Making Precalc More Enjoyable – a Math Hater’s Guide.

I have been a history buff for my entire life. My late grandfather was a big history enthusiast, and I guess I inherited it. I’m pretty good at English, and though I’m not a fan of science I somehow get A’s year after year. But I have always had trouble with math. If you’re like me, and can’t find any interest in math, then these tips should help you. They can be applied to any math, but I’m in precalc so that’s the inspiration to this post.

Tell Stories.

This helps me more than anything. When you come across a difficult problem that you know is going to take long and is really boring, then make a story out of it. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, but make it interesting. It makes you think more, and usually it will help you understand the problem better, leading to you getting it right! Stories are good because they apply the math to something tangible. When you can think of something in terms of real life, it make it more relateable, more interesting, and much easier.

Pictures.

My math notes are absolutely filled with pictures, drawings, and doodles. This isn’t because I don’t pay attention in class. As with the stories, it makes things easier to understand. It lays everything in the problem out for you to look at and understand what’s going on. When in doubt, draw a picture. It will most likely help. Seeing things helps the brain process the whole picture of what is going on. Most times, if you come across a problem that seems impossible, drawing a picture will help you. Usually.

Buddies.

There’s a group of girls in my precalculus class that frequently goes for our teacher’s extra help  sessions. We do lots of problems on the board, tell our math teacher stories that are completely irrelevant to the subject, and laugh a lot. The best part of this group is that everyone of us is bad at something different. Together, we can understand the entire problem, and have a lot of fun doing it. Get together with a group outside of class, or go for the extra help your teacher offers. It will always pay off to see other people’s points of view.

Although this still won’t take away the work load involved in taking a hard math class such as precalc, it will make the work seem less difficult, and get you better grades. I’ve been a math hater my whole life, but using these tips and some self-discipline, I’ve worked my way to peace with mathematics.

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