## 11 Jun Dealing with Mathematical Complexities in a Structured Manner

The mention of the word Mathematics sends shivers down the spine of students. Mathematics is a nightmare for them. Comes the exam of Math and students get a fever days before it. Is Math really so difficult and unconquerable? No…In fact, it is one of those subjects where students can score full marks if they apply proper techniques. Let us try to beat this subject, eliminate all the prejudices associated with it and come out as a winner. Here is how:

**Do not let Math scare you:**

The most common problem why students are unable to obtain a good score in Math is because they suffer from “Math anxiety”, where the mere thought of Math decreases their confidence and makes them nervous. Get the fear out of your mind and be ready to work on your weak areas.

**Practice everyday:**

Math is one such subject which needs lots and lots of practice. Math is not a subject of mugging up. So, until and unless students make it a habit of devoting time for Math everyday, success is hard to gain. The more number of questions a student practices everyday and the variety of questions he practices everyday, the clearer his concepts become.

**Keep in touch with the formulae:**

Along with practicing every day, it is also essential that a student makes it a habit of remembering the formulae. Memorizing the formulas is not essential. One who solves questions everyday will eventually remember the formulae. Writing the formulae in stick-notes and sticking those on walls where students can look over those can prove to be helpful.

**Start with the basics:**

Do not attempt a complex question if your basics are not clear. Teachers are always there to come to your rescue. Don’t feel shy to get your basics cleared by your teacher. For example, you will not be able to solve the questions on heights and distances if you are not aware of the terms sin, cos and tan used in trigonometry. Always make sure that you are approaching the complex questions only when you have mastered the basics.

**Math is all about logic:**

Mathematics is a logical subject. Parents need to make sure they train their children from an early age to think logically so that when their children grow up, they develop a natural flair for Mathematics.

**Use Vedic Mathematics:**

This is my personal suggestion to everyone – use Vedic Mathematics. Vedic Mathematics teaches you ways to make long calculations within seconds. It is not only fun, but it is also time-efficient and makes problem solving very easy.

**Do simplifications in your mind:**

Try to make calculations in your mind. Make yourself well-versed with the multiplication tables so that you can do simplification of the calculation in your mind instead of doing it on paper. It saves a lot of time.

**Don’t look for the solution beforehand:**

After reading a problem, understand it first. Try to think about how to approach it. Form a way in your mind about how you are going to solve the problem. The problem is almost half-solved if you complete these steps. But, many students, instead of following these steps, look for the answer. This spoils the game. If you don’t tire your mind searching for the solution to a problem, you will never become good at Math. Solutions are only there to help you out if you really don’t have any clue of solving a question even after trying a lot.

**Be careful while dealing with word problems:**

This is for beginners. If you have been given a word problem, do not get nervous. Read one line at a time; write the equations by taking the appropriate variables. Solve one step at a time. Say, the question is asking you to multiply the equation by 3 and then subtract 2, make sure that you do it step by step. It may seem time-consuming at first, but the chances of error will be minimized. When you get confidence in solving word problems, you can skip steps.

**Use pie-charts, bar graphs and Venn diagrams:**

Most questions of math are easily solved if it is properly represented using illustrations. Pie-charts are used when we are solving questions related to finding percentage out of a whole, bar graphs are used to represent tabular information spanning some years. Venn diagrams are used for representing questions related to set theory.

**Relate math with real life situations:**

Math can be extremely fun if you relate math with your everyday life.Here, I would like to share a personal experience. We all know this property of a triangle that the sum of two sides of a triangle is always greater than the third side. The day we were taught this property in class, while returning home from school, there used to be an L-shaped road.

Consider you are starting from your source,walking down a straight road,then taking a right and reaching your destination after walking a few steps. But people, instead of following this route, walked on the grass from the source to the destination. If you consider the L-shaped road to be the base and height of a right angled triangle and the grass route to be the hypotenuse, people walked on the hypotenuse because its length was shorter the sum of the two sides(The L- shaped road).I related this example with the property which was taught in class that day. You too can come up with numerous such examples. This really makes Math fun.

**Apply substitution according to the situation:**

If you are given a multiple choice question and say, the equation which you need to solve for getting the variable X, is extremely difficult, instead of solving for X, substitute the value and check which one gives the correct answer.

I hope you enjoyed reading these fun tricks which can be applied to “the most dreaded subject of the Universe”-i.e. Mathematics. Math can be very interesting and very scoring if your solve questions the right way.