Thursday, 16 May 2013

Studying Subjects: Math :)

Today, for this studying subjects post, (click here if you don't know what this series is!) I decided to do my favorite subject: Math. (Yes, math is my favorite). A terrifying subject for some and an interesting one for others (like me!). Math is just one of those subjects where you either like it or you hate it. However, your interest doesn't play a role in your marks/grade but it does in studying the subject for tests/exams. I know someone who hates math, absolutely hates it but has got 100% in tests before.

(Image from costalonga.wordpress.com)

 Now, on to the actual point of this post: Studying Math. Let me break it down for you:

1. Accept: 

-Some people just LOVE it and study math in college and even afterwards. On the other hand, there are people who HATE it and don't want anything to do with math at all. Ever.
-Well, sad to say (for some) that all professions require math (almost) but even if a certain one doesn't, we still need to know math at least till some level, right? 
-So just accept it. Then you can study it. I'm not saying you need to find math interesting but as long as you accept it, you'll be OK. :)

2. Understand: (the basics)

-Memorize Understand the basics of math as much as you can: formulae, theorems, properties, etc. You'll remember them better, trust me.
-Values are exceptions: what is the value of pi? or root 2? or root 3? If you come across it in a question and DON'T have a calculator, you'll just waste time calculating it yourself. So memorize those. Even if you do, you can still save time without using the calculator.
-Read the basics over and over and over again: use flashcards! (I'll probably do a post on flashcards eventually). If you don't want to use flashcards, you can just write them down on a sheet of paper or highlight them in your textbook/notes.
-Keep going over them until you know everything that you need to 200%. It'll help you a LOT. 

3. Apply AKA  Practice, practice, practice:
Efficient and consistent practice makes perfect (especially in math).
The above statement is totally true. Practice is the KEY to doing good in math.
Practice from as many sources as you can, from your textbook (examples included), worksheets, questions from the internet, extra books and so on.

For online worksheets, check out: 
http://edhelper.com/math.htm (I have used ones from here before, it's very helpful)
http://www.analyzemath.com/high_school_math.html (high school worksheets)
http://www.ixl.com (elementary/middle school worksheets)
*non-affiliated/sponsored* :)

 Advantages of practicing:

a.Understanding: The more you practice, the more you understand how to apply concepts. It's as simple as that!
b.Speed: When it comes to math, there definitely is a need for speed. You read it. If you don't finish answering your test in time, you're going to lose out on marks. No one wants that! (right?) Remember, speed only comes with practice.
c.Exposure to different questions: When you practice from multiple sources, you come across different difficulty levels. Honestly, if math questions are thrown at you one after the other, each will most likely be entirely different and/or difficult than the next. So, to be able to solve a large lot of questions correctly, practice will definitely help you.
d.Improvement: Lastly, you'll just get better at it! 


Avoiding making silly mistakes: (yes, silly mistakes)

Remember, when you are solving a question, read the question very carefully so you don't make mistakes! The top places where you can just overlook certain information or just mess up unknowingly (and unnecessarily) are:

a. Signs: If you read 2x - 3y + 4z as 2x + 3y - 4z, it's obvious that your answer will be wrong.
b. Variables: If you mix up the variables in the above example, you are going to be wrong again.
c. Measurements/Units: For example: Find the area of a rectangle with l = 10 m and b = 70 cm. You have to convert either one of the units to get the answer with the correct unit. If you solve the question without doing so, you will end up with the correct number but not the right unit (in this case, at least).
d. Final answers: Suppose a question asks you to find the value of 'x' but while doing the question you end up finding the value of 'y' (to find 'x') but end up writing the value of 'y' as your final answer. While that value may be right, unfortunately for you, it isn't what you were asked to solve for. 

Lastly, don't forget to ASK someone for help when you need it. Whether you didn't understand a concept or were not able to solve a question, go ahead and ask someone! Don't be afraid, everyone has problems too!  :)

That's all for this post. I hope it helped you. Honestly, this is what I do and it works for me.

Question: How do you study math? Do you like it or hate it? Leave a comment below!

Thanks a TON for reading this post! Please follow or subscribe so you know when I post next! Thanks! :)

-Kavya :)
"Math is like going to the gym for your brain. It sharpens your mind." - Danica McKellar

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