Numbers form a crucial part of life. And thereby ensuring good hold of math concepts is crucial even in school and in personal life. Like any other subject, the difficulty level of these concepts also varies. While some of them are easy for some students, others may be difficult to grasp. These views may bring about a question- How to get better in Math?
Be it, students or adults, ameliorating math skills can be possible, especially when some strategies and tips are ensured. To start with, you may need to self-analyze what makes you feel numbers are strenuous and then can opt for an apt strategy. The insights in this article can guide through the expedition of enhancing arithmetic abilities in kids, college students, and adults.
Reasons why people may feel math difficult
It’s not uncommon for children to say that they despise math because it’s “too difficult.” But why do so many students appear to agree with this viewpoint? What is it about arithmetic that makes it so challenging for pupils to grasp? We’re here to assist you with your questions. Continue reading to learn why so many students struggle in math class.
1. Math Anxiety
Mathematics anxiety is linked to mathematical performance; it cannot be reduced solely to a mathematical issue. It appears to be an aspect of “anxiety” as well as mathematics. Students who suffer from math anxiety don’t just dislike the subject; it causes them to experience crippling feelings of fear and failure, impairing their ability to perform. Accordingly, testing them may be obligatory.
2. Concentration Difficulties
When a child is working on a math problem, they must concentrate and follow each step attentively. If they lose focus or become distracted throughout this process, they are far more likely to make a mistake and will have to start again until they get the correct answer.
Students with short attention spans are more likely to wander off during class and find it difficult to follow the teacher’s directions. As a result, kids miss crucial steps in the problem-solving process and struggle with math later on when they try to answer problems on their own.
3. Poor Foundation
The most prevalent issue students face when learning arithmetic is a lack of grasp of the fundamental principles. Consider math to be like building blocks; you must first lay the foundation before proceeding. The blocks will break apart if the foundation is not properly laid. Similarly, students will only be able to progress in class if they have a firm grasp of the fundamentals.
4. Lack Of Practice
Time devoted to practice may not be the same for each student and subject. For example, even if pupils know the arithmetic lesson, they may forget principles if they do not practice. This could also be due to a lack of enthusiasm for the subject or issue. Other students may be unaware that they require additional time to review particular topics.
5. Learning Compromises
Dyslexia is a distinct way of processing information in the brain that can cause pupils to reverse numbers, flip numbers, and alphabet shapes, or mix up their sequences. For example, when transferring a multi-digit number from one line to another, the learner may drop a digit or add one that wasn’t there before. It inhibits a child’s ability to hear the sounds that makeup words. Therefore, problems with understanding written language can arise. This may often make reading more difficult and can affect word problem comprehension. Moreover, Dyscalculia can also be the reason for the math difficulty. It makes number comprehension difficult which makes it further challenging to grasp complex concepts.
How to get better at math? Strategies for kids:
With enthusiastic brains, the strategies for kids may differ from adults. Usually, focusing on improving your mental math skills is one of the best methods to improve your overall arithmetic performance. To get started, apart from online games and activities, here are simple methods and ideas for little learners:
1. Make a math practice test for your child
Tests can be a fool-proof method of checking if your little learner has understood the nitty-gritty of the concept or not! Similarly, practice tests can be equally efficacious in the same. Parents and educators can create a test after the completion of a concept to check whether the kid has understood the concept or not. More than just the comprehension part, the test would also allow the students to manage time, as, during school and college exams, the test needs to be completed within a given time.
2. Apply Math Problems In Real-World Challenges
Applying mathematical concepts in real-life situations can give the kids a better idea of the topic and how it would be used practically. Math can seem both abstract and disconnected from the real world for certain students. Thus, finding methods to apply what you teach can be a good way to help your child develop his or her arithmetic skills.
3. Asking the child to Practice Mental Math
In some cases, mental calculating performance provides significant benefits. Mental arithmetic increases one’s mental capacity. Using a number to quantify the environment around you helps you think more logically and intuitively. Practicing mental calculations will help you obtain a better comprehension of more complex ideas by strengthening your foundation.
4. Consider signing up for private math lessons
Math tutoring can also help you have a better understanding of several topics. Some students who find math challenging, for example, may not realize that their main issue is a lack of understanding of fundamental concepts. With the help of a tutor, you will be able to see how different topics are related to one another. This will help students have a better knowledge of math and increase the efficiency of their skills.
