There’s absolutely nothing wrong with not finding anything arithmetically enjoyable, and you definitely shouldn’t feel ashamed for not having a maths skill.
In fact, nearly half of all British adults can’t do basic maths. However, there is value in having some basic maths skills for when they are necessary in life and it’s never too late to learn them.
You don’t just need these skills to work as a maths teacher; simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division or more complicated subjects such as calculus and AA Math are all vital for various real-life situations, including when doing DIY, grocery shopping, cooking, buying a house, planning a journey, and more.
What are the Top Things a Successful Math Student Does?
So if you’d like to give your maths skills a boost, try out these techniques.
1. Study With Friends
You’re definitely not alone, as around half of all your friends also likely need a maths refresher. Studying on your own can be a struggle, especially if you find something difficult.
Therefore, you will likely find it easier to find a study partner. This might be a friend, your partner, or someone online who you can learn, discuss problems, and share ideas.
2. Play Games
The best way to learn is to make it fun, and one way to do this is by playing games that you enjoy but that also test your arithmetic skills.
Of course, most games won’t have you solving complex algebra equations or calculating differentials, but they will help you to get more comfortable with numbers and give your mental arithmetic a bit of a workout.
If you want to practice adding, then a card game might be a good option. One of the most popular options is blackjack which requires you to make 21 from your hand, adding the value of the two cards you’re initially dealt and then any subsequent cards you request from the dealer.
Once you’ve mastered that, more advanced blackjack players also factor in probabilities when making their decisions in the game.
Scrabble is also a great game for practicing your maths skills. Sure, it’s a word game, but it requires you to add your score together and necessitates multiplication for double and triple letter and word scores.
3. Download an App
Apps allow you to learn maths on the go, on the sofa, in bed, or just about anywhere else without having to get out a load of bulky books. Some of the best ones available also make learning fun with games, tests, and easy bite-size lessons.
Great options include:
‣ BBC Skills wise – An app that covers all kinds of skills but also includes a lot of content on mathematics. If you prefer, you can also learn through the BBC’s website.
‣ Khan Academy – The Khan Academy app contains online lessons, quizzes, and easy-to-follow videos, much of which can be accessed for free.
‣ Math Brain Booster Games – As the name suggests, Math Brain Booster Games is an app that contains games specifically designed to boost your maths skills.
4. YouTube Videos
YouTube is great for learning just about anything, with content that covers literally everything from engineering concepts like water hammer through to the basics of swimming. For anyone looking to brush up on their numeracy skills, there’s also plenty of content.
The great thing about YouTube is that it also covers more advanced topics, so if you’re comfortable with your timetables and fractions, you can use channels like Numberphile to learn topics like the “golden ratio”, calculating the volume of a sphere, and parabolas.
5. Use Your Mental Maths Skills throughout the Day
Numbers are everywhere, so why not use them to exercise your maths muscles as you go about your day?
If you’re waiting for the bus, count the number of cars that go past and then multiply that number by four to calculate how many wheels went past.
Or while shopping, keep a running tally of everything in your trolley and see how close you were when you get to the checkout.
You may find that not all these methods work for you, so experiment with a few options and see which ones you find the most useful. In no time at all, you’ll be a human calculator.