# is it worth it to try to "study" math?

By maezee

@maezee (42262)

United States

November 23, 2012 10:31am CST

I've never taken a college level math class. I tried to "test" in to one, and I tested into 12th grade high school level math. Meaning, either I need to re-take the placement test at my college, or take (and pass) a remedial math class and THEN a college level math class (and pass it).
I was told I could try to STUDY math and review it, and take the placement test again. I don't know if math is something that you can STUDY and be good at. I've always thought about it being something either you get, or don't get.
I'm wondering if I should just take the remedial math class. Of course, since I am paying out of pocket for school, me being stupid in this category will cost me around $700. . Otherwise I could TRY to "study" and "brush up" on math and re-take the placement test...
Money-wise, studying is probably the best way to go and at least TRY to test into the college level class.
With that said,
HOW ON EARTH DO YOU STUDY MATH?!
My advisor told me to think about getting a tutor --- of course I have to pay for that as well. I am hoping there is a book out there (MATH for dummies?) or something that might be able to help me a little bit...
What do you think? Do you have any suggestions?

10 responses

@cluelle (132)

• Canada

23 Nov 12

Math is a bad subject for me, but I had the most help from being tutored by my mother. I also used free resources like BBC's Bitesize, which has help for all levels through highschool... I don't exactly know the British school system but it's in-depth.
I've been using Fiverr a lot lately. Maybe you could research the terms of math tutors there, see who has the best score, what people say about how they teach, and hire someone for an hour or two? You'll spend a LOT less than $700, it might be worth it just to try.

@factorial (978)

• Philippines

23 Nov 12

I am teaching college math. I will try Fiverr... Thanks for the idea...

@asliah (11137)

• Philippines

10 Dec 12

hi,
for me,i could say that its not really worth to study math depend upon the course you have or wanted field you choose,why should we study algorithm if we can not use it in our future,unless we choose the engineer and architect field.simple math is already enough for me to run a business and work in a private company.

@macdingolinger (10386)

• United States

24 Nov 12

Hi maezee! I was a math teacher and I still tutor math. There are actually ways to study math although it's not quite like other subjects. It might be worth it to give the studying a shot to save the money. There are many study guides that can be used to help you prepare. However, I really do think it would be just as beneficial although more expensive to take the remedial class. This way you could fill in some of the gaps that you feel you have in the subject.
I can give some pointers on how to study math too - if you want!

@habibti320 (925)

• United States

25 Nov 12

Most people who don't understand math have probably not had a good math teacher. Practicing the same mistakes over and over will not help you, so it's true, that type of studying will not help your score.
However, taking different types of problems and working through the explanations CAN help you improve. My recommendation would be to start with khanacademy.org. There are easy to understand video explanations, interactive problems, and practice problems for you to work through. You can even make a detailed study plan for yourself for FREE! Of course, if you don't have a quality internet connection or you would prefer an in-person tutor, you could hire one locally.
Make sure you go over the basics. More advanced math is lost on people who have gaps in their basic math education. It doesn't mean you're stupid. Your math teachers in the past might have been ineffective, or you might have missed a few steps in the basic levels that made it hard to stay on track for advanced levels. If you really have a hard time getting it, look at some of the word problems for that type. Try to think of specific ways that knowing this math will help you in your real life and practice with some of those scenarios. It's difficult to keep up motivation for the sake of just knowing the information. Try to have some real goals as well.
Good luck! You can do it!

@nykalex88 (243)

• Philippines

24 Nov 12

Hey Math is an easy subject! When you find it difficult, you better go back to its basics. As long as you know the basics of Math, higher Math classes are so easy. Good foundation in Mathematics will lead you to never-ending math skills. But if you're interest in Math is too late, I'm sorry but you have to go back to its foundation.

@StLouisMetroTutoring (678)

• St. Peters, Missouri

25 Nov 12

Hi Maezee! I agree with mac - you can study math, but it's a different kind of studying. With content material, you study facts. In most cases, you're just asked to repeat the information with little processing that needs to be done. In math, you study all the processes you use to get your answers along with some facts. For example, you can study the multiplication table (this is an example of facts). But more importantly, you would need to refresh how to get the multiplication table (the process). So if you couldn't remember what 6 times 8 is, you would be able to figure it out. By the time you're in college, you should be pretty comfortable with knowing your multiplication table. But, if you were told you needed to fence a rectangular yard that's 6 feet by 8 feet, would you know how to figure out how much fence you would need? Not many people happen to know the perimeter of a rectangular object that's 6 by 8, most people just know how to figure it out. That's what you study in math. All the different ways to solve problems. But the great thing about math is that so much of it builds on previous knowledge. It's not like everything is completely new.
I've been tutoring math for 30 years. As a previous poster said, getting a good tutor will not cost you $700. If you get a good tutor and work hard, you'll be able to go back and just re-take the placement test.
Good luck!

@wilsongoddard (7559)

• United States

23 Nov 12

From a financial standpoint, your best option would be to find a decent tutor (at about $25-40/hour) and work with that person to bring your math skills up to par in order to take the placement test again. If you connect with the right tutor, you may even find that you really do enjoy math.
With a bit of brushing up, you likely can place into the college-level math course. The course itself probably won't be all that difficult. I'm thinking back to my own college days, and I remember my (one and only) math class as not being particularly interesting but also not terribly difficult. I had some Algebra in my background and had tested into the class; sadly, I am not especially great or terribly interested in math, since I was put off it at an early age. However, it is not something that should be seen as being out of one's reach; think of it as though you are simply studying another language that you have some basic understanding of but are not particularly fluent in.

@kawalnarang (1095)

• Trinidad And Tobago

24 Nov 12

It Is Simple,, never say that it is HARD,, tell urself that U CAN do it
Secondly Just start the classes,,
Some learn slow some learn quick, That is the difference,, have fun with math,, of any other subject for that matter,,

@factorial (978)

• Philippines

23 Nov 12

I am teaching math in college. I have not seen a book "MATH for dummies". I have seen a book "Math made easy". How about buying this book? Good luck...

@factorial (978)

• Philippines

23 Nov 12