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As topic; I have no idea, that is why I am asking.

I often forget details in math and that makes me screw up on tests a lot so I started this topic because my selfesteem is at the bottom right now and I am really angry that I am not as good at math as I would like to be.
 

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Probably you're as puzzled as i was when i discovered i was INTP, and I was supposed to be a super math nerd, and I found I was that failure that never passed high school maths xD. well, i don't know, but i felt like that xD

If you want my opinion, the education we're given in many aspects -at least here in Spain- it's much Si based, which really has nothing to do with maths. The more you get inside the real world of maths, many notions you are given at school lose importance. Well, I don't really mean that, but...in fact, the methods we're taught to learn Maths are not made to make us really get into it.
This is what I feel and what i see. many people say the same.

I forget too about details. That's because we don't have much Si. I think.
 

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I'm not sure what kind of math you are doing. I must admit that I'm not super good at it but I can do what I have to (haven't done anything 100% math beyond college math: calculus I and II and linear algebra/vectorial geometry; now I'm doing finance/accounting so it's basic [+,-,*,/] math).

As a N as well, I like to follow logical steps that I understand to answer a problem or a question. So I remember for example that I have to find quantity I want to produce before finding unitary cost and I need unitary cost to spread it over my finished and unfinished units to see where my cost are in my inventory.

I also like to put in evidence in a corner of my sheet all the information I need to solve the problems so I dont forget them so I can circle them when I done with them. You can also highlight stuff in the text when you are done with the information. It helps remember some details.

Another thing I tend to do is I try to solve the problem like I think I should. I think it's important to try even if you dont really have an idea on how to do it because it makes you realize which part of what you were thinking was wrong. Afterwards I pass quite a bit of time looking at the solution to really understand the logic behind it. I recalculate and transcribe the solution to be sure I remember how to redo it afterwards.

This isn't much but you might want to try these tips if you dont do them already.

*btw most of the time nothing beats doing plenty of exercises if you aren't naturally gifted in that field.. Just got to sit down and do them..
 

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In my experience, the key to being good at math is to understand how it breaks down to addition and subtraction. When I was in school, I hated math because of the same shit that frustrates you. I kept forgetting little details. When I started actually grasping, for example, why the quadratic equation produced the correct answer, and how you would have done the same problem with addition and subtraction, it all started to make sense to me.

One of the difficult aspects to that is finding the motivation to keep on working on the problem. It is one of those skills that doesn't pay off immediately. You have to work at it and apply it in your life before you realize the benefit of your math skills. Trust me, though, it's very rewarding.
 

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Honestly, when it comes to hard sciences, propensity helps. Think in terms of math on a daily basis. It instills repetition, practice, application, and may even inspire creativity or curiosity. This alone might not be enough and you might just need to study/exercise it consistently.
 

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How to be good at math if you don't have the "gift"? Do every single assignment (and extras) and ask for assistance when you encounter a problem you can't solve. Then go over it again and again and again. I'm sorta with scarygirl here, it's very much Si based (even Calculus I and II class was repetitious drudgery for me).

The way math is taught is crap. Most profs never bother to explain how and why everything works. They just explain how to come to the answer and then you learn all the "templates". Anyway, I'm glad that I am done with math :crazy:
 

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Maths are all about the extreme devotion to the daily grind, baby! No seriously. Most Maths are tedious gruntwork, not any sort of fantastic puzzles as was advertised by a math whiz I once knew. Speaking of which, I has test tomorrow that I must study for, but I'd much rather sit here and talk maths with you all. Maybe make a bit of an assclown out of myself and have a gay old time ...with Maths.
 

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I think a basic proficiency in calculus should be the watermark finish for everyone's mathematical journey. It really does come down to hard work, although of course natural ability does factor in as you get higher courses. Seeing intelligence or academic success as predetermined or innate is very characteristic of the West, but in the East (where students lead the world in math scores) persistence and perseverance are valued.
 

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PseudoSenator is 100% correct. Math is hard work and almost nothing else. I teach the SAT in Korea and I've seen too many students of mine go from 440 on the math section of the SAT to 770-800 to believe that math ability cannot be obtained. One student of mine calculated that he had done over 40,000 math problems in his lifetime (17 years old). I had another student message me recently about her October SATs and she said, "The math was too easy."

