Maths is often thought to be one of the hardest subjects to revise, but with a little thought and preparation, that doesn't have to be the case. Success in maths is certainly an achievable aim, particularly when the correct guidance is made easily available for all students.
Below are 5 useful maths revision tips that both students and teachers can follow to improve learning, understanding and revision in maths.
(1) Practise without a calculator.
In exams, students can very often find that they run out of time. This could be a result of relying too heavily on a calculator, subsequently resulting in a lack of confidence when it comes to mental calculations. This can lead to wasted time and a negative impact on performance. By regularly practising mental arithmetic, students will be encouraged to forget the calculator when it comes to simple sums.
(2) Use real-life examples for studying.
A major barrier to understanding in maths is that students often struggle to comprehend how topics such as fractions, algebra, and Pythagoras' Theorem, can be used outside of the classroom. Of course, maths in itself, alongside the skills it develops; reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving to name a few, are integral to the functioning of daily life.
To covey this to your class, real-life examples should be incorporated into both classwork and homework, so that students develop a greater understanding of the importance of maths and its role in the wider world.
(3) Display posters with content that needs to be remembered.
When it comes to learning maths, there are formulas, methods and rules that ideally, students should always keep in mind. Displaying visual reminders of relevant maths content will help students to grasp the most complex topics in small daily steps, without even realising that they're learning.
(4) Encourage the completion of homework.
Unfortunately, maths is not a topic that students can look over and immediately understand. Instead, success in maths requires daily practice, which can be guaranteed through effective homework. If small tasks are set on a regular basis, formulas and methods will be kept fresh in your students' minds, which could help to avoid the dreaded 'cramming' the night before a test or exam.
Too many students give up on difficult exercises before even attempting to solve the problem, which is an attitude that can result in lost marks and lost opportunities for growth. Homework however, can encourage students to work through problems independently, and only ask their teacher, parent or private tutor for help if they're really struggling. This will build upon existing maths knowledge and increase students' confidence in their abilities.
(5) Keep old lessons in mind.
Another important aspect of effective maths homework is to include elements of topics taught earlier in the year, as well as what students are currently learning. As previously mentioned, maths formulas and their usage tend to be forgotten over time. This inevitably results in panic setting in when students realise that they must relearn everything for their end-of-year exams. To avoid this, try and include one or two exercises from some previously taught topics, so that every topic learned is revised at least once a month.
By following the above top tips, students will feel confidently prepared for their exams and tests through effective homework, revision and learning techniques that are systematically implemented throughout the academic year.
Annabelle is part of the Content and Community team at SmileTutor, sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond.