How to Improve Your Math Skills (For Those Who Hate Math)
Are you one of those people who just hate math? Did you choose your job because it does not revolve around anything related to math like I did? That is one of the reasons I write, because I don’t like math.
Do you cringe every time someone asks you do perform simple math functions in your head? Or do you whip out your calculator on your phone and say it’s faster and easier, skirting the fact that you have a tough time doing math in your head?
If you are one of those people that just hates math, and don’t feel bad because there are more of us than you may think, then read on for two tips to improve your math skills.
Make sure you read and completely understand the instructions
If you are a math hater, you tend to become easily frustrated when asked to perform math functions on tests. While we all understand the irritation of having to do math, it is imperative to make sure you are reading the instructions completely and fully understanding what is being asked of you.
Have you whizzed through a test just to get done and then received a terrible grade? When you went back and looked at the answers, you realized you didn’t read the directions completely and you did know how to arrive at the answer. Your dislike of math made you breeze through without taking time to understand the nuances of the problems.
When you receive a test, stop and read the directions. Sometimes one little word or symbol is the key to solving the problem. As we well know, one little change in the order of operation tends to skew the answer to something completely out of the ball park. Take time to read the order of operations required and understand what answer is being requested. Sometimes we see a problem and we just jump to a conclusion that the requested answer is A + B *C, when in fact it is (A + B) * C.
Break down the problem into sections
In the basic example above, there is an order of operations. This is true for most problems and is a clue as to how to solve the problem.
A finance teacher once told our class, I am not good at math. We all laughed because he was our finance instructor and he knew his stuff. He told us the concept of breaking down problems into small sections and completing them in order of operations.
This sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is. And this is a great way to solve a problem step by step without overwhelming your brain looking at things like A(B+C) – ½ *3D –XYZ that say solve for Y. Most math haters will just shake their heads and start the problem without stopping to understand what is being asked of them.
First, read the directions. Figure out what answer is being requested. Next, look at the order of operations. Are there certain functions that need to be performed first such as adding within brackets? Perform the operations in order as dictated by the rules. Then put all the pieces together and you will find the steps are easier to follow and you tend to come up with the correct answer most of the time.
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