Working in my academy, I was taken aback by the general attitude about how simple it was to get an 800. In the US, math ability is seen as immutable as IQ; you're either born with it or not. This, as the research about intelligence perception suggests, prevents perfectly able students from putting in the work needed to improve. Korean students, on the other hand, proceed from the premise that math not only can be learned, but should be learned. Many of my students, when projecting their SAT scores, predict math scores of 800. This is a fully justified belief.

Personally, I sucked terribly at math in high school and college (I started out teaching only the Reading and Essay portions of the SAT). I dropped out of math my senior year in high school because I was failing and was an Office Assistant during that period. In college I got a D in pre-calculus and in statistics. But, for my GREs, I got a perfect score (800) on the quantitative section. And now I can teach SAT math with absolute ease.

What changed? My attitude. I saw how simple and, more importantly, attainable it was to gain a basic understanding of math. I did over 1200 GRE math problems and meticulously went over the solutions for the questions I missed. I allowed myself 1 minute per question so a total time of about 20 hours took me from math retard to perfect score.

Bottom line? It's really fucking simple: If you want to get better at math, do more problems. Do problems until your head explodes. Then do more. And then do even more. Those silly little errors that you are making now go away with experience, just as silly errors in English grammar tend to evaporate as you graduate from Elementary to Middle to High school.
 

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i'd say hard work. aside from that i imagine getting an intuative understanding of what is going on. math is funny in that it starts easy gets really hard then gets really easy again. have patience and work hard:happy:
 

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Lots of practice and patience. After reading the text, do the problems. Check the answer. Make corrections. In upper level courses there is a lot of application so make sure you know the concepts. Good luck!
 

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I make some extra money here & there tutoring high school students in math, and I've found using some of the following techniques or reasoning with them to be successful. I realized these things came so naturally to me, that I never even had to think consciously about them (intuition?), but teaching others really allowed me to analyze my own process in learning & retaining math.

1. Look for the underlying concepts in what you're learning. Perceive the patterns to see how to apply what you're learning, but connect those patterns to a logical truth. Often, when you learn something new, you'll be given a series of similar problems to practice. However, true understanding is demonstrated when you're given a problem and you have to decide how to solve it instead of applying whatever you just learned exactly as the examples showed it. So to retain what you've learned, focus on meaning over repetitive steps. I sometimes toss in a few "different" problems to throw the student off. Math books do this also. You're going along, solving each similar problem quickly, applying the pattern you've picked up on, when suddenly, a problem seems different. These are used to test how well you get the principle behind the teaching instead of just grasping the literal steps. It can help to do the reverse also - create your own problem that can be solved by the method you're currently studying.

2. Repetition in solving similar problems ingrains aspects that you need to memorize, such as equations and the specific steps involved in solving a problem. So - do your homework, and maybe do extra problems if you don't feel confident that you have it set in your memory. When it comes to memory, people can learn differently. I find writing everything out very helpful. I need to SEE something, and then I remember it. Some people like to hear things, so talking yourself through a problem can help. Think about how you most easily retain information and work that into your math learning.

3. Give problems a context. If the abstraction of some kinds of math make it hard for you to grasp them, then ask your teacher or even think to yourself on how this relates to something real. It does not mean that these exact problems will need to be solved by you in your life outside of school, but reason on how the principles behind these problems are reflected in the world and how it is ordered.

4. Recognize that math helps us to learn to think logically. It trains our brain, sort of in the way lifting weights strengthens the physical body. Outside of the gym, that physical strength will not be used in the exact same way - lifting weights is not a practical skill, but the strength acquired can prove practical. Similarly with math, the problems you solve are teaching you concepts of logic, and this way of thinking and problem solving can strengthen your mind to be better equipped with logical thinking & problem solving in day to day life. It helps us to see the world around us in a logical way also - things aren't quite as random & mysterious as they appear.

5. Review your work! I've tutored sooo many students who get the concept, rush through the problem, and then get it wrong due to some small error (often an arithmetic error). Often, they don't consider their answer in relation to the problem. Stop and consider if your answer makes sense given the info you started with. Then review your individual steps and look for mistakes. On tests, this can really improve your scores.

Hope that helps! :happy:
 
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Depending on what is "success", everyone should have math ability at some level.

