Get the Basics Right
Similar to most subjects, being able to do well in maths means that you have to master the basics and foundation. Simple numerical multiplication and division should come naturally before progressing to more challenging problem solving such as algebra. If you find that you are consistently having trouble with higher-order thinking questions, it may be time to review your basic mathematical concepts and ensure that these are mastered well. For example, to be able to solve calculus questions, students should master and be confident about their Algebra one skills. Students should ensure that fundamental concepts such as simplification of radicals, graphing slope, and solving systems of equations are mastered and well-honed. This is because to solve a calculus question many difficult steps involve algebra. Practice makes perfect and you should aim to work on your basics. Teachers should also ensure that they do not push students to take on more difficult topics or learn higher-order mathematical concepts till they have done well for a test.
Analyze and Understand Every Mistake
As a student, one of the worst feelings would be getting back your report card and finding that you have failed your subject. However, not all is doom and gloom as the more mistakes, the more opportunities you have for learning and reviewing. The process of making mistakes and learning from them is frowned upon especially in modern society where our culture has become focused on perfection and amplifying our strengths. Most students do not fully review and analyze their mistakes upon obtaining their test scores and instead choose to solely focus on the final mark as a gauge of their mastery of the subject. These students also choose to pass over mistakes made on a test or assignment as they believe that such mistakes and doubts are minor problems and will not affect them. However, in the long run, these mistakes could end up snowballing and affecting students’ understanding of future mathematical concepts which involve higher-order thinking. Thus, it is important to fully understand and fix your mistakes if you wish to excel in maths. If you are consistently doing a question of a particular topic wrongly, you should review your mistakes and understand which mathematical steps you did wrongly, and fix any misconceptions you have. After doing so, you should keep redoing these questions until you have fully mastered the topic and are no longer repeating the same mistakes.
Seek Out Extra Resources
If you find that your teachers are consistently busy and that they are unable to offer targeted help, it may be time that you consider asking a parent, friend, or experienced tutor to teach you. There are also numerous online resources that can help you with your revision. Seeking tutors for more individualized and targeted help may also be better for you if you find that you are consistently getting certain concepts and topics wrong despite doing lots of practice. Because tutors can teach individual students or in a small group setting, each student is given more support in their areas of weaknesses.