“Without mathematics, there's nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.” - Shakuntala Devi
It would be handy if maths was easier, though... Maths is about so much more than just the result, you need to understand how to work it out and apply theories to a given problem if you want to be a mathematician.
Despite how difficult maths can be, it’s not going anywhere and will probably never be removed as an obligatory subject on the national curriculum.
Kids are taught about maths from a young age. They start counting before learning to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. As they go through school, they'll learn to do more challenging maths problems.
In this article, we’re going to have a look at why maths is important (both in and outside of the classroom) and how you can learn it (even if it's been years since you last studied it!).
Find a reputable maths tutor on Superprof.
Why Learn Maths?
At first glance, you might think maths is discrete like some of the other subjects you have to study at school.
Students generally fall into one of two categories: those who love maths, physics, chemistry, etc., and those who love English and the arts. Only a very small fraction of students love both.
However, unlike what we sometimes think when we’re in school, maths can be really useful in life, whether at the checkout in the supermarket or just working out the bill at a restaurant. There’s no age limit, either. Students of all ages can work with the maths tutors on Superprof and get some extra instruction to help them.
There are several reasons as to why people need maths tutoring:
- To get a good result on their coursework
- To pass a certain maths exam or qualification (such as the GRE).
- To impress during an interview in a job that involves a lot of maths
- To change careers
It can also be useful to brush up on your maths before going to university by studying certain maths topics like:
- Arithmetic (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, etc.)
- Analysis (statistics, graphing, etc.)
- Search algorithms
- Geometry (shapes, size, position, measurement, etc.)
- Mathematical logic
At the same time, learning maths can also help you develop certain skills that you can use in a huge variety of situations:
- Solving complex problems
- Improving your short-term and long-term memory
- Improving your cognitive reactions
- Broadening your skill set
- Learning to use different programmes
Learning maths can be like learning languages: you need to be motivated, give yourself achievable objectives, and study the different methods for solving problems. Remember that everyone’s different when it comes to their maths abilities.
Which is the right method for you?
The Best Methods for Learning Maths Quickly
To motivate yourself to learn maths quickly, there’s nothing better than getting in touch with private maths tutors if you need someone to teach you maths! They’ll be able to:
- Help you deal with maths problems when you’re stuck
- Give you the tools you need to achieve your objectives
- Help you improve your memory and manage your time when studying for maths exams
- Share tips, tricks, and methods for students wanting to learn maths methods more quickly
- Give you an explanation of word problems
Find good online math courses for your kids.
Whether you’re learning your times tables or studying the complex elements of maths, your private maths tutors can help you.
They can tailor their tutorials and use various methods for effectively learning maths:
- Theory classes and homework
- Monitoring your progress with exams and tests
- Tips and tricks for solving maths problems
- Games for learning maths
- Exercises, activities, and worksheets to help you understand certain maths problems
Qualified and experienced maths tutors are the best option for speeding up the learning process. They’ll each have their own ways of preparing their tutorials, which they’ll adapt to your needs, especially if you need to learn something quickly. Some of their favourite methods include:
- Repeating formulae aloud
- Explaining concepts back to them in your own words
- Giving you advice for studying
- Asking you to summarise what you’ve learnt after each session
If you have to brush up on mental arithmetic, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, or memorise times tables, etc., a maths tutor will be your coach. They’ll keep you motivated, make sure you’re focused on your objectives, and effectively manage your time to help you get the most out of your study programme.
On Superprof, students can leave reviews of their tutors so you can see if they’re any good. A lot of students get tutors to help them studying maths at GCSE or A Level. That said, you can also learn maths on your own.
Can You Really Teach Yourself Maths?
You can learn maths in the same way you’d study English or history: go back over the past papers and pick up some good study guides.
Of course, it’s not quite that simple: you have to visualise the problem you’re presented with and also choose the right approach to solving it.
There are plenty of people who struggle with maths, confuse prime numbers and relative numbers, and lack the necessary mastery of maths to do any real problem-solving. That’s why it’s essential for those who are learning maths on their own to use the right methods.
Do you know if you’re a visual or auditive learner?
If you do, you can choose learning methods that’ll help you learn maths really quickly:
- If you’re an auditive learner, focus on repetition, repeating things aloud like you did with your multiplication tables at school.
- If you’re a visual learner, you’ll probably want to focus on using visual resources and looking at brightly-coloured diagrams and seeing fractions as graphs in textbooks and on websites.
You’ll need to remain motivated in order to reach your goals. Mathematics requires a combination of several things:
- Work focusing on the foundations of maths knowledge (learning tables off by heart, memorising the rules of arithmetic)
- An understanding of how to solve problems by using logic and critical thinking.
While you can learn the former in books, it’s more difficult to learn the latter in this way. Your teacher’s or tutor’s teaching skills will help you work out the reasoning. That’s why there are several things you’ll need to consider if you’re learning maths on your own:
- Focus on mnemonics: a lot of the formulae can be illustrated in easier ways.
- Use games to learn maths: you can play maths games on your mobile on the bus, on your iPad in the house, or even get printed maths games and puzzles to do on long flights.
- Make the most of all the tools at your disposition: you can access MOOCs whenever you want online, there are online calculators, and you can find websites with maths exercises to help you learn more quickly.
- Study maths on your own: However, this isn't the most effective method if you’re looking for really quick results. Of course, it does mean that you can revise how and when you want.
It can be useful if you’re studying GCSEs or A Levels. A private tutor will encourage you when you’re feeling demotivated, but if you’re learning on your own, you’re going to have to put a lot of effort in.
Learn Maths Easily with these resources
Don't forget to check out some of these maths websites and apps:
|Sudoku, Chess, and Board Games||Easy to learn||Not for specific maths skills|
|Montessori||Multi-platform||Just for kids|
|iTooch||Positive reinforcement, progression, built-in calculator||Rigid structure, American school system|
|BBC Bitesize||Wide range of subjects, activities, levels||British curriculum only|
|AB Math Lite||Bright and colourful app, free||Mostly arithmetic,|
Start Learning Maths
So how do you choose the right learning method for you?
Ask yourself a few questions:
- What type of learner am I? Visual, aural, or kinesthetic?
- How much time can I spend studying maths per week?
- Do I want to learn by using resources other than textbooks?
- How urgently do I need to learn maths?
“My child was struggling with their maths homework in primary school. This trend continued into secondary school. He had a good memory but struggled to concentrate on maths problems. Given he wanted to study the sciences, it was important that he was good at maths and he needed some help! Then we hired Baptiste to teach him. He focused on his strengths and weaknesses and helped build his confidence.”
It’s important considering your strengths and weaknesses before you start any revision programme:
- If you’re easily distracted, stressed during exams, or you’re not sure how you’re going to improve your results, a private tutor can help you consolidate everything you learn each lesson with interactive activities.
- If you’re more autonomous, you could do online exercises, print out a worksheet, do some quizzes, or play maths games on your computer and soon you’ll have mastered what you need to learn.
- Learning depends on your personality, how you learn new information, and how you take notes.
It all depends on how you want to learn. If you’re focusing on whole numbers, decimal numbers, or polynomials, you should focus on trying to consolidate all your knowledge.
If you want to become good at maths, you’re going to have to focus on clear objectives.
So are you ready to learn the secrets of exponential functions and right triangles, etc.?
Fire up your neurons and start learning! You can even learn whilst playing games...