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What is the best way to study Math and understand it

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2 Answers

First of all, you don't have to memorize mathematical statements and concepts - this is a brain killing stategy.

You have to try to derive these statements (expressions, equations, formulas) yoursefl, as a result of your own discovery.

Since you are studying college math I am advising you to repeat some topics from lower-level math courses.(do it alongside with your current studies). Keep in mind that mathematics is an axiomatic science - we take for granted only a few basic staements validated by our life experience but not by logical proof. All other statments can be derived from them. There are axioms of arithmetics (Peano's axioms), there are geometry axioms (Euclid's axioms). I am advising you to:

1. Review commutative, distributive and associative properties of addition and multiplication operations.

2. Keep in mind: to subtract in matn means to add the opposite (negative) number (or element). To divide in math means to multiply a given number (or expression) by the reciprocal of the divisor.

3. Apply these rules to evaluate algebraic expressions. It helps in developing practical skills how to order operations. Include negative terms in parenthesis to avoid confusion with signs (it happens often times).

4. When you learn math concept or equation, try to repeat the described procedures step by step. It helps to follow the logical process and teaches the way of thinkling as well as operational skills.

5. Work on word problems to learn how the word statements can be converted into mathematical statements (formulas, expressions, equations, inequalities and their systems). The lack of word problems in all math programs from elementary to high school level is the one of biggest disadvatnages in math education as well as the lack of proofs of theorems in algebra and geometry courses.

If you have any other questions, let us know. Bring your problems (that you are working on) to this site, so we can be more specific in our assistance. When topics are specified it is easier to develop appropriate strategies that will target particular skills. I wish you all the best and see you again.

These are great.  

One thing you might try while reviewing your previous math courses is to draw a number line.  Use your fingers to point to different positions and move your fingers to represent the steps that you write down in algebra.  

It's easy to memorize enough "tricks" (i.e. cancel this and that) to get a B-/C+ in algebra without actually understanding what you are doing in a way that prepares you for more advanced math and science courses.  Constantly ask yourself whether you can visually illustrate what you mean by your equations.  

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