Do you struggle with math? Maybe you find it difficult to do math-related tasks like making a budget. Many people avoid math because they don’t think they can get any better at it. Like any skill, math can be mastered with practice, study, and the right mindset. This article will outline several strategies to help you improve your math skills.
Recognize Math is an Important Life Skill
The first step to getting better at math is your mindset. Some people brush off the idea that math is useful in life. Maybe you’ve heard someone say, “No one uses that stuff after they get out of school.” Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are looking at scholarship websites and trying to calculate what kind of aid you need for college, you will quickly see how math is useful.
Have trouble deciding whether to pay off student loans or invest? That’s another area where math can help you. When you realize how important math is in daily life, you may start to believe you can get better.
Believe You Can Get Better at Math
Another mindset shift is believing you can improve. Have you been told your entire life that math is hard? Many people grow up believing you “either have it or you don’t” with math. People who make such claims are wrong. Several math tutors have talked about their experiences helping people who used to struggle with math become accomplished at math.
Automotive pioneer Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can or not…you’re right.” If you think you can get better at math you will. Don’t think you can improve? You won’t. Start with the right mindset. The right mindset means you may need to change your approach.
Adopt a Growth Mindset
One way to help foster the belief you can learn a complicated skill like math is to look at other areas of your life. What else have you accomplished in life? What other difficult or challenging skills have you mastered?
When you realize you have mastered something else, tackling math may not seem like as big of a hill to climb. Finding parallels in your life to the idea of learning math is a simple way to develop a growth mindset on your own.
Use Different Strategies to Learn the Same Concepts
Have you ever heard the saying “There’s more than one way to skin a cat?” When teaching math, effective calculus tutors emphasize approaching math from different points of view is crucial to success. This simply means to try learning the same concept in different ways.
When learning any new skill, if one method doesn’t work, try something else. Everyone’s brain is different. If a tried-and-true method doesn’t work for you, try another approach. Sometimes trying something new means asking for help.
Find Resources Online to Help You
Too often, when we don’t “get” something, we tend to find fault with ourselves. This is faulty reasoning. Since skill is by definition something that can be learned, not having that skill already hardly proves someone will never “get it.”
If you’re struggling to comprehend math on your own, take some time and search for a tutor online. When looking, limit your choices to those who offer plenty of positive reviews. The best online math tutoring services should have high-level feedback from successful students.
In the days before the Internet, a tutor was someone you visited in person. Or they came to you for your lessons. With the digital age upon us, there are many online math tutoring benefits.
First, you don’t have to leave your home or office. You can do it from anywhere. That saves a great deal of time. Second, many services offer 24/7 options. If you’re a night owl and like to study when everyone else in your house is sleeping, there’s likely a tutoring service that will fit you.
Break Math Down into Smaller Chunks
When learning a new skill feels impossible, it’s likely because you’re looking at the entire process. There’s an old expression. “How do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time.
Try breaking down math into smaller segments. Called “chunking down,” it’s the idea that by reducing a large project or field of study into smaller ‘bite-sized’ pieces, learning the entire process becomes easier.
An important aspect of chunking down is to comprehend one piece of the puzzle before moving on. This simply means you need to understand one concept before advancing to the next.
Practice Really Does Make Perfect
It’s an old adage, but a true one. Mastering any skill involves a lot of practice. Part of why practice is so important is simple memory. Repetition helps something stick in our brains long-term. While rote learning is not the only way to commit something to memory long-term, it is highly effective when done properly.
When practicing, you must be fully engaged. If your attention is split between math and something else, you won’t get as much value out of your practice sessions. The result? You’ll have to spend even more time practicing.
The next step now that you have some easy strategies to become better at math, the next step is yours. The most important thing to take from this article is the proper mindset. Believe you can get better at math, and you will. You’ll find math useful in the real world, too. Whether counting calories for meals or calculating the best offer for a new house, math has many benefits in your life.