**MAKING MATHS EASY**

**How to study Maths when the subject feels so difficult?**

Many
students find it very difficult to solve **Maths** problems. They keep attempting and somehow either they get stuck in the middle
or if they get to the answer, they find that it is not right. How to solve this
problem? How to study **Maths**?
Especially when the subject feels so difficult?

Follow
the steps below one after the other. Don’t jump any step because these steps
are progressive. If you don’t succeed in completing a step, you must not
continue. Make sure you finish the earlier step successfully and then come back
here.

Pick
up one chapter from your **Maths** textbook
that is difficult for you and apply these steps diligently. You will then see
that your **Maths** performance improves
a lot.

## 1. Revise earlier learning

The
first job you should do without assuming anything is to make sure that your
previous record is thorough. You must pick up 10 problems randomly
from the earlier question papers and try to solve them.

If
you get eight or more problems right, then you can continue with the next step.
Otherwise, do this first exercise until you get at least eight of them right.

You
may not be able to score 80% on your earlier syllabus because of the following
reasons:

·
You
may not have understood the concept clearly

·
You
may not remember the formulas correctly

·
You
may not have followed the steps suitably

·
You
may have missed the rationale behind the calculation

·
You
may have erred while putting the signs properly

Whatever
is the reason, check it, correct it, and keep at it until you get 80%. Don’t be
in a hurry to finish everything in one go. What you learn now is going to help
you throughout your life.

## 2. Analyze the first problem

Once
you have decided on the chapter in the current syllabus, take the first problem
and try to analyze it.

·
What
is the question about?

·
What
exactly should you get as an answer?

·
How
do you derive the steps?

·
What
kind of thinking is involved?

·
How
many substitutions are there?

·
How
many deductions are there?

·
What
formula is being applied and why?

·
What
rule is being followed and why?

## 3. Inverted Triangle

Do
not be in a hurry to pick up a similar problem from the exercise section and
try to copy the solution. This is the greatest mistake done by almost all
students.

There
are a few more stages of preparation before you do it.

Imagine
an inverted triangle. Look at the problem and try to fill in the gaps.

On
the working sheet, draw an inverted triangle as shown above, and answer the
following questions.

·
Find
out how many steps are there to arrive at the solution?

·
What
happens in each step? Write down next to the step.

·
Sometimes
a value is assumed, a parameter is added, a substitution is done, or a
deduction is undertaken.

·
Whatever
happens, note it down until you reach the solution.

·
Once
you complete this exercise, compare the problem with the solution.

·
How
are they different? What insight comes through?

## 4. Counting Steps

The
most important aspect of the whole exercise is to remember the number of steps
you need to solve the problem.

Each
problem has a fixed number of steps and every time you come across a problem,
always remember to count the number of steps.

In
the above example, only five steps have been shown for illustrative purposes.
In actual cases, it could be more.

Just
look at the other problems solved in the textbook within the same chapter and see
if the number of steps changes or remains constant.

If
they change, then try to analyze why there is a change?

You
have chosen the easiest problem in the chapter by taking the first problem.
Determine how things are added as the content progresses.

## 5. Compare the first with the last

Compare
the first problem with the last problem and then come down to other problems.
This is essential to understand the variation in the concept and the
application of the concept.

Each
problem in the chapter should be compared with the first problem so that you
will have an idea as to what changes happen between them.

## 6. Follow Rules like BODMAS

**Maths** is highly systematic in its
functioning and adheres to the rules very strictly. Errors creep in when these
rules are either ignored or forgotten.

Check
what kind of rules are being followed in the chapter.

·
Sign

·
addition

·
subtraction

·
division

·
indices

·
power

·
exponential

·
simplification

·
estimation,
etc.

## 7. Remember Formulas

You
must remember the formula at any cost. To achieve this, you have to know the formula
by heart. Try to write down the formula without referring to any notes or
textbooks. Do this every day until you feel you are thorough. Then, reproduce it
after a gap of three days, one week, one fortnight, and one month.

## 8. Prepare Charts

Make
separate charts of rules, formulas, symbols, diagrams, etc. These charts will
not only help you to remember things vividly but also minimize your exam
preparation.

You
can even devise strategies to make separate charts, for example, one chart on
Area, another on Volume, etc.

## 9. Extract Common factors

These
charts will also help you in extracting common factors between one problem and
the other. Suppose you choose 'Volume', you can see what is common between the
volumes of almost all shapes, whether it is a cube, sphere, cuboid, square,
circle, pyramid, prism, cone, etc.

