Math study tips-A A +A
Friday, January 4, 2013
MATHEMATICS uses a universal language, the only one shared by everyone regardless of culture, religion or gender. In an article entitled, “Convincing children that Math is the real world,” mathematics is universal because humans didn’t invest the concepts of mathematics -- they were discovered to be existing truths. Math able us to obtain knowledge to explore space, build cars, design skyscrapers’ and create the latest video games. Everything around us, natural or human creation, involves mathematics.
However, Mathematics was perceived as a difficult subject and hated by most students. It is a subject that makes students anxious. Students do not see its significance in their everyday life. They question its importance. How can they apply the concept of algebra specifically the lesson on the use of x and y as a variable in their lives?
The results of the latest Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) administered in 2003 ( It is unfortunate that our country did not join the 2007, 2009 and 2011 TIMSS) revealed low achievement scores in Science and Mathematics of selected Grade 4 and Grade 8 (Second Year High School) students from sample schools. The Philippines placed 23rd among 25 countries for both Science and Mathematics for Grade 4 and 42nd in Science and 41st in Mathematics among 45 countries for Grade 8 students. It was noted that the preparation of Filipino students in TIMMS 2003 were similar to those in TIMMS 1999. This shows that students need to be informed about different Math study tips that they can used to improve their academic performance in Math.
Teachers believed that if students improve their study skills this can be one way for the students to produce good grades. The following are steps that students can take to improve their Math study habits.
1. You should set at least 30 minutes to one hour a day of studying.
We are all given 24 hours a day, eight hours for sleeping and eight hours in school. The difference between an academically inclined students and a student who developed adversity towards math is the way they spend the remaining eight hours of their time. They may use it for playing computer games, chatting with friends, going to malls or reviewing their lesson. It is still important for you to have a habit of studying your math lessons. You should train yourself to study math on a scheduled review time, and it will save you time cramming your lessons when you are about to take your quiz or exam.
2. Study the easy lessons first before proceeding to the least liked lessons.
When you start with the easiest lesson you will have the enthusiasm to go further in reading and/ or reviewing the lessons with the concept that you can easily understand the lesson. On the other hands, starting with the hardest lesson may lead to the tendency to stop reviewing for the reason that you will get tired and might lose your desire to review.
3. Always review your notes even if there is no quiz/seatwork.
Having a regular study period helps you understand the concept more easily and pressure will be manageable. One technique is to review your lesson immediately after every lecture or activity given in class. In Math, looking at the solution while the teacher is solving is very different when you are the one solving the problem given. When you do it by yourself you can discover your own technique of solving the problem. A problem solved on your own gives you a sense of achievement, this may help you develop a positive attitude towards solving Math problems resulting to good grades.
4. Memorize dynamically, not submissively.
One of the misconceptions about memorizing a math idea is just simply reading the notes over and over again and then you can already memorize the concept. If this is the way you memorize, it is usually not effective especially if it becomes a mere rambling of words.
Try to imagine Math concept in real terms. Use as many of your senses as much as possible. Just like memorizing a song, the Math concept/formula that needs to be memorize can be done through writing it in a piece of paper or bond paper then put it in a place where you can easily see it everyday. Example is putting it in front of your door where you can see it every time you enter your room or wake up in the morning.
Organize your Math materials ideas/ fact in clusters. It is easier to memorize a concept/idea by grouping the lessons related to each other.
Make Associations of Math Concepts. Connect the previous lessons with the present lesson. Recalling the old facts will help you remember the new facts and will strengthen a mental relation between the two. The more sensible the association the more likely you are to remember it.
5. Set specific study goal, and focus on it.
Plan each day and take note of your tasks that needs to be accomplished. Record the task as you accomplish them. Make a chart of study goals/tasks accomplished. If you see a concrete representation of the tasks accomplished each day of the week it maintains your momentum. Try to make a habit of studying your lessons every day. Get to your study place at the same time each day and get straight to work. Be focus on your study period and know your priorities. In the end it will be you who will reap the fruit of your labor.
6. Develop a positive attitude toward Math.
Math is not synonymous to terror. Math is a science of precision and opens us to the wonderful world of numbers. Math teaches us a very important truth: that in every problem there is a corresponding solution. A positive attitude or a liking to Math may be translated into how we view and deal with our own life problems.
7. Use other references other than your textbook.
The wealth of information is shared almost to everyone through the internet. Therefore, put your web surfing skills to good use by researching on topics you can’t seem to understand. Consider this as well, the library is one of your greatest ally in terms of learning.
Try applying these study tips in learning Mathematics and find out what works for you. Make it a productive habit. (Nickcarter Cojpag Gonzalo Junior)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 04, 2013.