What is the best way to learn math? Do you need a math tutor? Should you follow a math curriculum? or can you build your math skills yourself?
These are some of the questions that many people ask themselves. The truth is that there are many different ways for every individual to study math and grow their math ability. The problem is that what works for one person might not work for another, as mathematical functions work in different ways.
That can be especially true if you’re trying to learn mathematics, or a certain math subject, quickly. That’s why we’ve conducted the research, so you can spend less time trying to learn how to study math and more time studying! So, if you’re interested in finding out exactly how to learn math faster, we’ve got the tips and tricks. Let’s dive in!
Why Is Math Important?
If you’re interested in getting better at high school geometry just so you can pass the test — or perhaps are begrudgingly working your way through that SAT prep book – you might be grumbling to yourself, “I don’t even know why I need to learn this!”
While it might seem frustrating, it’s important to recognize that learning math is so important. We use math every day, perhaps without ever fully realizing it. Understanding math is so important whether you’re splitting a dinner bill, calculating a tip, or even just counting down the minutes until your workday ends.
On a broader, more abstract scale, knowing math is also important when it comes to solving problems. Problem-solving is a vital life skill; you must work through all aspects of a problem to find the proper solution. Becoming proficient in basic mathematics concepts will improve your general ability to solve problems in other areas of your life.
Whether you’re trying to navigate your way around a traffic jam or figure out how to cook your favorite meal, problem-solving is so important.
How To Learn Math Faster: 15 Tips
There are many different ways to learn math — but if you want to do so quickly, you’ll want to start with these top 15 tips for problem-solving and mastering basic math concepts — these concepts work well for getting better at maths for younger students and learners at any grade level.
You don’t even have to be a student still to learn math. So, at whatever level you are, you can learn maths by following these essential tips!
1. Get Engaged
You’re far more likely to be able to do math fast if you can fully engage with the subject. While very few of us genuinely enjoy doing math questions, those of us know that do treat it as a hobby rather than a chore.
One learning style you can use is trying to relate the mathematics equations or problems you are doing back to your own life. Be as inquisitive as possible, and try using humor and analogies to make the math problems you tackle more vivid and approachable.
Dr. Jo Boaler, a well-known mathematics teacher at Stanford University, has written that too many people focus only on fast math, or memorization and testing, rather than trying to understand how and why a certain mathematics process might exist. This often gives you the wrong answer, and you can’t learn math quickly this way.
2. Begin With the Basics
Don’t expect to master differential equations and college-level concepts with just one class. You’ve got to begin with the basics first to have a good understanding and a solid foundation.
Start with simple concepts like adding, dividing, subtracting, and multiplying until you have a good grasp. Then you can move on to harder subjects like calculus, geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra.
If you don’t know basic addition or division, algebra will be confusing and downright impossible! So make sure you follow the step-by-step process of mastering basic math before you try to become a speed demon in learning math fast.
3. Avoid Rote Memorization
Again, take a page from Dr. Jo Boaler’s book and remember that number sense is more important than rote memorization.
Sure, it’s important to be able to memorize your times tables. However, you also need to know how to work out problems in a systematic way as maths is a sequential subject. It’s easy to forget after memorizing facts, especially when you’re under pressure.
Instead, work on your number sense. This will help you work out problems from scratch, and it contributes to learning math quickly. For example, you might want to learn how to multiply by ten and other simple strategies so you can get through basic calculations easier than you would with memorization alone.
4. Create a Goal
You might say that you want to become faster at doing math — but what does that mean? Having a clear goal will help you learn math and avoid problems in the future.
Suppose you only want to learn how to work with percentages and decimal numbers, two mathematics concepts that are crucial for modern-day survival. In that case, you probably don’t need to enroll in a trigonometry course.
However, if you’re trying to get into a college program in physics — or you want to teach math — you’re going to have to go further. So set a goal before trying to learn math fast, and you’ll be much more successful in the long run.
5. Master Your Math Vocabulary
Wait, vocabulary? Isn’t that for learning a language, not math?
Yes and no.
You see, mathematics is like a language in and of itself. When you know basic terms like quadratic or coefficient, you’ll be able to get your math problems completed much more quickly and, more importantly, correctly. There are different methods you can use to achieve this.
Write down key definitions in your own words and keep them handy for quick reference. Making flashcards or using flashcard sites like StudyBlue and Quizlet can also be helpful. Over time, you should find that these terms are more or less committed to memory.
