your math anxiety is shared by many (so many that experts have conducted several studies on this phobia), it does not mean that you are not capable of performing well in the subject. However, this anxiety could be what is preventing you from performing well in Math. Cognitive performance2 is affected by fear and stress related to the subject. Hence, this fear is not just unpleasant; it is preventing you from excelling in the subject! Use positive thinking and relaxation methods before your Math class or test.
2. Go prepared:
I don’t just mean studying what had been done the day before: read the next chapter… before it is started in class. This gives you an advantage during class: you will find yourself less confused and more attentive than before. You will be more alert and receptive during math classes, especially when the teacher explains how to tackle difficult problems you had already encountered while studying on your own.
3. Practice, practice, practice:
You may be confident about some chapters and think of skipping the practice part. However, it is important that you practice a few problems even when you find the topic simple. In math it is not enough to understand and memorize the concepts, rules and formulae. To become thorough in the concepts you have studied in math you have to apply them by working on problems.
4. When in doubt…go back:
On second thought, don’t wait till you have to go back…Math is a cumulative subject. You just can’t afford to allow yourself to stay with doubts from the previous lessons or worse, from the last academic year. Make sure you understand every concept and problem in every unit of your textbook. This will give you the strong foundation that you need to deal with the complex problems that you will face in high school math.
5. Stop believing that you don’t have math skills:
It’s a myth that there are people with good math genes. The truth is practice makes you an expert in math. Make sure you work on Math problems every day. Do not depend on studying just before the exams. This is one subject where cramming and rote learning will just not get you anywhere. You have to actively work out the problems. Even for difficult types of Math tasks like those in Algebra, Trigonometry or Geometry, research3 reveals that regular practice is the key.
6. Join a math club/group:
Joining a math study group will benefit4 you enormously. By discussing common doubts with others and explaining to peers the topics you know well, you will not only build your confidence in math but you may also actually start liking the subject…
To summarize, math is only as difficult as you allow it to be. It is in your hands; you CAN master the subject. There is no secret, no magic, and no inherited biological skill. A positive attitude and diligent practice can make you a topper in math!