Mathematics is a very logical, organised subject. Unfortunately, even some of the best students fail to plan their homework in an efficient manner. This leads to unnecessary errors and higher late submission rates, which in turn leads to lower grades and disappointment.
In order to avoid this vicious circle and the inevitable frustration of your lecturer when he/she sees a promising student falling into this well-worn trap there are several steps that you can follow. Trust me, the long-term benefits of doing this far outweighs any short-term inconvenience associated with developing a fail-safe system.
We’ve all been there, when we have rushed in from a busy night out with friends, plonked ourselves down on the sofa and picked up the dreaded maths homework only to find the protractor, and the compass…and even the pens are missing! While this might be your way of working right now, you need to learn a new way if you want to get the top grades as a sloppy, slack attitude with have a negative impact. If possible keep two sets of materials, one for your home-study area, and one for transporting to and from college. This way, you will always be able to lay your hands on your equipment when you need to.
It might sound obvious, but a distraction free environment will generate better results. Switch off the television/mobile/games consoles and go hibernate somewhere quieter. If you share your home with friends, then go to your room. Interesting as the conversation is, listening even with half an ear is not going to help you concentrate on your homework.
Take the time out to read through each problem or question before you even attempt to answer it. Run through it mentally in your head and make sure that you fully understand what you are being asked to do and that there are no hidden loopholes just waiting to catch you out. You would be amazed at how even the brightest mathematicians sometimes fall foul of this obstacle that lecturers and examiners will deliberately place in your way.
Work through your homework logically and methodically. Don’t be tempted to skip over questions that you don’t fully understand and don’t attempt to leap three steps ahead by working on more than one problem at a time. Time is the key here. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to think it all through calmly, and you will find that the process is more efficient than it might otherwise have been.