The real mathematicians are those who can formulate new things in a proper way out of daily observations or analysis.
I don't know if this could be achieved by everyone, but the pace of learning is different in each person.
 

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A large part of it is of course natural ability, but I would argue that the effort you choose to put into it is equally or more important. It's all about focusing. If you don't feel you're naturally gifted at the subject it's easy to just accept failure, but all you have to do is focus on each individual thing as it comes up.

The most important thing is not to let yourself get overwhelmed. Don't accept a mediocre level of understanding, make sure you take the time to focus on something, figure out WHY it works that way and get it right before moving on. Of course it also helps very much to see the practical applications, and how it fits into the big picture. (The people above me have summed this up nicely)

Mind you, this is coming from a Si user so perhaps it is completely useless advice...
 

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It seems that at lower levels of math it is mostly hard work (Pre-Calc, Calculus, Linear Algebra, etc.) , but for more difficult subjects like real analysis or Chaos theory it is mostly about your intelligence. For all areas of math the best way to learn is to do practice problems, doing tons of practice problems is a better way to appreciate the theory and intuition than just read the text.
 

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1) Pay a lot of attention in classes. It's much much better if you have kept this habit since you were a small kid. Then you will have a good memory of all the formulas and theories so you can easily understand others in the future. Introverted Sensing is my best friend with the maths.

2) Practice a lot. If you teacher sends you a decent amount of excersises and homework, the better. Math is theory, abstract, but it requires a lot of practice.


3) Natural ability helps a lot, but you can still rock hard at math without it. Attention and practice are my two main ways.

4) If you still fail to understand math, don't hesitate to hire a private teacher. They're a great help. I prefer this instead of asking help from friends. Your friends may be good at math, but it happens that they don't explain well, you'll still understand nothing or just a little.
 

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it really helps if you like it.

Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but Sal Khan has made lots of free lesson videos and practices for a wide-array of math subjects. It really helped me, since I strongly disliked math in HS and knew fuck all about it when I graduated. I definitely understand the frustration and way being left behind in math can make you feel significantly less about your overall ability to match your peers and feel academically confident. Now that I'm interested in it, I can use Khan Academy and work at my own pace and I'm not focused on learning it purely to take a test on it later. The videos are effective, and it's gotten a lot of positive feedback from people all over. I think I've learned more with KA in a month than I did in 2 years of school.
 

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PseudoSenator is 100% correct. Math is hard work and almost nothing else. I teach the SAT in Korea and I've seen too many students of mine go from 440 on the math section of the SAT to 770-800 to believe that math ability cannot be obtained. One student of mine calculated that he had done over 40,000 math problems in his lifetime (17 years old). I had another student message me recently about her October SATs and she said, "The math was too easy."

Working in my academy, I was taken aback by the general attitude about how simple it was to get an 800. In the US, math ability is seen as immutable as IQ; you're either born with it or not. This, as the research about intelligence perception suggests, prevents perfectly able students from putting in the work needed to improve. Korean students, on the other hand, proceed from the premise that math not only can be learned, but should be learned. Many of my students, when projecting their SAT scores, predict math scores of 800. This is a fully justified belief.

Personally, I sucked terribly at math in high school and college (I started out teaching only the Reading and Essay portions of the SAT). I dropped out of math my senior year in high school because I was failing and was an Office Assistant during that period. In college I got a D in pre-calculus and in statistics. But, for my GREs, I got a perfect score (800) on the quantitative section. And now I can teach SAT math with absolute ease.

What changed? My attitude. I saw how simple and, more importantly, attainable it was to gain a basic understanding of math. I did over 1200 GRE math problems and meticulously went over the solutions for the questions I missed. I allowed myself 1 minute per question so a total time of about 20 hours took me from math retard to perfect score.

Bottom line? It's really fucking simple: If you want to get better at math, do more problems. Do problems until your head explodes. Then do more. And then do even more. Those silly little errors that you are making now go away with experience, just as silly errors in English grammar tend to evaporate as you graduate from Elementary to Middle to High school.
hehe This sound so much like me doing tax system classes. Gosh there are so many damn steps to calculate income tax here (also various scenarios, rules, etc.), it's ridiculous. Like for math you do it over like a thousand times than it finally stick in your brain. At least for a while :p
 
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