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### AuthorTopic: My tips on succeeding in maths  (Read 5268 times) Tweet Share

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#### PolySquared

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##### My tips on succeeding in maths
« on: February 17, 2018, 06:16:47 pm »
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Preface:

I've never been a person who had an aptitude in maths. I started off highschool barely knowing my timestables and dreading every minute of math class; however, this was due to a couple of fundamental tips and strategies that I was missing out on. I've applied these learning strategies over the years and now I love every second of maths and look forward to every maths class. I hope my tips can incite the love of mathematics in you as well, or at least improve your outlook on maths and ultimately your grades.

Tip 1: Always seek out intuition in maths

What I mean by this is to never rote learn anything that you learn in class. I've seen a lot of my peers rote learn formulas without understanding the reasoning for why the formula works and why it exists. For example, you should be able to derive the cosine rule from a triangle in order to understand why it truly works. If you are able to derive the cosine rule through intuition, you are far more likely to remember it for a long period of time and trigonometry may become more intuitive. I recommend going on youtube to learn concepts independently and going that extra step to learn how to derive a formula. This strategy caused trigonometry to go from being one of my worst maths topics to my absolute best - but this strategy works for all areas of maths.

By far this strategy has got to be the one that has improved my grades the most. Learning a topic's content earlier than the class ensures that you have sufficient time to consolidate any areas that you don't understand. It also gives you an insane amount of time to revise and complete practice SACS / exams. Furthermore, learning a maths topic early allows you to spend valuable class time consolidating your understanding instead of wasting time in potential confusion. I would even recommend learning a higher year's equivalent of the topic you are seeing in class. For example, When was first learning logarithms in year 10, I would also learn year 11 applications of logarithms to further strengthen my understanding of the topic. Ultimately, this made the logarithm test extremely easy because I had been preparing for year 11 logarithm questions all along. Moreover, just learning a large portion of your maths syllabus is more than adequate to provide you with an advantage over your peers and more importantly - other Victorian students in Mathematical Methods.

Tip 3: Teach others

I use this strategy every time I have math class because it is so effective at reinforcing your understanding of a concept. Once you have followed the aforementioned tips and have learned a large portion of a maths topic, you can start explaining these concepts to your peers. This strategy not only helps struggling peers but also helps you retain 90% of what you've learned - so it's a win win situation . Teaching others forces your brain to arrange a concept in a simple way that makes it intuitive and straightforward, while also allowing you to identify gaps in your own understanding. Being able to teach a concept reassures you that you're really close to mastering it or you've mastered it and it's safe to move on to another concept. I recommend asking your peers in your class if they need help in a particular area and then sitting next to them during the class to help them - this not only makes you feel fulfilled for helping them, but also ensures that you remain productive in class because it's hard to remain productive if you've already learned the whole topic.

Tip 4: Actively participate in the class

Always answer any question that your teacher asks, even if you feel that your answer may not be correct. This strategy not only motivates you to actively think in class, but also allows you to identify any misunderstandings that you may have. Moreover, the verbal method of answering maths questions forces your brain to logically explain your thought processes, which further fortifies your understanding. I personally found this strategy to motivate me in maths because I was able to "show off" by answering difficult questions in front of the class - although this may not be the best source of motivation, it worked for me  .

Tip 5: Find motivation and improve from mistakes

Success cannot be attained without motivation. Whether your motivation comes from competition between friends, an award, study score or an ATAR score, it is vital that you find a source of motivation that makes you happy and fulfilled. My motivation comes from my competitive nature and the goals I've set for my study scores and ATAR. Without motivation, you will quickly find that you simply don't have the drive to study and learn ahead which may be detrimental for your grades and mental health. Moreover, do not allow unfavourable SAC marks to hinder your motivation. Personally, I consider all SACs as a way to improve your self. Whether you score 60% or 100%, there is always a goal that you can set to improve yourself and gain motivation from. For example, scoring 60% on SAC may indicate that you need to proactively revise and study in order to eliminate any misunderstandings you may have. If you scored 100% on a SAC, you may need to improve on your speed when answering questions. Regardless of your mistakes, you should always set mini achievable goals after SACs that you will strive for in the SAC in order to cultivate and sustain motivation.

Thank you for reading my post and I hope my tips can help you in some way, shape or form . If you have any questions feel free to send me a message and I will try my best to answer you  .
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English Language (43) - Chemistry (36) - Further Mathematics (42) - Specialist Mathematics (38) - Mathematical Methods (46)

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#### The Special One

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##### Re: My tips on succeeding in maths
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2018, 06:36:22 pm »
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Unfortunately much of this is much harder to implement once heavy maths is taught at uni
Bachelor of Laws @ Monash (2nd year)

#### PolySquared

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##### Re: My tips on succeeding in maths
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2018, 06:50:32 pm »
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Unfortunately much of this is much harder to implement once heavy maths is taught at uni

Well it looks like I'm not ready for uni maths then
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#### The Special One

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##### Re: My tips on succeeding in maths
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2018, 06:57:34 pm »
+3
Well it looks like I'm not ready for uni maths then

You'll just have to adapt. Many students struggle to cope with the transition between high school to uni.

Hence the drop out rate being so high for first years.

I personally think unis should do more for first year students to assist with the transition for students to adapt more easily.

At the end of the day the consummation of a degree is all about learning and improving.

What worked in school may not work at uni so the challenge is all about finding new ways to learn.

May require you to change your tactics but it doesn't mean you're not ready just be ready to change and find new ways because old ones may not work anymore.

Students who aren't ready to evolve are unfortunately many times left behind.
Bachelor of Laws @ Monash (2nd year)

#### PolySquared

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##### Re: My tips on succeeding in maths
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2018, 07:03:59 pm »
+2
You'll just have to adapt. Many students struggle to cope with the transition between high school to uni.

Hence the drop out rate being so high for first years.

I personally think unis should do more for first year students to assist with the transition for students to adapt more easily.

At the end of the day the consummation of a degree is all about learning and improving.

What worked in school may not work at uni so the challenge is all about finding new ways to learn.

May require you to change your tactics but it doesn't mean you're not ready just be ready to change and find new ways because old ones may not work anymore.

Students who aren't ready to evolve are unfortunately many times left behind.

Thanks for the insight
2018:

2019:
English Language (43) - Chemistry (36) - Further Mathematics (42) - Specialist Mathematics (38) - Mathematical Methods (46)

ATAR: 99.65

#### Sine

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##### Re: My tips on succeeding in maths
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2018, 09:07:36 pm »
+4

Adding to the above conversation some people find uni maths easier  At uni it's more about just knowing and understanding the concepts at a basic level but vce involves knowing how to sit and approach an exam - to make sure you don't get caught out to tricks and the large impact of minor mistakes to your study score.

#### The Cat In The Hat

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##### Re: My tips on succeeding in maths
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2020, 09:32:09 am »
0
Thanks, this is really useful!
How do you learn something that you don't understand, during the pressure of Methods?? I mean I find circular functions slightly scary, but I don't know how to start figuring it out. How do you start?? Thanks.
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#### S_R_K

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##### Re: My tips on succeeding in maths
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2020, 09:05:30 pm »
+2
You'll just have to adapt. Many students struggle to cope with the transition between high school to uni.

Hence the drop out rate being so high for first years.

I personally think unis should do more for first year students to assist with the transition for students to adapt more easily.

I think the problem lies moreso with schools. Universities generally teach and assess mathematics much better than schools do. The problem is that schools have very little incentive to teach mathematics in a way that prepares students for further study of maths (or for anything else, for that matter) and so students are implicitly trained to learn maths in a way that is unsuitable for a more rigorous course.