Get those sums correct

Why aren’t you getting better grades in mathematics? Do you feel that you have put in all the time on it that can be expected of you and that you are still not getting results? Or are you just lazy? If you are lazy, this material is not intended for you. But if you have been trying and your grades still don’t show your ability, or if you have been getting good grades but still feel that the mathematics does not mean very much to you, it is very likely that you do not know how to study effectively. This material aims to help you to study mathematics effectively.

Out of the suggestions offered, you can pick the ones that may help you most, and as you find your work improving, you may be able to try further suggestions. So scoff if you wish at these ambitious suggestions, but then give some of them a try, a fair try, and watch the results.


There is a common misconception that homework is primarily something to eventually hand in to the teacher. Actually, the homework is first and foremost a means of learning fundamental ideas and processes in mathematics, and of developing habits of neatness and accuracy. What is passed in to the teacher is only a by-product of that learning process. The following four-step routine is a suggestion for making your home-study effective:

Get oriented

Take a few minutes to think back, look over your notes, and look over the book to see clearly what ideas you have been working on.

Line up the ideas

Think about the ideas, laws, and methods in the day’s assignment or lesson. Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with any new words in your mathematics vocabulary. Try to remind yourself of any warnings about errors to avoid that the teacher might have mentioned. Go through any examples given to be sure you really understand the concepts being illustrated.

Do the assignment

Think about the ideas the exercises are illustrating. You should be increasing your understanding as well as getting the answers.

The following pointers will help you do a better job —

Get the assignment accurately off the blackboard. Have a definite place in your notebook where you write down the assignment or lesson. If you do not understand the assignment, don’ hesitate to ask.

Follow the directions.

Work neatly and accurately.

Show your complete work, not just the answer. This will help you and your teacher when you are checking through for errors.

Always check back to be sure you have done all simple arithmetic correctly.

Do the work promptly before you have forgotten all the instructions.

If you get stuck, don’ just give up! Look back at the book and your notes for ideas related to the problem. If your work on a problem seems to be completely confused, it sometimes helps

to discard your paper entirely and start afresh. If you still can’ clear your thinking, ask the teacher about the problems as soon as possible.

Help someone else, if you can. There is no better way to learn a topic than by trying to teach it! Also, it is often helpful to call upon a classmate when you do not understand a problem. Often, they are able to explain the concept to you. — Agencies