Studying mathematics effectively at an undergraduate level is often about finding new ways to study. It can take time, for instance, learning how to take the right notes and how to pace yourself when working alone. If you are keen to find more effective ways to study, we can help. Here are five ways to master your maths study needs.
- Ensure you understand one topic before moving to another.
It might sound obvious but in a maths degree, you cannot afford any knowledge gaps, so make sure you understand one topic before moving on to another. A good habit to get into is to review your lecture notes immediately after every lecture. This way, you can make sure you understand the main ideas and flesh out the details where you need to. If you then don’t understand anything, seek out the help of the lecturer, or bring it up in your tutorials. It’s the best way to learn and make sure you don’t fall behind.
- Take lecture notes properly.
It also pays to take notes in the right way. Unlike school, you do not need to write down every word, but you do need to understand what a lecturer is saying. Some top tips to get you started:
- Take notes in a way that makes sense to you. Whether it’s in diagram form, with examples or leaving gaps for you to fill in with independent work, at a later date.
- Try to make your notes as complete and as accurate as possible so they are valuable but keep them brief enough so that you can still listen to what is being said.
- Be prepared for varied lecturing styles from lecturers; not all will use a whiteboard or equation examples when explaining topics.
- Annotate all lecture hand-outs as you are given them, to correlate with your notes, so you can see where they slot in.
- Organise your notes under topics; this will help for practice and revision.
- Work with your peers.
Working with peers can help with understanding and theorising as well as with your revision. Peers can also provide enlightening insight and crucial ideas but try not to rely on them for solutions. The best peer group work happens via collaboration and support. To ensure this works for you, choose like-minded friends to work with, who have the same goals and work patterns as you.
- Practice, Practice, Practice.
Mathematics is all about problem-solving, and the only way to test your understanding is to work through problem sets and keep practising. It is impossible to study maths by just reading and listening so make sure you put in the required independent work too. If you are having difficulties with mathematical proof and analysis (common amongst first-year students as it’s so different from A-level maths), seek help either from your professors or an independent tutor.
- Give Proprep a try.
As the key to taking maths at university is to get plenty of practice, Proprep can really help you here. Our video tutorials not only match your syllabus and textbooks but also take you step-by-step through each problem and solution for all of your course’s topics.
This enables you to practice at your own speed and master any topic area in three steps:
- Watch the video tutorials.
- Solve practice problems.
- Then watch the video solutions to check your work.
It’s an ideal way to master complex problem sets when you are working on your own and will give you insight into new areas you haven’t come across before. Also in response to the outbreak of Covid19, we have now opened up all our customised learning resources for free to all students until the end of the academic year. All you need to set up your account is an email address, no credit card details required, which you can do by clicking here.