How Do I Get Better at Math: Guide to Improving Your Math Skills

Math isn't all about innate ability; even if this subject doesn't come easily to you, there are lots of things you can do to improve your skills. Read on for a few tips to help you get better at math!

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Getting Better at Math

Don't Take Shortcuts

Too often, students focus on short-term survival in math class. This may mean cramming for a test the night before or relying on a friend to help with homework. It may also mean resorting to unethical methods to get your homework done or pass a test.

If you take shortcuts like these, you are only cheating yourself in the long run, because each new math lesson builds on the previous one. If you don't understand one lesson before moving on to the next, you'll continue to struggle. This is why your primary goal in math class should be to truly understand the material, not just to pass the class.

Go the Extra Mile

Since it's common to learn a math skill and then not use it for a while, students often forget what they've learned. One way to avoid this is to get extra practice with new math concepts. You can do extra credit assignments that your teacher offers, or just do additional practice problems from your textbook. For instance, if you're assigned the even problems, do some of the odd ones as well.

Another way to keep math concepts fresh in your mind is to review them periodically. You can ask your teacher for review problems, or you can take some time each week to look over your notes and exams from previous units.

Ask for Help

If you don't understand a math concept, it's critical to ask for help. Homework problems are intended to help you practice a concept that you've already learned; if you don't understand the concept you're supposed to be practicing, you're setting yourself up for frustration.

It's best to ask for help from your math teacher, but if that's not feasible, get help from another adult, or even a friend. Some schools also offer free after-school tutoring programs or study groups. Whomever you ask for help, don't put it off. The longer you wait, the more catching up you'll have to do.

Don't Give Up

Everyone learns at a different speed, and everyone has strengths and weaknesses. If you feel like you're falling behind, or if math doesn't seem to be one of your strengths, this is no excuse to give up. Don't let a few poor grades or a teacher that you don't particularly like ruin your relationship with math.

If you're not as good at math as you'd like to be, keep trying. Being successful at math can open up many career paths for you that won't be available otherwise. If you follow the tips suggested earlier, you should see some improvement in your math skills, and you may even become the student that others come to for help!

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