Test Tips

Math homework can be tough, no matter what level of math you are taking. From pre algebra to advanced calculus, it’s hard to get ahead of the curve and be completely comfortable with the math course that you are taking. Ironically, the next year you are usually able to do the previous year’s math rather easily. Either way, there are a few ways to make math easier for you.

If you are assigned homework in a math class, make sure you do it. Even if you don’t think the teacher will look at it or collect it during class, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. The purpose of homework is to learn how to do the problems by actually practicing them, so that when the test comes you will already know how to solve all of the problem types. I realized recently (I’m still a student) that doing homework in math class was actually more important than I thought. It’s really not just about getting the credit for doing the homework to add to your homework grade, but about learning the material and asking questions in class the next day if you don’t understand something. I realized several times when I was taking a test and didn’t understand something that after I checked my book to see what I was doing wrong that if I had done the homework I would have realized my mistakes before the test day and easily done better on the test.

Since homework is just practice, you don’t have to take it as seriously as tests. You don’t have to get every question right, just try to make sure you know how to handle every question. Know the formulas and how to apply them to different questions. I like to listen to music when I do any type of homework, and since I’ve been doing that for years I don’t think it negatively affects me. For me it helps me to not find an excuse to do something else, since I will be enjoying music while I suffer through the homework. If you want to listen to music while you do your math homework, try it out and see whether it helps, hurts, or has no positive or negative affect on you. But make sure you are not doing too many things while doing your homework. You don’t want to be on your phone and putting some of your best pomade into your hair at the time that you’re supposed to be doing homework.

Try to experiment and find out what works for you, but as a generalization, homework in math is very important and almost 100% necessary to get an A in the class unless you are a genius. If you don’t do homework, you will have to get almost every question right on your first time seeing the question type. Or you could spend 20 minutes doing the homework and drastically increase your confidence in test taking and your probability of getting the grade you want to. Because when you do your homework, you are practicing it once. Then when you correct it you are practicing twice. If you also study for the test that is practicing three times before even taking the test! Try it out.

Math Anxiety

If you’ve ever had a terrible feeling when doing math, in math class, or while taking a math quiz, you should know that it’s not just you that’s experiencing this. Math anxiety is a real thing that is different from other subjects. Math anxiety is specific for the subject of mathematics because the subject is arguably the most focused intelligence found in any school subject, free from subjective teaching and biased learning. Math is only facts, which is why some students have math anxiety.

You might have math anxiety if you experience a feeling of tension while attempting math that limits your ability to think clearly and solve problems. Researchers have even put together three domains (ironic because domain is a mathematical term) that categorize math anxiety more specifically.

Social Domain

The social domain is involved in the math anxiety formula through its effect on a person by extension of their friends, family, and even society. Students feel pressured to succeed by their peers and as a result are plagued by math anxiety.

Intellectual Domain

This domain is what happens when students feel pressured by what they are expected to learn. In other words, this is the fear that arises on test day when students are worrying about their notes and formulas in their head for the last time before assessing their knowledge by means of a quiz or other form of testing.

Psychological Domain

This particular domain is formed by nature. If the individual in question has faced an emotional past of some sort, this is likely the cause of their math anxiety.

There is a lot of evidence that those who are successful in their math studies at an early age will be more confident later on in their lives with respect to more advanced math classes and will often do better than other students as a result. This is more proof that a child’s educational development in early years is extremely important. However, if you are no longer a child and want to get better at math, it’s definitely possible for you to improve in your adolescence, adulthood, or even if you are older. The most obvious, but truest advice is to practice math problems frequently, much more often than most people. Multiple times a day would be preferable. Don’t give up if you’re not mathematically gifted yet, it’s possible to get better and gain the gift.

Random Facts

For the first post of this website, I thought I’d kick it off with some random math facts that you might be interested in if you’re curious enough to look up math while you’re not forced to in school. Here we go!

  1. If you are in a group of 23 people, there is a probability greater than 50% that two people will have the exact same birthday!
  2. There is a such thing as a one sided surface. It’s called a mobius strip.
  3. Straight lines have a dimension of 1.
  4. A compass can accomplish everything that a ruler can do in conjunction with a compass. In other words, a compass is no more powerful if you are given a ruler in addition to it.
  5. 12 + 3 – 4 + 5 + 67 + 8 + 9 = 100. Say every individual digit out loud until you get it.
  6. The circle is the shape with the largest area when compared to its perimeter. That means it has a larger area than rectangles, squares, etc.
  7. Although many students complain “why do we need to learn about this? We’ll never use math in real life!”, it’s not true. Math is a very intricate part of the job of engineers, among other well-paid occupations.
  8. A pizza with radius z and height a has a volume of Pi * z *z * a. Yummy.
  9. Remember that birthday statistic from earlier? There’s actually a 99% probability of two people sharing the same birthday if there are 75 people in the same room. Try it out with your friends.
  10. Every number can be represented by Roman numerals except for 0.
  11. Most people think of even numbers as females and odd numbers as males.
  12. Shuffling a deck of cards the right way should yield an order that has never been seen before by any person in the world. Make sure you practice your card shuffling so you don’t let down the entire universe!
  13. Is 0 an even or odd number? You’ve probably been taught that it’s neither, but mathematicians are starting to claim that it is in fact an even number.
  14. Googolplex is a number defined as 1 and a googol zeroes. Googol is 1 followed by 100 zeroes. So to summarize, googolplex is impossible to physically visualize because it takes too much space on paper, making it literally impossible to write down.
  15. Most people’s favorite number is 7. Be a leader and not a follower!
  16. In Asia, the number four is noted as an unusually unlucky number.
  17. 1 is mathetically equal to .9999.
  18. Remember learning about factorials in math class? How long is 10! seconds?
  19. Math puzzle time! Take a four digit number, pick any one you want as long as it’s made up of at least two different digits. Arrange the digits in descending order. Now arrange it in ascending order. Take the smaller numbers and subtract them from the bigger numbers. You will always end up with the number 6174, which is known as Kaprekar’s constant. This is because no matter what, you’ll always end up with this unique number, every single time.

Answer to #19: 10! seconds is exactly six weeks.