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 Post subject: Math tutoring and successful habits of studyingPosted: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 20:20:29 UTC
 S.O.S. Oldtimer

Joined: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 20:14:21 UTC
Posts: 158
About 40 years ago I tutored a 91-year old lady at a college from a math workshop in algebra. I was successful with her as she related to me the following year (and wished I was still with the workshop, she made the graduating class while making the Dean's List).

During November last year I tutored this person in beginning algebra (actually basic math, fractions and decimals) for her entrance exam to be a nurse. She passed her exam with a score of 84 (the passing grade was 75 so she did alright. I commented to her that when she becomes my nurse, I hope she can count my pills).

I asked her if she felt I was helpful to her passing and she said yes and may use me again somewheres down the road. In terms of study habits and along with practice, I've found from experience that usually an hour a day is sufficient (unless you have more challenging courses which may require more time), but at the same time you can overstudy and wear yourself down which defeats the purpose of studying so it's good to pace yourself.

A general tip to be successful in math is to develop alternative ways of solving problems. A good example of this, even at the level of basic math, is to solve the following problem:

x/4 = 6/12

For the starting step, I explained you can either multiply both sides of the equation by 12 (to clear out the denominators) or you can cross multiply, whichever you feel more comfortable with and the general idea of using alternate methods of solving math problems becomes even more important in higher branches of math such as calculus.

Happy New Year,
Math Explorer

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 Post subject: Re: Math tutoring and successful habits of studyingPosted: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 18:42:12 UTC
 S.O.S. Newbie

Joined: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 05:38:54 UTC
Posts: 3
Hello!

I find the two most useful studying/homework techniques are consistency and patience. Consistency is the key if you're trying to get to higher levels of math, such as calculus as you mentioned. Patience is also needed, because there are times when calculus problems are very difficult. I suggest working on math for 3 hours a day.

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 Post subject: Re: Math tutoring and successful habits of studyingPosted: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 19:57:22 UTC
 Member of the 'S.O.S. Math' Hall of Fame

Joined: Sun, 24 Jul 2005 20:12:39 UTC
Posts: 3690
Location: Ottawa Ontario
math explorer wrote:
A general tip to be successful in math is to develop alternative ways of solving problems. A good example of this, even at the level of basic math, is to solve the following problem:

x/4 = 6/12

For the starting step, I explained you can either multiply both sides of the equation by 12 (to clear out the denominators) or you can cross multiply, .....

Hmmm....to me, 1st step here is : x/4 = 1/2
Btw, I'm a FANatic cross multiplier

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 Post subject: Re: Math tutoring and successful habits of studyingPosted: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 21:45:15 UTC
 Moderator

Joined: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 04:25:14 UTC
Posts: 12098
Location: Austin, TX
Denis wrote:
math explorer wrote:
A general tip to be successful in math is to develop alternative ways of solving problems. A good example of this, even at the level of basic math, is to solve the following problem:

x/4 = 6/12

For the starting step, I explained you can either multiply both sides of the equation by 12 (to clear out the denominators) or you can cross multiply, .....

Hmmm....to me, 1st step here is : x/4 = 1/2
Btw, I'm a FANatic cross multiplier

Do you mean "fantastic"?

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 Post subject: Re: Math tutoring and successful habits of studyingPosted: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 02:00:52 UTC
 Member of the 'S.O.S. Math' Hall of Fame

Joined: Sun, 24 Jul 2005 20:12:39 UTC
Posts: 3690
Location: Ottawa Ontario
Do you mean "fantastic"?

No...I mean I use cross multiplication EVERY time it's possible...

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I'm not prejudiced...I hate everybody equally!

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 Post subject: Re: Math tutoring and successful habits of studyingPosted: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 02:03:45 UTC
 Moderator

Joined: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 04:25:14 UTC
Posts: 12098
Location: Austin, TX
Denis wrote:
Do you mean "fantastic"?

No...I mean I use cross multiplication EVERY time it's possible...

_________________
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(> <)
This is Bunny. Copy Bunny into your signature to help him on his way to world domination

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 Post subject: Re: Math tutoring and successful habits of studyingPosted: Sun, 8 Jan 2012 18:48:38 UTC
 S.O.S. Oldtimer

Joined: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 20:14:21 UTC
Posts: 158
Denis wrote:
math explorer wrote:
A general tip to be successful in math is to develop alternative ways of solving problems. A good example of this, even at the level of basic math, is to solve the following problem:

x/4 = 6/12

For the starting step, I explained you can either multiply both sides of the equation by 12 (to clear out the denominators) or you can cross multiply, .....

Hmmm....to me, 1st step here is : x/4 = 1/2
Btw, I'm a FANatic cross multiplier

For my pupil, I wanted to cover methods that work all the time in solving algebraic problems of the sort just mentioned as not all fractions are reducible (while convenient, at her stage, reducing fractions in algebraic problems can be confusing or distracting since the method of reducing fractions would be extraneous, btw I did go over reducing fractions with her in other nonalgebraic problems).

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