Guest Article #39: For the Joy of Sharing

5 Tips To Improve Your Math Skills

By Aarti Panchal
A freelance researcher in Indology, Associate at GHARS, an NGO in Australia

Foreword by Venkat
To consider, treat or learn a subject as if it were separate or independent from others would be as tasty as eating salt, oil, pepper, spice, veggies, meat, grain, and cereal in separate exclusive portions. It is the beautiful blend of those ingredients that makes the taste linger long on the tongue and the mind. It takes many years after schooling to realize that those seemingly disparate subjects are inseparable from each other in their function in real life. Like form and soul (Shakti and Siva), one does not exist without the other. The treatment of math as something separate probably makes it tasteless to many. It is time to bring in word problems in math like speed of RBC cells in the blood, proportion of carbs and protein in a meal, percentage problems of F# keys in a song, perimeter problems with paramecium, acceleration problems with Dinosaurs etc. to bring the spirit back to math in the learner’s mind.

While it may be hard to find an institution or someone who brings such an integrated approach to learning math, these tips from Aarti provide excellent ideas to make math more interesting than it may seem to the unguided eye. Among these 5 tips, keeping math as a ‘lens’ in day-to-day activities to view life through math is the key in my humble opinion.

Aarti Panchal is a freelance researcher and loves to learn about India’s history, culture, and assessing the present by delving into perspectives of India’s past. She is an HR Professional and a Youtuber, Speaker and a classical dancer by passion.

Explore these wonderful ideas to enjoy learning math cast in the lovely and simple words of Aarti.

5 Tips To Improve Your Math Skills

“Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness.” – Stendhal

Math is a logical and a straightforward subject. If you are someone who hates math, try these simple tips and get out of the phobia for the subject. Thinking analytically, diving into the basics, inculcating math in your daily life and embracing technology are some of the interesting tips that will make you love the subject.

Are you someone who thinks “Math is tough” rather than “Math is fun’? Well, mathematics is nothing but a fusion of creativity and logic. Its the only straightforward language which has a uniform pattern, law and principles in the entire universe, hence it is also called as a universal language.

Mathematics is all about basics. For eg. if you are building a tower, it is important to understand and ensure that its foundation is robust. That foundation is math, the basics. Math promises to remain your loyal friend throughout life once you get your fear and anxiety out of your mind. In this article, lets find out interesting tips on how to improve your mathematical skills and fall in love with the subject.

1. Don’t Memorize Formulae

Help! I can’t memorize formulas!!” Well, learning formulas is a daunting task in math especially in Algebra. The best way is to deconstruct the formula and understand its derivation in a logical form. Take help of your teachers and parents and get the concepts crystal clear in your head so that you don’t forget them ever. We need to understand that once our brain is relaxed, positive and stress-free, it automatically gets into the learning mode and open to new ideas. Try it!!

2. Sketching Math Problems

Sometimes we come across complex word problems and we easily lose hope to solve it. In that case, you can try sketching or outlining the problem by doodling or drawing for lucid understanding. For example “Mohan has 20 oranges, 5 were rotten, 5 were eaten by Sohan, 2 by Ramesh, 6 by Mahesh respectively. How many are left?” Here, drawing, sketching, crossing off, counting on a piece of paper may help you. This way you will be able to deconstruct and break down the problem step by step.

3. Bringing Math in Day-to-Day Activities

This can prove to be an amusing task to learn math in a fun way. Math is involved in all the unexpected situations we face on a daily basis. To enjoy the subject, try to see the mathematical angle in all your tasks. For example :

  1. Calculate the discount on your next bill
  2. Calculate the interest on your savings/parents’ savings
  3. Calculate the perimeter of your room
  4. Observe the standard measures of ingredients while cooking
  5. Take the measurements for your new clothes to be stitched etc.
  6. Listing the temperature required for baking and cooking various food stuffs etc.

4. Try Game Based Learning

Research says that learning math through games fosters confidence, creativity and interest in the subject. Games explain various tools and features in an interactive way which makes students glued to their screens. The theories are demonstrated through graphs and models for easy understanding. There are many apps and websites to hone your mathematical skills today. Some of them include Prodigy, Rocket Math, Splash Math etc.

5. Practice and Teach Others the Concepts You Already Know

The more you practice math, the easier it shall get for you. Practice to solve all types of problems to fix the concepts and methodology in your mind and arriving at solutions step by step. You can also try teaching concepts to your friends, siblings and parents with whom you have already done with. That will increase your confidence, encourage you and engage you to know more on the subject.

Do remember these tips to become a pro in math. The subject requires an analytical approach to improve your understanding towards the subject. Don’t lose hope. Make math an integral part of your life. Be determined and positive and you will easily breeze out the fear of math from your life. Also don’t forget to learn from your friends who are good at math. Be a part of an amicable circle of people for effective learning. That will instill healthy competition, motivate you and have fun with numbers.

By Aarti Panchal

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