5. Apps for doing math homework
This is where technology can assist. Apps are a fantastic way to assist children with their schoolwork. An App’s aesthetics and dynamism can help to pique kids’ interest. They improve the child’s learning experience. The pupil can process a greater amount of information more quickly and appreciate it.
Tips for College Students to get better in subjects involving math
College students often lie in a line between childhood and adulthood. Being a crucial age to learn new notions, math too may be mastered. Here are some strategies for college students for better math:
1. Attempt to avoid missing class:
Every day, a new concept is taught in math class. What pupils do today is a precursor to what they will do tomorrow. Absences may create a gap in math; in order to keep up, students must schedule a time to return and learn what they have missed. So, if you have an optional appointment to make, make sure it’s not during math.
2. Comprehend and analyze glitches:
While focusing on grades, students may also need to emphasize on the areas where they may need to boost up. They may need to look forward to the time to figure out why you made a mistake and how to avoid it in the future. If you’re not sure, ask the teacher. In advanced levels, writing a paragraph of reflection on why mistakes were committed can be beneficial.
3. Get assistance as soon as possible:
If a student recognizes a problem, he should seek as much assistance as possible. Requests for extra aid are usually met with enthusiasm by teachers. Clear up any misunderstandings before they become a problem.
4. Develop a positive relationship with your teacher:
College professors can have up to 175 students, it’s critical to stand out. Introduce yourself during the first week of school. Let your teacher know you’re interested in taking her class and are excited to learn. Ask follow-up questions to demonstrate that you’re paying attentively. Parents should also introduce themselves, either through e-mail or in person. Teachers are most responsive to students who demonstrate an interest in the class.
5. Complete all of your homework:
Never consider schoolwork to be a choice. It’s the most crucial way for pupils to put what they’ve learned in class into practice. Establish a regular time and place for doing homework so that it becomes second nature.
Getting better at math in adulthood- Strategies that work!
Math skills are essential for a variety of reasons. They have the power to transform your outlook on life, improve your cognition, and assist you in achieving new goals. While games and activities are effective, below are the five strategies that will any individual to be great at math.
1. Math Apps
Apps and games have the potential to make learning enjoyable and simple by gradually expanding on fundamentals. For the same reason, a lot of individuals depend on these apps to learn new things every day!
Quite a lot of times, adults face problems in answering a question, for them, we have covered homework apps in our previous posts. They can use these apps to get step-by-step solutions to the problems they’re facing difficulty in. Adults who want to learn abacus to increase their calculation speed can opt for abacus apps.
2. Online Courses
Online classes are a noteworthy choice for those who prefer to learn in a more organized manner. Taking an online math course is a good method to obtain the basic arithmetic abilities you need for everyday life without the stress of an actual test lingering over your head. As a result, you can concentrate and gain the skills you require.
There are a plethora of courses available on the internet for math learners. How to Learn Math is one of them, it is a free class for math students of all levels. There are six sessions in total, with the first three lasting roughly 10 minutes and the last three lasting approximately 20 minutes. It combines crucial facts about the brain and learning with new research about the most successful ways to approach and learn math.
3. Group Studies
Studying on your own might be difficult or challenging for some! However, if you gather with friends (online or in-person), you can help each other overcome your difficulties. Individuals can also make use of money games, quizzes, and amusing tasks to make math learning further intriguing.
4. Revise, Revise, Revise!
Make a study regimen for yourself and spend 15 to 20 minutes every day reviewing your arithmetic problems. With little effort on your side, your abilities will improve over time! Make a set of note cards. Important concepts and formulas should be written on note cards so that you may refer to them readily while working on issues and utilize them as study guides before tests.
5. Video Resources
Through the internet, one can access multiple free video resources to learn math. Youtube videos can be an admirable example. Many channels have come up with a variety of fun and useful ways to assist adults to learn math. Vihart, Khan Academy, PatrickJMT are few creators that you can watch out for!
The occasional hitch in academics may be common, but the pupil needs to focus on how to mitigate these soon. At the same time, the strategies may differ based on age and learning style. Nonetheless, one may check out a credible source to get relevant tips and strategies.
Check out the above-stated strategies for adults, teens as well as kids to comprehend better how to master math faster. Being helpful enough for the kids, as well as adults, you may need to choose which one works best for your style.
- Dowker, A., Sarkar, A., & Looi, C. Y. (2016). Mathematics anxiety: What have we learned in 60 years?. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 508.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,