Strong performances in high school math courses are vital when it comes to opening doors to colleges and universities. Beyond academia, mathematical knowledge is representative of a student’s ability to exercise logic and to solve problems – important skills for success in life. No matter how well a student performs in math, it’s always healthy to have a desire to get better.
For students who already study and review to improve at math, it’s sometimes a challenge to uncover new methods to work into your day-to-day routines. Here are some easy things to integrate into your current study habits that will help you achieve your math learning goals.
1. Eliminate distraction
With vibrations, pings, and buzzes constantly going off, it’s easy to get distracted. In order to properly focus for long enough to master difficult math concepts, try turning your phone on airplane mode and checking social media, texts, and any other potential distractions only during your study breaks.
2. Study in a group to learn math with different types of problem solvers
Find a group of students you get along with and who are also eager to learn math. Get together to review lessons and do homework. Conversation with different types of learners will help you understand problems in new ways. Studying in a group isn’t for everyone and shouldn’t be the only way you study math, but you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.
3. Work through math problems backwards
Often, high school math problems involve several steps and at times it’s easy to misunderstand or make a mistake at just one step of a problem. Upon completing a problem, try to work through the problem’s steps in reverse order. This method might help you catch a mistake or explain why the formula or method makes sense.
4. Relate problems to real life situations when applicable
Some high school math problems can be directly related to real life – like finding the volume of a container for example. When you see a problem such as this in your textbook, it helps your understanding to physically see the problem in real life. Next time you’re required to find the volume of a container on paper, find a container in your house and try to work out the answer for it as well. It might take longer and introduce new steps to the process, but it also builds knowledge and helps you solve problems in a real life context.
5. Try new times of the day to study
Teachers and students have long been experimenting and theorizing on what time of the day is the best time to learn certain subjects. The truth is that for some students, studying math in the morning might be preferable, while for others, the evening or night might be best. Don’t change your habits entirely, but try a new time of the day to study and gauge the results. How did studying at that time of day make you feel? More alert? Did you absorb and remember information better than normal?
6. Take breaks
Math can be a very heavy subject. For some students, it’s the most challenging aspect of high school. It can be stressful and frustrating. Avoid and curb math-induced stress and fatigue by taking breaks. Regular breaks throughout your studies will help you remain sharper for longer overall.
7. Speak with your math teacher in a one-on-one setting
In a traditional classroom, the teacher delivers math lessons in such a way that is designed to instruct the majority of students. However, there will usually be some students who are slightly behind and some who can naturally learn math faster. There are also some students who may not be behind or ahead, but simply need certain concepts taught in a different way. Staying after class or arranging another time to work in a one-on-one setting with your math teacher will allow him or her to help you in a way that best suits you.
8. Connect with an online math tutor
Like learning with your teacher in a one-on-one setting, connecting with a math tutor online offers the benefits of one-on-one learning: a personalized experience catered to your individualized learning style. The online aspect allows you to attend a tutoring session from the comfort of your own home on your own schedule.
If you’re looking to get connected with a math tutor, check out this Ultimate Guide to Finding the Right Math Tutor for You!