How to Study Math

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How to study math

“This is too hard.” I don’t understand this. “Why did I choose this major?” “Why do I let myself suffer like this?” Okay, so I’m being melodramatic, but these thoughts run through my mind when I’m studying math. I acknowledge that math isn’t the hardest subject out there and everyone has their struggles with a subject. In my case, I love math, but I’m not the best at it. A lot had to do with me not knowing how to approach and study the material. I thought that it would be all computations like in calculus, but once I arrived to upper division math it wasn’t. After a few bad grades I learned that my approach for studying math was not working. I had to change my approach.

The first thing to keep in mind when studying college math is that it takes a lot of time and practice. You might not get the solution for a problem in the first attempt, second attempt or even third attempt. It might take you a dozen attempts so be patient with yourself. Also when you are reading math it’s not like reading a fiction novel. Math is very time consuming; sometimes you’ll be reading the material over and over until you grasp it. The first step is to know, understand and memorize all and any definitions given for the math course you are taking. For example, the definition of a set is a collection of objects or elements. So if we don’t know what an element is, we won’t understand what a set is. The definition of an element is the members of a set. Therefore, for any definitions that are given make sure you understand all the terminology involved in the definition. Carefully read and study the examples in the textbook and make examples for yourself until the definition becomes clear.

Second, make sure you understand all theorems and lemmas. A theorem in mathematics is a proposition that has been or is to be proved on the basis of explicit assumptions. (freedictionary.com) While a lemma is a secondary proposition assumed to be true and used to prove a theorem....
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