It’s presumed that you have to be intelligent to study Maths at University. In my opinion, this is wrong! My experience has suggested that Maths is not about being smart, it’s about having the 5 R’s:
- Remembering definitions – Some exam questions will simply test your memory. As for the others, it’s just about applying what you know to numerical examples. Remember your definitions and you have passed half the exam
- Recognition – Once you understand what type of question you’re dealing with, all those things you learned related to that topic are triggered in your brain and you’ve opened a pathway. This obviously just takes practice; usually looking at past papers will improve your recognition
- Revision – For me, with Maths, you get out what you put in so the more you revise, the higher your marks are likely to be.
- A Right-hand man/woman – It’s very difficult to excel in all areas of Maths. So I always look for a trustworthy partner, especially in modules where I struggle. It feels like in my year, many students avoid asking for help. Maybe it’s a sense of pride or embarrassment but truthfully, I would not be on track for a first without my right hand man (who I am also living with next year, whoo hoo)
- A Resilient Researcher – The content learnt in lectures will not sink in straight away. You’ll have to go away and read it and when you do, I would bet that there is something baffling you. That’s when the separation of the top students and average students is established. Research = Higher understanding = Ability to solve harder questions.
So, these 5 R’s are crucial but of course, there’s a lot more. If you’re thinking of doing a Maths Degree, feel free to leave any questions below. I’m certain I can share something useful with my two years of experience.