How To Perform Better/Well in Math

Tips to performing better/well in math:

  1. Immediate Feedback – After you complete a problem, be sure to verify if it is correct, or incorrect.  If it is incorrect, it is never enough to accept that you got the problem wrong.  Figure out what you did wrong and do not make the same mistake in the future.
  1. Frequency vs. Duration – Try chunking your assignment.  If the assignment on any given night is 20 problems in length, try doing the homework four different times, completing five problems at a time.  The possibility exists that you may retain information more readily if you expose yourself to it four times as opposed to one time.
  1. Be Resourceful – The rise of technology has given students access to far more resources than I would have ever dreamed of when I was in high school and college.  Some resources include YouTube, TeacherTube, your textbook, Loudoun Vision, and other students.  Of course I am always available before school as well.  I usually arrive no later than 7:30.
  1. Do problems twice!  The brain is a muscle just like our biceps.  If you’ve ever played a sport that required you to swing something, like a bat, you know that after a ton of attempts, swinging a bat became second nature.  Likewise, the more times you do a math problem correctly, the more likely the math skills are to become second nature.
  1. Do tests twice.  We’ve all made silly mistakes.  The way to catch them is to attempt problems on assessments twice.  If you get the same answer twice, you have probably done the problem correctly.  If you get different answers, well then we know at least one of them is wrong.  Doing this will more than likely help you find your “silly” mistakes.
  1. Restart problems if you notice in the middle of a problem that you have done something wrong!  A yellow mead pad is the best way to do this.
  1. In math, sometimes there is just no substitute for grit and determination.

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