Top 10 Math Secrets You Won’t Learn In School – Part 2

Top 10 Math Secrets You Won't Learn In School - Part 2

We hope you caught the first 3 tips in this series—click here if you missed Part 1! As promised, here are some more secret tips from the Premier Tutors. They’re guaranteed to help you avoid getting panicked about math!

4. Don’t Skip Ahead, and You Won’t Lose Your Head.

If you complete every step in a math problem, your chances of making a mistake are dramatically reduced. Math is an organized system that proceeds step-by-step.  Skip a step and the system falls apart.  Here are two great ways to keep from skipping ahead:

  • When working on a math problem, a good rule of thumb to follow is “If you’re thinking it, write it down!” This creates a step-by-step record of what you did and why. You’ll benefit from the method, and your teacher will (usually) give you more credit since he/she has evidence of your hard work and process.
  • Another rule to live by is to only solve one step at a time and write down each one as you solve it. So if you had 10 + (45 x 2), you’d solve (45 x 2), write your answer down (90), and then solve 10 + 90. Write down every step of the problem, and keep track of your work, it’ll come in handy.

5. Double Check Your Work, and Catch Mistakes Before You Make ‘em.

We know—if you don’t like math, doing it twice certainly sounds like a horrible idea. But if you don’t get the grades you need, you’ll be taking the whole class twice!  And that’s so much worse.  Double checking for errors is a surefire way to better your performance at math. You could’ve made a mistake anywhere: you might have copied the question down wrong or you might have made an incorrect calculation. It could even be something as simple as a messed up negative sign! Everyone’s human, but in math, every error means an incorrect solution.

Remember: It only takes a sec to double check!

Double check every detail, including the numerals and how you got from one step to the next. Mistakes in math are usually the part that got left out, so double check between the lines of your calculations. In situations when you are allowed to, double check your math (even the simple stuff) with a calculator. Nothing is worse than getting a test back and finding out you missed crucial points by incorrectly adding 12+8. It happens!

6. Know Your Formulae and Unlock the Problem.

It takes just a few minutes to memorize a formula. When you’re confident that you know how to approach a math problem, you’ll be able to solve it much more easily. Think of formulae as instructions for building simple shapes out of Legos. Once you get the hang of them, you can build more complex shapes.

Write formulae down on flash cards, read them, learn them, know them, own them! The next time you’re stuck on a problem, simply remembering your formula and writing it down may reveal the path to the solution.


Like these tips? Keep checking back because we like sharing them with you. Forward them to your friends and study buddies and keep the good grades rollin’ in!