November. Two months of “Math torture” are over.

Hello, everyone!

Two months of “Math torture” are over and some of you realized that marks are lower than you expected and aimed to get. You can improve your test performance by changing your studying routine. Here are some tips that, I am sure, will help you to do better.

1. Understand the core logical structure of the newly introduced concept.

At first, go over definitions and “key ideas” of the current topic BEFORE you start doing the homework. Your teacher introduced a new concept to you, you took notes and the textbook also has “key ideas” summarized at the end of each section. Read them all and make sure that you understand deeply the meaning of each idea.

2. Create a math journal - a collection of all key ideas and methods.

Start a “Math journal” where you enter main concepts, methods you learned in each unit. “Math journal” should not be long and detailed. Write down only important information, diagrams, mind maps, and one example to illustrate the concept. Your “Math journal” is a collection of all the things you need to remember to do well on the exam. It helps to prepare for the final exam, but it also helps to clarify and organize information in your head. Here are some pages from “Math Journal” that is written by one of my Grade 11 student.

3. Do more than assigned by your teacher.

Solve more questions than are assigned for the homework. Do, or go over, all the practice questions in the current section in the textbook. Include questions from the “Extended” section of your textbook. Google extra worksheets, practice tests and do them. Constantly challenge yourself to develop deep understanding of the concept and methods.

4. Assess your knowledge, understanding, speed, focusing and thinking abilities.

Self-assess your problem solving skills by checking the answers, making sure you solved without looking into your notes, textbook, and without using other types of help. If your answer was wrong, or you needed help, solve more questions of the same type. Check your understanding of the concept by solving a diversity of questions from different textbooks, worksheets, internet sources.

And here is my “Golden Rule” for solving ANY Math question:
“Read a problem very attentively: understand the provided information and the question. Read one sentence, a phrase per time. Use diagrams, tables, and write down the important data. When you think that you know what this questions is about, read it one more time to check your understanding. Only after you have done all these steps, start to think about how to solve the question.”

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill:
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

Some reflections on my tutoring experience.

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