Top Tips for Smashing IGCSE Maths
Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Being good at maths is considered by many a matter of simply having a “gift” or “eye” for it. However, this is not necessarily the case – a lot of factors go into succeeding in maths and most of them are up to you to control. Here are 5 tips and tricks that are proven to help boost your IGCSE Maths experience.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
You can’t avoid mistakes while learning Mathematics. They are unavoidable – if you are not making any mistakes, you are solving problems which you already know how to solve. Our success in Maths comes from tackling problems which we are unsure about, the problems which initially seem too difficult for us to solve. So next time you see the “Additional” question in your coursebook, don’t look past it – take it on! Read it through, then try to make some calculations. If needed, scrap them, and try again. If you are still making no progress, return to it the next day.
There is nothing wrong in not being able to solve the question right away – struggling with difficult maths problems is what professional mathematicians do every day, often working on the same problem for many years. In fact, there are a number of famous math problems that have been unsolved for decades, with the world’s smartest mathematicians working on them – Millennium Prize Problems. Look them up – if you can solve just one, you are in for a 1,000,000-dollar prize!
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
There is no long-term value in just memorising methods for solving maths problems the night before the test. Yes, you might pass the test but maths is a cumulative discipline – what you learn in the future is built on what you have learned in the past. For example, you can’t learn simultaneous equations before understanding and being able to solve simple linear equations and, in turn, you can’t solve simple linear equations before being able to obey and understand simple rules of arithmetic. More difficult topics are always built on the bases of simpler ones – you can think of like building a house – in order to build the roof, you must first build the foundation.
Get Excited about IGCSE Maths!
Things that you are excited about progress faster. You might get sleepy the moment you open your math book or feel the urge to open your phone. Whilst you are in school, however, studying Mathematics is not an option – unless you want to drop out or repeat a year. So, make the subject as interesting for yourself as you can! But how you ask?
Fake it till you make it! Fake that you are excited about maths homework, tackle it with enthusiasm. Go to YouTube to look at educational math videos for topics outside the curriculum (Numberphile is a good starting point), read ahead in your math book and do your best to ask questions in class. At some point you might even become excited to open a math book to start a new topic!
Take Beautiful Notes
A lot students find their Math notebooks to be a bunch of unrecognizable scribbles before their tests. It is tempting to make low-quality, quick notes during lessons at school, but this is not a good long-term approach. After covering a new topic in class, summarising the important points in a new notebook is such an effective way to quickly improve your capacity to retain that new Maths knowledge.
This method drastically reduces the time spent revising before exams. By covering the study material in your own words you make it yours – no matter how good a coursebook or teacher is, you understand the material in a way individual to just you – so it makes sense to make your own study material for the future – the material that you can easily understand.
So there we go, four tips to conquer your IGCSE Maths. Looking for more assistance? We’ve got top tutors available to assist you with your Maths and mor