By Amanda Bertsch
Math: most people at least dislike it. Some have grown to hate it. But, managed properly, your math classes don’t have to be report card monsters. Try these simple tips to improve your math confidence and grades.
- Get an early start: If your algebra II homework is painful to do during the day, it’s only going to get worse after 10:00 pm. Do that hated worksheet or problem set before homework from other classes, and you’ll concentrate more and do a better job. This can turn your dreaded homework into easy points.
- Ask questions: You can’t learn something if you don’t ask questions! When you’re doing homework, star any questions you don’t understand so you can ask about them the next day. Make sure to pay attention in class, and don’t be afraid to ask the teacher to repeat an explanation or problem that you don’t understand. They’re here to help you, after all.
- Study well: Many people struggle with studying for math because they don’t know how to study effectively. Memorizing formulas is a must, and reading over notes does help, but the best way to study math is to do practice problems. Use the review at the back of the chapter or do the problems with answers in the back. Pick the hardest, ugliest-looking problems and work them out, and you’ll excel on the easier test questions.
- Take advantage of tutoring: Mu Alpha Theta offers tutoring all the time, so why not take advantage of it? Tutors are available in Ms. Mezeske’s room or in the library on Thursday mornings. If one person has been particularly helpful, you can check the schedules posted in the math classrooms to see when they’ll be tutoring or ask that person to meet with you personally. They would be glad to help.
- Look online for help: The internet isn’t just for procrastination—it has a number of excellent resources as well. When you need another review of a lesson, Khan Academy (khanacademy.org) has lectures covering concepts from basic counting to advanced calculus. If you want to check an answer, Wolfram Alpha (wolframalpha.com) will solve just about any problem.
Math isn’t for everyone, but you don’t have to love the subject to do extremely well in it. Take advantage of these tips, and you’ll see your math grades improve drastically!