Mathematical methods is a challenging subjects – it is application based maths which involves a large amount of problem solving. It is a subject in which a large amount of students struggle with. So here are some reasons why students often find Maths Methods difficult.
1) Lacking maths skills (fractions, maths laws,transposing order)
This is a common problem observed in students – however this field can be fixed up through repetition of a handful of correctly constructed questions! Maths is very specific – little things make all the difference. It is important to improve you knowledge of math laws before stepping into a subject like methods. If you find that you or your child struggle with year 10 maths, it is usually recommended that they do not do maths methods. Unless they are 110% devoted to improving their marks.
2) Not enough practice
To improve in methods, you really have three stages of learning
ii) Problem Solving
iii) Linking to overall maths knowledge
A lot of students stop at (i). They believe that since they have completed the exercises in their book, that they are completely prepared for their test/SAC. This is very deceptive. Methods is a maths which must be understood not only from a formula basis, but also from a more practical sense. It is common to be spending enough hours on Methods, but not doing the right type of questions to improve the score. At Academy Plus, we strive to teach all three levels of Methods.
3) Poor understanding of concepts
A lot of the time, the student doesn’t understand the topic well – which causes information to be scattered, and the student to fall behind. Methods is a subject in which you need to understand the small and the big picture. You must know how to solve a question accurately, however you must also know what purpose it serves from a problem solving style question. At Academy Plus we understand Methods inside-out. We know all the tricks that VCAA set up and we always have tips/tricks for our students.
4) Over-relying on the calculator
A lot of students know how to use technology well, however some of them become calculator dependent and forget easy things like 9×8. This is a massive problem. To succeed in this chapter the student must practice questions by hand – and to use the calculator only when absolutely necessary.
5) Too slow/too fast
Although you may know everything – sometimes timing prevents you from finishing the test or exam. This is never a good feeling – thankfully at Academy Plus we will help students to fix this problem. By giving appropriate advice and worksheets – we strive to ensure that a student works at optimum rate to finish their exam with enough time left – and as accurately as possible.