Math is the worst nightmare of many kids especially for students of classes 5th to 8th. These are the classes when the concepts start becoming tricky and problems start getting more complex. Several new concepts and tons of formulas can be overwhelming for students. If the student feels like he/she is not so good at the subject, and they are willing to put in work to get better at it, this article might be a great help for them. Apart from practicing regularly, and this includes preparing with the AIME practice test, self-study and making good notes are equally important.
Here are some basic tips to studying Math properly:
Extra Practice– Apart from homework, students should aim to solve as many problems as they can. Look for extra practice questions in the textbook, set of activities, and tests either online or in NCERT books. Solving several problems with varying levels of difficulty and concepts will not only help to boost their confidence but also help to cover the topic extensively. Always remember that solving several problems and example questions, again and again, is the best way to get good at math, and this is the reason why doing the homework assigned in the class is super important.
Solve activities to perk up your interest in the subject and solve as many quizzes as you can. Take tests more often. You can get several tests at the back of your NCERT books and you can also get CBSE sample papers online or from the book stores. For instance, CBSE Sample Paper Class 5 Maths is very beneficial if solved and reviewed by a student of class 5th. Similarly, CBSE Sample papers are available for every class.
Take time to read the textbook– Most of the CBSE board schools follow NCERT books as the key reference book for teaching in the class. These books contain the concepts, derivations and procedures explained at the grass-root level. They are very easy to comprehend if read carefully. Take time to read the textbook theory mentioned as this will help clear the basic concepts and solve the more complex problems. The textbook will help you understand the step-wise procedure instead of simply memorizing the steps. Try to read the topics ahead of it being taught in the class. This will be beneficial in grasping the concepts and retaining the formulas as you will already be familiar with them.
Be consistent– Set aside a few minutes each day, even if it’s for 30 mins to revise whatever concepts you learn and solve problems on it. When it comes to a highly conceptual subject like Math, solving enough problems is the only way. In math, every concept depends on some other concept, so it is important to nail each one before moving on to the next one. Class 5th onward, math becomes more conceptual and complex with a plethora of concepts. It can get very confusing so try to revise more often as this will help to retain everything better. Studying every day will also reduce exam stress significantly because you would already be familiar with all the concepts.
Write down the steps– When solving example problems, homework, or practice questions, try to proceed stepwise as these will act as your personal notes at the time of revision. If you show the steps while solving, you will have clarity on how to proceed and as you solve more questions step-wise, the steps are automatically retained by your mind. This is the easiest method to learn the formulas and procedures. In addition to this, stepwise calculations also help to retract back and look for mistakes in case something goes wrong or answers don’t match with the solution given. For example, if you’re given “2x = 3+1” to solve, don’t just skip to “x = 2.” Write out “2x = 4,” then “2x/2 = 4/2,” then “x = 2.”
Beware of Word problems– Students dread word problems the most because they are especially tricky. You need to decode the question, convert the words into a feasible math equation, solve the equation and check the answer. Read the entire problem carefully before solving it, try to find out what all information is given in the question, what all you can decipher, and what you need to solve for. if the question involves diagrams, charts or graphs pay special attention to those. You can develop a flowchart for yourself to systematically note the data such that it makes sense.
Now here are some math tricks to help you do math faster.
Multiplying in mind like a pro- There are many Vedic mathematic tricks to help multiply faster but the easiest ones include these.
Method 1: This one is my personal favorite. Remember the factors of the digits. For instance, 5X2 is 10. So, when you need to multiply a number by 5, say 48X5, multiply by 10, that is 48X10= 480, and then divide by 2. As division by 2 is easy to perform, you can easily do it in your mind.
Method 2: it’s useful to remember that every multiplication has a twin. For instance, 6X4 is the same as 4X6 but 4X6 is easier to remember and so can be used for fast calculations.
Method 3: When it’s required to multiply by 9, the trick is to multiply by 10 instead and then subtract one group of the number you are multiplying by. For 9×8 for example, try 10×8 which is 80. 80 minus 8 gives 72, which is the answer to 9×8.
Calculating Percentages with the speed of light- To calculate percentage quickly, learn four basic percentages- 5 %, 10%, 25%, and 50%. This will not only let you calculate percentages of numbers in multiples of 5 but also lets you get a close estimate of percentages of numbers other than multiples of 5. For instance, to find what is 15 percent of 540, you would need to consider that 15 percent is 5 percent + 10 percent. Since 10 percent of 540 is 54, and 5 percent is half that, then 15 percent is 54 added to 54/2= 27, i.e., 81.