As Easy as Pi! Tips for surviving math!

easy as pi

You would never eat a whole pie in one sitting (or if you did, you wouldn’t feel very good afterwards). Math is the same – it requires consistent effort, and everyone is capable! If you are not born with a love and talent for math, it can be learned! A little bit each day is the only way to get through it without feeling overloaded and unable to absorb.

If you are struggling with any math content, here are some key tips to help you survive!

  • Seek other sources: Teachers, lecturers and tutors can’t always teach in a way that’s appropriate for everyone’s learning style, so find a different source and look for an alternate explanation. At the same time, don’t forget to ask for help if you need it!
  • Math yourself to sleep: Put Facebook away, and make a little bit of math the last thing you do each day. Your brain is proven to keep working while you are asleep, so put it to work on something useful, instead of cat videos and horrible journalism.
  • Break it up! A study technique that is especially helpful for material you can’t get motivated for is called ‘Pomodoro’. Set yourself up in a study zone with zero distractions (no phones, facebook, or cute animals!) and set a 20-minute timer. Focus 100% on your material for 20 minutes, take a 10-minute break, and repeat! Set yourself a goal (for example, 2 hours of study) ,and get it done! 6 study periods and 50 minutes of little breaks – piece of pie!
  • Ask someone for help! QUT offers specific help sessions for most math classes through the STIMulate centre. Students can search for a time to drop in, by going into Blackboard > Community finder > search for stimulate. It’s a place full of students who have felt your pain, so make the most of their time!

Most importantly, DON’T let the work pile up. If you have 4 hours worth of exercises to do by next week, do an hour each day instead of one big session. You will find yourself absorbing more, understanding more, and maybe even enjoying it!

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