6. Identify Tips and Tricks
Once you get good at mastering basic mathematics problems, you’ll likely find that some tips and tricks work well for you individually. Number sense, as we mentioned before, is one such tip. In addition, you’ll find that certain tips and tricks “click” better in your brain than others.
For example, you might find that working with groups of four is easiest when you multiply. Other people might look for twos or an odd number. Whatever the case, find what works well for you — and lean on it as you work through more complex strategies and problems.
7. Become Better at Solving Math Problems
Work on practice questions as often as you can. Don’t skip the practice questions in your math books or on the website you are using to improve; try to work through everyone as you do.
Focus on what you know when it comes to solving math problems as well as what information you need to find. Take your time in reading word problems and do your best to extract key bits of information out of the question. Highlighting or underlining important sections can help as you work to break down and improve your comprehension of basic math problems.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
Nothing worth learning comes easy — and mathematics is no exception. You’ll only become good at math — especially fast math — once you dedicate yourself to practicing it repeatedly.
Sit down and practice your multiplication tables, basic equations, and other mathematics exercises whenever you have spare time. You should start seeing a difference — sometimes in just days or weeks.
9. Analyze Your Mistakes When Problem Solving
If you attempt a problem and don’t get the right answer, don’t just brush it off and try to do it better or correctly next time. Instead, take the time to analyze exactly what you did wrong in the problem or equation.
To learn math — and to get better at doing math quickly — you need to try out multiple answers until you find the right solution. So don’t get down on yourself when you make a mistake.
Instead, go back to review your process and figure out where you made mistakes. This step-by-step approach will help you strengthen your skills and prevent you from making the same mistake next time.
10. Get Help!
Whether you’re asking your math teacher for extra help after school, hiring a tutor in your after-hours, taking an online math course, or just asking a friend for their feedback, don’t be afraid to seek extra guidance. Even if you’ve asked for help and found that it didn’t clear things up for you, try again! Sometimes, it takes hearing something from a different perspective to get them to click.
11. Round-Up for Adding Problems
It can be helpful — and faster — to round up when adding. Adding more than two numbers at once can be especially tricky mentally. You can round them up and deduct the difference afterward to make things faster.
For example, when rounding 306 and 517, round to 310 and 520. You’ll get the answer — 830 — in a snap, and then you can subtract the four and the three to get the final solution.
12. Get to Class
If you’re trying to learn math fast, don’t skip out on seat time! Being in class, if you’re a student, is the most important thing you can do for yourself to boost your education and aptitudes. Make sure you go to class because skipping just one session can cause you to miss foundational lessons that will be important later on for each sequential bit of instruction.
Oh, and while you’re at it — do your homework!
13. Use Real-World Examples
Math is much easier to understand if you can apply it to the real world. So not only will this help you see how a math problem might be relevant in your day-to-day life or job, but it will also help make it more memorable so you can learn math fast — and retain the skills you learned in the long term. Who knows? It might become your favorite subject.
14. Try Technology
The Internet has enabled us to learn about any new skill — and mathematics is no exception. From online math tutoring to math websites, there are many ways to build your skills and master math problems without ever having to leave home.
Any of these resources can be useful, so take the time to find the one that works best for you. The more exposure you have to math problems, the better. You can use online resources like games, books, and videos or enroll in more formal interactive video lessons. While some of these require paid subscriptions or purchases, many are available completely free of charge.
15. Eliminate Distractions
Last but not least, try to focus! It can be hard for most people to unwind and free up their brains well enough to learn fast math.
However, learning maths and mastering common math topics will be much harder if you have something stressful on your mind. Take time to relax before sitting in front of your math books, and use strategies to help eliminate distractions. Many people rely on classical music to help them focus, while other people shut off their cell phones, go to a distraction-free environment, or go as far as to hire tutors to help keep them on track.
Learn Math Fast — One Problem at a Time
Math is a subject that many people struggle with, but it doesn’t have to be the case. You can use some simple tricks to learn math faster and more effectively. Learning math can be challenging, whether you have trouble understanding the material or because your teacher doesn’t make it interesting.
Many students feel like they don’t have many options when it comes to learning math — and knowing how to learn math faster — and as a result, they resort to giving up completely on math. You can do some things, though, so don’t lose hope!
These tips should help you get started in the right direction so you can break through those barriers – there’s no time to waste!