3rd habit to becoming an excellent maths performer


Create Your own Study Material

Make your own notes to study from. You know yourself very well. Only you can create notes customised to suit your own needs. A teacher’s notes or friend’s notes might help, but you are better off studying from your own notes. Let me tell you why:

  • Your notes should reflect your own learning style. Some people learn better from pictures and diagrams, some people learn better from lists. One person prefers examples of the problems, another prefers a short explanation of the method and yet another only needs to know what the formulae are and how to apply them. Include the things in your notes that will help you learn best!
  • What do you need to study? You only need to study the things you don’t know… For example, you are learning about shapes in the classroom. You might know perfectly well what a rectangle is, you don’t need the definition in your notes. But you might be uncertain about the definition or even just the spelling of a parallelogram. You need to study the parallelogram and need that in your notes.

If your notes contains a lot of information which you already know – you waste valuable time while studying, going through things you know and you tire yourself before you start going through the things you didn’t know.

  • You learn from various resources – your teacher, your textbook, your exercise book, a tutor, a friend, extra textbooks, the internet, etc.

By making your own notes, you can combine the information in one place. You should constantly update your notes with information from all of the resources listed above, so that by the time the exam starts – you’re not feeling overwhelmed and all over the place. You know that everything you need to know is organised in one file or one notebook. You can simply go through your notes and maybe work out one or two practise papers.

  • Make a list of words with its definitions. Create a little dictionary of Mathematics words where you can look up the meaning if you need to. Keep this list with your notes and keep it for next years also – you can build onto it and refer back to past years.
  • Mathematics is a cumulative subject. Knowledge and concepts are constantly being built on previous knowledge. If you have notes from previous years – it gives you something to fall back on if you realise that you don’t remember past knowledge.