Basic Math Made Easy

Does math seem really hard to you? Whether it's basic subtraction or complicated calculus, these tips and tricks will make it a cinch.

Has math always seemed difficult? Do the numbers all blur together"¦ does the solution seem to escape you time after time? Don't despair, this can all be fixed. Mathematics' foundation is in reasoning, a skill that we are all born with in some fashion or another. The trick to unlocking the secret is to relax, and find the right approach to each problem.

Instead on pinpointing one particular field of mathematics, I will speak in generalities as to allow for better comprehension on all levels. Let us take problem number one, it could be any kind of problem, subtraction"¦ trig"¦ or even calculus. Don't immediately jump in and solve the problem, instead look at it for a second and think about what it is asking you, what does it want you to figure out. Verbalize the problem, this will allow you to catch any semantic mistakes that you might be making.

After you have said the problem out loud, separate the problem into at least two parts. For example if you had three times five, you would separate it into (three) and (five). Look at the parts in your head, and try to accomplish the desired goal. Make sure to use distinctions, don't say three and five equal eight. Say three plus five equals eight. Clarity is the most important thing in mathematics.

Word problems exist in all realms of mathematics. They are often people's nemesis. How can you defeat the word problem? Make it a numerical problem. First, as above, observe the problem. Now, once again, verbalize the problem.

Now go through the problem and pull out all numbers and units. So if the problem is, "Jenny has three apples, she gives one apple to Tommy, but takes two apples from Keri, how many apples does she now have?" So your units are: 3 Apples, 1 Apple, 2 Apples. Now, go back and replace the commas with the appropriate signs. If she gave one to Tommy, it is subtraction because she is losing one. If she takes two from Keri, it is addition, because she is gaining two apples. So: 3 Apples - 1 Apple + 2 Apples. No double check your work, read the problem, then your numerical statement, and see if they sound right. If so, solve the problem using the numbers and units. Answer: 4 Apples.

Another key to mathematics is repetition. Repeat the same type of problem many times until you understand the appropriate pattern and the key to solving it. Try to do at least twenty of each type of your feared problem each day. After class, or lessons, review your notes or lesson book, re-do the problems in your head, or on paper if necessary. Remember, you have the skills needed to accomplish these problems, focus, concentrate, and relax, it will be a cinch!

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