There is no one liner or a straight ‘mantra’ to be genius in math. It’s like ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ situation. Panic and anxiety are the two common characteristics when math gives a hard time to us during test and we seem to go into a state of coma. Math is a subject which needs logic and very active metabolism of mind. One cannot be born as a genius from birth, all you need is habit and practice to make math a easy subject.
1. Picturesque image of the problem
It is always advisable to make charts and flowcharts to understand any problem sums and for geometry it is advisable to draw angles and diagrams. Same for the calculus or algebra, this makes the problem look like picture and the only reason is that we are generally visual beings , we love to imagine , so try and make the problems look like image. There is no way to start and develop new ways to make the problem look better before start working on it.
2. Fresh mind
Math is like a meditation, what is most needed is that math is a subject which needs to be handled with care and thinking that math is to be studied at any particular time, it’s wrong. You can sit for practise at any time whenever your mind is free. But with a fresh mind one can obviously solve the problems. Waking up late at night and sipping a cup of coffee doesn’t answer the problem. Then your mind gets too much into pressure and infact you are more prone to making mistakes. When you cannot solve it, leave it when you are very tired or you are sleepy, but it has been seen that when your mind is free the same problem which you have failed to solve late at night has been solved after you get a nice sleep or give your mind a break.
3. Time management
Time and tide waits for none, goes the famous line….You cannot take the whole day to solve a problem or keep bragging around one problem. It seems like the battle is lost when you cannot solve one, it’s always better to move to next and keep that problem for later (if time permits). Now, it is always better to set out strategy when you are solving sums. Set a time limit and estimate how much time will each problem take? Keep a buffer time, so that you can atleast revise and solve the other complicated sums which couldn’t be solved in the first place. Time is a very important factor that always has to be kept in mind, you cannot simply relax and doze off to sleep because “last minute panicking” is what usually happens if time management is poor and this might result in creating more mess and end up getting wrong answer.
4. Refer to other resources
There is no one way rule to solve a problem , it can solved unless it is logical. It always better to know more than one procedure while solving a problem .It gives a 360 degree approach to solve a particular sum. So, it must be seen that how other books or reference books have taken a approach to solve a particular sum. Last years question paper or sample papers also has some typical solutions if one cannot solve it the original way because nothing is impossible, even Einstein never gave up easily when one of his method failed , there are always other methods to solve a problem. The only solution is to “think before we act”.
5. Read again and again
No person can come to a solution at the instance by seeing the problem , we are not born genius. The sums are like riddles, the problem itself has a hidden hints and unless we read it, we can’t understand what’s next. So, never give up reading while starting to work it out in the main sheet. Sometimes the words are complicated or may be twisted and we might tend to confuse and panick, but the best way to understand and solve the hardest sums in simplest way is to break every sentence of the problem especially of problem(having longer sentences) or geometry which basically talks of finding “x”. At the same time one needs to be focussed, calm and not to indulge in frivlous works like passing a chit or biting nails.
6. Solve the examples at first
Whenever you are trying to solve a problem or a new chapter, start with the solved examples from the beginning of the chapter and this helps one to instill confidence within oneself. It like a video game . You start with level 1 and then you gradually move from easy to hard level. After working dozens of such problems then move to the main chapter. This is like warm up session. Sometimes few chapters give hard time to the students and generally it is the normal tendency of the students to give up and move to next, thinking that gradually one can understand the one which one previously didn’t understand. It is always better to start with examples and make the basics clear, then only one can understand the rest.
7. Do the assignments
School or tutorial assignments are very important and has to be done regularly. It is not for the sake of doing it, but doing it for the sake of one’s benefit. Moreover, those assignments are given purposely and every sum has it’s own characteristics and one should be aware of the characteristics of each problem and sum. Math is not a specialised subject, it has varied taste and it’s not a one way approach. The moment one starts to cheat from his friends this makes the person more dependent and gradually loses focuss on the subject and loses confidence and moreover you get dependent , which might give a big back blow during exams that is “nervous breakdown” or “phobia”.
8. Copying is simply of no help
Copying the assignments from your friends notebook just to be in the safe book of the teacher is act of foolishness. It is not only hampering your aptitude but also the will to work hard. No matter what, everyone is prone to be lazy, but if someone is seriously anxious about math and atleast want to score better marks then nothing comes better with little sacrifice. It is the habit that makes us to work hard. Hard work shall be something achieved by daily practice and regularity.
9. Practice makes a man perfect
No one can become a good shooter unless you practice well which not only sharpens your talent but also gives you the scope to work on your weak areas. Don’t let yourself bogged down by the fact that math should be practiced in a mechanical way, one needs to show the dedication as well as a bit of likeness for the subject. If one cannot create a soft corner for math as a subject, then you can never learn the subject well. If one chapter of the math is finished, it shouldn’t be left to be practised only before exams. Each and every roblem has it’s own speciality and methods of the each sum must be kept at the back of the mind. Meaning, if one regularly practices the sums which are already solved before must be kept in touch with so that the methods gets automatically updated in your mind.
10. Confidence and hard work (one and only mantra)
Confidence comes with combined factors. There is no one way formula to achieve good grades in math. It something like self-motivation, and self- guidance and of course the guidance of your teachers as well as your friends are important yardsticks. Building block of confidence are- practice, time management, regularity of work done. This cannot be achieved in a fortnight, it requires sheer determination and confidence which will itself convert it into Hard Work.