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academic subject
learning style
solid foundation
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Structured Approach To Success In Mathematics
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Even if life is complicated, mathematics does not have to be and success in the subject is attainable if we adopt a structured approach to learning. Mathematics as an academic subject can be a challenge to the best of us, and the lack of a proper foundation in math often affects one's attitude towards the subject when it matters most.

As a solid foundation is important to the strength of a building, a solid foundation in math, which is acquired through a thorough understanding of the subject matter, is essential for success in the subject. While teaching and delivery of the subject matter are important, as a mathematics student, you have to take responsibility for the learning process, by applying yourself and not being fully dependent on someone else for that solid foundation.

One of the most important factors for success in mathematics is being aware of your ability. As you begin a program of study, you must first understand your learning style as it relates to this particular subject. Are you someone who can easily and quickly assimilate numerical information? Are you able to understand a concept by oral explanation only or must you take written notes? Are you comfortable with a single example done in the classroom or does it takes a few examples for a concept to sink in? Are you best able to follow when a step by step method is used in worked examples? How good are you in interpreting meaning in the context of a problem? Knowing yourself and being fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses in the subject will go a long way in developing an approach that will lead to success.

There are many different branches of mathematics; therefore as you embark upon your studies, you should have an understanding of what the particular branch of study is all about. Prior to starting the course, try to do some research or read a simple introduction to the course. This knowledge will assist in appreciating new concepts, identifying key terms, and understanding the language and notation that are unique to the course. Also, knowledge of how the course content is applicable to everyday life will stimulate your interest and encourage class participation.

As you work towards the goal of success in mathematics, you must make a commitment to engage in additional studies. To acquire competence in mathematics you must consistently practice problems as you learn new concepts. Also, since everything cannot be taught in the classroom, independent study is a necessary complement to class lectures.

Even if you prefer to study alone, there are times when you will need help, therefore sometimes having a study partner or a study group may prove to be beneficial. Different explanations of a topic or concept can make understanding clearer and can decrease the time spent on a single topic, in addition to which the shared knowledge may be a benefit to all. However, when engaging in group study, members should always stick to the subject matter and not stray into casual and unrelated conversations, thus defeating the purpose of the group session.

An important factor in achieving success in mathematics is efficient time management. Additional studies that are essential for math must not be pursued in a haphazard way. At the start, you should decide on the number of additional hours that you are allotting for extra studies; you should devise a realistic study timetable and make every effort to stick to the plan. You must be aware that you will have to give up some leisure activities, but this is necessary to achieve your goal. At all times you should avoid unnecessary distractions by letting those around you know the importance of your studies and tactfully ask them to respect your wish to be undisturbed.

As you make a commitment to accept the challenge of studying mathematics, you must get some prior knowledge of the subject so that you do not feel lost in the beginning; you must be prepared to channel your energies on improving your weak areas; engage yourself in extra studies outside of regularly scheduled class times and try to adhere to your study plan to avoid wasting precious time. Success in mathematics requires an attitude of confidence and the resolve to persevere against all odds and in spite of how difficult the struggle may be.

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