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What You Need to Know to Study Math

Math is hard work, but you can't let that prevent you from being successful.  Anyone who has succeeded in anything has put in "tons" of hard work.  Think about the Olympians and all the practice that is required to even make a local team.  How about anyone who is good at athletics?  Do football players say, "Learning all of those plays is just too hard.  I think I'll quit!"  I don't think so.  The same holds true for learning a subject, any subject whether you like it or not. Below are eleven things to know and think about before you study math or take that next math class.

1)    Remember, an extra step is required to pass math. You must use the information you have learned to correctly solve new math problems.

2)    You must be able to do four things....

a)      Understand the material
b)     Process the material
c)      Apply what you have learned to correctly solve a problem
d)     Remember what you have learned and apply to new material
3)     Math has a sequential learning pattern; material learned one day is used the next day and the next, etc.  All of the building blocks must be included to be successful.

4)     Math classes should be taken each semester with no breaks to enhance the probability of remembering previous material.

5)      Math is similar to a foreign language; practice it or you will forget it.

6)     Math is a skill subject.   You have to actively practice the skills involved to master it – like learning to play a musical instrument, a sport, or using auto mechanic skills.

7)     Math is a fast-paced subject.  You must learn a lot of information in each class so you are ready to move on to the next class.

8)      Society doesn’t help students.   It says it is OK to hate math, to not be able to do it. You will often hear from parents, "I was never any good at math either."

9)    A bad attitude shouldn't prevent you from doing well in math if you decide you are going to do well. You may not like history or English either, but you have to take the required classes and do well in them if you plan on passing/graduating.

10)  Math is objective, and you will receive the grade you earn. There is no talking a teacher into a better grade BECAUSE you must know the material before you can move forward, or you will fail.

11)  Study to make an A on the first test in any math class. It is probably the easiest test, but it counts the same as all of the others. An A shows you know the basics you need to succeed. An A is a good motivator to do well on future tests. An A on the first test improves your confidence that you can do well.


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