## 10. Remember unique factors

Similarly,
identify unique factors. There are certain things you consider in some
calculations, which you will never consider in other calculations. Extracting
these unique factors will help you to understand the special characteristics.
For example, if you choose Area, you can now see what is unique between the
Areas of a triangle, circle, square, rectangle, trapezium, rhombus, equilateral
triangle, sphere, semicircle, etc.

## 11. Go to basics when stuck and apply your knowledge

If you are stuck somewhere in the middle while trying to solve the problem, don’t refer to the textbook or notes, and immediately correct your mistake. This is the gravest mistake almost everyone will do. The correction will happen on paper because you have copied it. But correction will not happen in your brain, where the information is stored. Chances are the same thing is bound to happen later, too. Let’s not carry this mistake to our exams, too.

So,
try to reason out why you are stuck. Sometimes, we may have forgotten some
basic principles. So, go back to basics and verify where you have gone wrong.
Only then, come back to this problem, apply what you have learned, and try to
solve the problem without any help.

## 12. Variation due to change in plus to minus

Once
you successfully solve a problem, do not stop there. Change the sign from plus
to minus once and see how the calculation varies from one problem to another.
Now you will know the importance of plus and minus. The majority of the
students make the mistake of writing plus for minus and vice versa. This is
what leads them to miscalculations.

In
addition, change the value of just one parameter, and see how the calculation
differs from the original.

This
kind of manipulation during practice is necessary for us to find the nuances in
**Maths**.

## 13. Try to come from the Answer to the Problem

Another
manipulation you can do is to see how things add up when you proceed from the answer
to the question. If you can see the differences that occur in each step and how
important it is, you will be able to master **Maths**.

## 14. Choose randomly and apply formulae

Pick
up problems randomly from different sections of the book when you practice.
Don’t stick to one chapter only. Remember that in the examination, questions
come randomly. They don’t mention that the first problem is from the first
chapter, and so on. When you do this during practice, you will have control
over judging the questions correctly.

Doing
this will also let you know which formula to use, and when. Many times,
students get confused when they see the problem. They don’t know if they have
to use linear equations or quadratic equations when they encounter the problem.
If you have understood the nature of the problem and the use of the formulas,
then **Maths** will become your favorite
subject.

## 15. Clarify when the problem is given in words

Read
the problem, convert it into a chart or a graph, or a diagram, and note down the
numbers, values, and symbols used in the question.

Read
the problem once again but start from the end and proceed to the beginning of
the problem. In case you have missed something during the first reading, you
will get it in the second reading.

Before
you attempt to answer, convert the given problem into a diagram, especially in
geometry.

## 16. Recreate Formula

The
best way to remember the formula is to recreate it. When you recreate, you will
know why exactly addition or subtraction happens? Why there is a division in
most of the formulas? What is the importance of multiplication? What role do
the notations play?

## 17. Don’t keep practicing day and night; learn how to practice

Identify
mistakes done in the past and don’t repeat a mistake. Make new mistakes and try
to correct them. You can afford to make mistakes during practice but not during
the examination. If you know what mistakes you make now, you will not repeat them
later.

There
is a method to practice and it has to be systematic. Go through my article on
“How to practice?” **Maths** is a skill
and it must be practiced using the trial and error method only.

## 18. Don’t keep the textbook or notes open when you solve the problem

As
much as possible the textbook or notes should be kept closed. The less you
depend upon them, the more your learning will be. They should be used as a frame
of reference and not as a crutch.

## 19. Warm up for mathematics before the exam

Don’t
sit and practice till late at night just before the exam. I have seen plenty of
students who prepare the night before only to come and sleep during the exam.
Even when we wake them up and ask them to wash their faces, they continue their
slumber.

Lack
of sleep hampers our performance. Instead, go through the charts you have
prepared and think about the problems you may get during the examination. It
doesn’t cost to guess! Just before the exam, do some simple calculations so
that the brain warms up for more complicated problem-solving. In addition,
mentally go through the formulas and ensure you get them right.

## 20. Remove fear, anxiety, and stress

What
most of the students have picked up is an unnatural fear of **Maths**. It almost becomes a phobia in a
few students. As you practice associating fear with **Maths**, you start being anxious about your performance. Then there
is a stress to please your parents and teachers.

Instead
of yielding to these emotions, make sure that you have nothing to worry about as
you have mastered **Maths**.

ðŸ”± ðŸ”± ðŸ”±

## Studying Maths

So,
try to follow these steps one after another. There are no shortcuts in life.
You may think why to struggle so hard. The advantage of a scientific method is,
you need to train only once. Afterward, it is just practice. There is no need
to keep learning the same thing over and again. We can invest the same time to
learn something new.

Comment about
how you were able to use these strategies so that others can also benefit from
them.

**All the best for you in your next Maths exam.**

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