Eight top tips for greater success in mathematics

THE BETTER learners do in mathematics at school level, the better they will be able to cope in after-school studies, no matter what career they choose. This is because nowadays many courses of study require a certain level of mathematical literacy before you can register for them. Even learning programmes for occupations that are not numbersdriven – for example executive secretary, and tourism and hospitality – have this requirement. Kathy Martin of Ivy Academy, a private school with campuses in Orange Grove and Braamfontein, suggests the following study tips to ensure success in maths: 1. In maths, your success depends on practice, practice and more practice.

2. So-called swot subjects can be studied when you are tired; you can simply read through your notes or have someone read the work to you. Maths cannot be learned passively like this. It requires your active participation.

3. Do not study maths when you are frustrated or exhausted. Mathematical concepts are difficult and need your full attention.

4. The best time to study maths is in the morning when you are fresh and ready to tackle some challenges! A bit of exercise before you get going will help to get the blood pumping and your adrenalin going.

5. The better you wish to achieve in maths, the more examples you need to attempt. You can get a question and answer books at most book stores, and you should also ask your school for additional tutorials and solutions that they can give you.

6. Ask your teachers to help with concepts that you don’t understand, as soon as possible. Clear understanding will enable you to get ”unstuck” and move forward.

7. Be selective when creating a study group. Maths is best studied when you are on your own so you can move through examples at your own pace. If you find that studying with others inspires and motivates you, then make sure that your maths study group consists of learners who will knuckle down and do the work.

8. Do a mock exam under exam conditions, entailing a time limit and in a quiet environment. Get a teacher to mark your test so you have clear indication of your maths strengths and weaknesses.

The Star. Excellence in Education.
29 January 2015