9 Best Maths Study Tips for Effective Learning
It’s the night before your mid-term maths test, and you’ve hit a roadblock with algebraic expressions. What else is new, right? The way your teacher taught it never clicked with you. And if you have to spend another second trying to understand it her way, you might just give up. But here’s a secret – there’s likely a different strategy or approach that will work better for you.
When you’re aware of different maths study tips and strategies, it can make your learning process easier and more effective. That’s important long after your maths exams end. From banking to problem-solving, and more, maths skills will stick with you long after you graduate.
So, we’ve put together our top 9 maths study tips to help you solve your maths challenges. Let’s dive in!
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
As some people say, “practice makes perfect.” While it’s true some students are naturally great at maths, most students aren’t. If you want to improve your maths skills, you’ll have to practise.
Think of it like playing the piano or painting a portrait. You have to begin somewhere. And you’ll only keep getting better if you practise. Practising maths material consistently and as often as possible will train your brain to problem-solve and find solutions.
Not sure where to look for practice materials? Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- Ask your teacher for extra worksheets or other materials.
- Use your textbooks or workbooks. Chances are your teacher hasn’t covered every problem, so you’ll likely find a few extras to tackle.
- Got a competitive streak? Sign up for the online International Math Challenge
- If your school offers a maths club, consider joining!
- Look up maths exercises online.
- Visit your school library or local community library for books you could use.
- Pop into a charity shop and see if there are any old maths textbooks to purchase.
2. Give Yourself Enough Time to Study
As a student, you’re on the go all the time. But when it comes to getting a handle on maths, you’ll need to slow down. Maths isn’t a topic you can cram for and ultimately retain the material long-term. Instead, you need to understand the material, not just memorise the concepts for an exam.
You have to take your time and work through maths problems and concepts. So, give yourself enough time to study.
Start by practising good time management. Doing this will take the pressure off of you and alleviate your maths stress. When you take your time and get into a study mindset, you’ll feel more relaxed and open to understanding whichever maths concept comes your way.
3. Challenge Yourself
You want to grow your maths skills. But you can’t do that if you’re only tackling easy maths problems. Step up your game and choose maths problems or tasks that will challenge you.
You may be thinking–how do I know if the material will be challenging enough? The simple answer is–if the problem comes easily and you can solve it quickly, it’s not challenging enough. But, if it makes you pause and think through the process, then you know you’re on the right track.
Make challenging yourself a gradual process. There is such a thing as challenging yourself too much. Instead, set the pace, and choose maths problems that get incrementally more difficult as you go. That way you’ll build your maths skills–and confidence–one task at a time.
4. Be Aware of Your Mistakes and Learn From Them
Have you ever gotten homework or a test back from your maths teacher loaded with red ink from all the errors you had made? While it doesn’t feel great, seeing your mistakes is the first step to improving your maths skills.
Henry Ford once said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” So, the next time your teacher hands back a quiz or test, approach your mistakes by
- Studying your answers and trying to where there is room for improvement.
- Looking for repeating mistakes, and practise mastering them before moving on to a more challenging concept.
- Keeping a running list of concepts to study or continue practising.
- Ask your teacher for help if you’re unsure why your answer is incorrect.
- Consider getting extra help from a private maths tutor.
5. Do Your Best to Memorise Your Formulas
We know the last thing any student wants to do is sit at their desk for hours solving maths problems. While there are very few shortcuts and time-saving approaches when it comes to maths, we do have one that you need to know about.
Memorise your maths formulas! Doing this will help you solve maths problems faster because you won’t need to stop and look up the formula in your textbook or notes.
You’ll want to write them down whenever you can. Doing this will make remembering them a lot easier.
6. Stay Consistent
When it comes to maths –and playing the piano, learning a new language, etc. – you need to practise consistently. Consistent maths practice, along with completing your homework, attending class, and seeking outside help will get your maths skills back on track. Create a maths study schedule, and stick to it!
7. Explore Your Calculator’s Functions
A calculator is your maths BFF. Properly using your calculator saves time, and can assist you in solving complex maths calculations, such as square roots, exponential operations, and more.
Take the time to explore the ins and outs of your calculator. Figure out what it can do and what it can’t do. But before you use a complex calculator for homework or practice, ask your teacher if this is okay. They may want you to figure out a process or concept on your own first.
8. Refresh Your Knowledge of the Basics
If you want to understand complex maths concepts, you have to nail down the basics. Think of it like learning to run before you ever learned to walk. Maths is a cumulative subject–where many concepts build on the next and become even more difficult with each lesson. A solid foundation in maths basics will prepare you to face more difficult maths concepts down the road.
9. Don’t Study Only for Exams
If you want to do well on a maths quiz or exam, you’ll need to study. But high grades aren’t the only reason to study. Instead, you want to understand maths concepts and see how these concepts fit into the bigger maths picture. Think of studying maths as growing your problem-solving skills long-term. Training your brain to think critically and logically is an important life skill–and most school subjects [and future jobs require that].
No matter if you aim to get an A in General Maths, Maths Methods, or Advanced Maths, our maths study tips can help! Just be sure to keep the big picture in mind–knowing that you’re studying to understand and retain the material, that’s the only way to truly become an As student.
Excel in Maths in No Time!
If you commit to practising maths consistently and understanding your mistakes, you’ll set yourself up for maths success. You may not feel you’re improving, and you may not see high marks right away, either. That’s okay! Remember, slow and steady wins the [maths] race!
If you need a bit more help studying for your maths exams, think about working with a private maths tutor! With A Team Tuition’s tried and true tutoring methods, we can help you excel at maths with our at-home and online tutoring. Find a tutor near you today!