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Monday, September 29, 2014

7 Tricks To Hate Math Class A Little Less


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I know what it's like to absolutely dread math class. For a while, every math class I took just seemed to make me hate it more and more. Honestly, to this day, I find it to be one of my more unpleasant courses to take but despite that, I've learned some tricks to make it a little bit less hate-worthy.

One of the most important factors in learning anything is your own motivation to learn it. If you're not deeply curious about a subject then you'll always be learning at a slower pace than if you love the subject. That's why you need to learn to put a more positive spin on the courses you hate. Here are some ideas that can help you make that happen in math.

1. Love It For What It Is


There are many classes where all of your right or wrong answers are highly subjective. Math is the exception to that rule. There is no course that is more objective than mathematics because you're always going to be right or wrong. Sure, some teachers may give partial credit for being on track but essentially, you're wrong if you don't have the right answer.

This can be painful for someone that loves the subjective as much as me but over time you can learn to enjoy it.

Your success or failure has virtually nothing to do with how much the teacher likes you, how much you study, or how much effort you put in. Your success or failure depends mostly on your ability to follow a specific methodology. Keep that in mind as you're in math class. If you can understand the methodology well enough, you need virtually no studying to succeed.

2. Don't Read It


Many students that struggle in math class are trying to learn math in one of the least effective ways possible. If you need to go home and read the textbook to understand how to do the problems then you're probably doing it wrong.

Unless you're naturally strong in math, learning math from a textbook is insanely difficult. Textbooks are written to be perfectly accurate, not perfectly understandable. On top of that, very few students have the discipline to go through the problems listed step-by-step precisely enough to get the advantages of just listening and watching it in class.

Pay attention in class.

I know. I wish there was a way around it too but this is one of the few classes that non-mathematically gifted students need to follow along in. Following along with the teacher gives most students the best chance of understanding the material fast and without the suffering through the textbook.

Tutoring is also an option. In my opinion there is no better class to get tutored in. The expertise throughout the problem solving process in essential.

3. Catch Up


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One of the biggest problems students have in math is falling behind. Most of mathematics is built up upon everything you should have learned before. That means, if you miss something early on, you're always going to be struggling to understand the stuff you're trying to learn now.

What's the lesson to learn from this?

Don't fall behind!

I know. That's easier said than done but remember that the next time you start zoning out in class.

If you already get the feeling you're behind then be honest about it and catch up. The hardest part about most struggling student's situation is that very few students know what they don't understand. They just occasionally can't figure certain things out. Catching up in math is a whole lot harder than keeping up so expect to invest a lot of time trying to catch what you don't understand but it changes the way you look at the course in the future. Eventually, it becomes much easier to follow.

Getting a tutor is one solution. Spending an hour with a good tutor will provide way more value than spending the hour in class. Another option is specifically testing yourself with textbooks and finding out what you suck at. If you suck at it then you probably should invest some time into figuring out why.

The funniest part is this; once you figure out what you suck at, you've virtually solved the problem you're having.

4. Relate It To What You Love


The idea of keeping track of the interaction between two different numbers probably doesn't float your boat (that is, if you're not already a fan of math.) You shouldn't spend your time thinking about mathematics in the same way a mathematician would. Mathematicians find numbers fascinating. It could take years to develop even close to the same love for mathematics as someone naturally gifted in math.

That being said, find why YOU can love mathematics. Everyone has there own interests. Which one of yours has anything to do with math?

I personally love the idea of working with businesses and money. To make mathematics more enjoyable, I just act like I'm trying to solve some kind of a business problem.

Maybe you like sports. Instead of working with numbers, imagine you're working with statistics or salary caps or the angle of the swing of a baseball bat. Heck, imagine there are color commentators in the background while you're doing homework.

5. Learn The Story


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Math class is all about the methodology. If that really doesn't interest you, it may be just because you don't understand the context of the methods. Try spending a little time looking into the history of mathematics. While later math doesn't have too much context, much of the early math was used to solve real life problems that people were having.

You may not immediately be curious about the Pythagorean theorem but aren't you a little curious why anyone spent their time figuring it out and what it actually meant for society. These people weren't (all) just crazy masochists.

6. Future Prospects


There are very few careers that are as certain and positive as the ones you can get into with a mathematics background.

Engineering is the first one on my mind. If you hate math then this may not be your ideal choice but learning to apply math effectively will give you this option. The unspoken secret behind this is that as an engineer, you don't really need to use math all that much. You just need to understand how it works. Most of the job is just communication.

Engineering isn't the only career that math can help with though. Virtually every secure career around today is strongly based on your ability to follow a very specific methodology. The skills you're learning will definitely apply to your future (even if it's not the specific equations that matter.)

While it may not be fun, mathematics can set you up very well for your future.

7. Change It Up


The most important part of this article isn't any particular idea listed. It's something that you need to focus on. You will probably never start to enjoy math if you don't make an effort to find a reason why. That's not a bad thing. Not everyone needs to understand math deeply. That being said, you need to suffer the consequences and challenges that come from whatever decision you make.

If you want to start hating math a little bit less, you need to be willing to change the way you think about it dramatically. If one of these ideas doesn't work for you then you need to try another. If none of these ideas work for you then you need to keep trying to find a way. The solution definitely isn't going to come from you doing the exact same thing as you did last year or the year before that. You need to be willing to change.

I don't expect anyone to reach there arms in the air screaming “Hallelujah!' as they suddenly learn to love mathematics but I hope this makes those of you struggling to enjoy math a little more comfortable with it. You don't have to love a subject to learn to be good at it but the more you're able to get interested in it, the better off you'll be.

Do you want to know how you can regularly score in the 90's without putting in hours of work a night? (In fact, you only have to put in 15 minutes.) Be sure to check out the previous articles of this blog and maybe even one of the ebooks from the sidebar.




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