Tips for improving Math skills in students

For some students, doing Math can cause negative emotions like fear of failure. This harms their ability to perform. Studies have proved that the students who struggle with Math are as much as half a school year behind their peers in Math. Even for the students who don’t struggle with Math, should also develop positive study habits as it will help them in pursuance of Math in future.

So if your child struggles with Math and you are wondering how to improve his/her Math skills, you can use the given strategies to enhance your child’s performance in the Mathematics.

·         Understand rather than memorize Math–The best tip to get better at Math is to try to understand it rather than just memorize it. Students often try to memorize a procedure or sequence of steps instead of looking to understand why certain steps are required in a procedure. For this reason, it’s important for students to understand the ‘why’ behind Math concepts and not just the ‘how’.


·         Practice, Practice, Practice—Math is a language, meant to express the relationships between and interplay of numbers. And like learning a new language, learning mathematics requires students to practice each concept individually. Some concepts may require more practice and some require far less but every student must practice the concept until he or she individually attains fluency in that particular Math skill. When a student gets seven varied questions in a row correct that student is probably at the point of understanding the concept, even more so if that student can re-visit the questions a few months later and can still solve them.


·         Work Additional Exercises–Working additional exercises challenges students to understand and utilize the core concepts of Mathematics. Similarly students should practice going above and beyond simply practicing with the class or with homework but also through individual work with worksheets dedicated to the core concepts. Students who are struggling could also challenge themselves to try to solve the odd number questions of 1-20, whose solutions are at the back of their Math textbooks, in addition to their regular assignment of the even-number problems. Doing the extra practice questions only helps students to grasp the concept more readily.


·         Work Buddy —Some students like to work alone but when it comes to solving problems, it often helps some students to have a work buddy. Sometimes a work buddy can help clarify a concept for another student by looking at it and explaining it differently. A work buddy also provides students with the opportunity to discuss how they each solved the Math problem or how one or the other did not understand the solution.


·         Explain and Question —Another great way to help students grasp core Mathematics concepts better is to get them to explain how the concept works and how to solve problems using that concept to other students. This way, individual students can explain and question one another on these basic concepts and if one student doesn’t quite understand, the other can present the lesson through a different perspective. Explaining and questioning is one of the fundamental ways humans learn and grow as individual thinkers. Allowing students this freedom will commit these concepts to long-term memory, ingraining their significance in the young students’ minds long after they leave elementary school.


  • Do all of the homework—Don’t ever think of homework as a choice. It’s the most important way that students practice and master the concepts taught in class. So set up a regular time and place for doing homework daily.
  • Analyse and understand every mistake—Students want to pass over a mistake made in homework or a test, to just let it go. But it’s important to fix mistakes and understand why they were made; otherwise they are very likely to be repeated. Take time to find out the reason behind a mistake and figure out how to do it right. Ask the teacher if you’re unclear. It can also be helpful to write a paragraph of reflection about why errors were made.
  • Basic skills are essential.  The multiplication tables are the basis for most high school Math problems. If your child doesn’t know them, practice! Make flash cards or do it through it through some game and practice, practice and practice….

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