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  1. #1
    Senior Member great_bay's Avatar
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    Default Doing math problem over and over vs flashcards for math

    Hello, I am interested in majoring math. I will be taking Algebra 1 and 2 in 16 weeks. Both in 8 weeks. I need to find out the most effective method in memorizing the equations to deal with tons of work in a short amount of time. I was wondering if flashcards are better then doing the same math equations over and over. For instance, is it better to write down the formula and try to remember with the flashcards as oppose to just simply doing the math problem over and over? Which method is easier for memorizing the formula.
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    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    For me spending time to think about the problem/equation is the most helpful. Try an connect to it to something you have learned in the past or some kind of idea or something, and maybe try and figure out why you need to do what. Spending more time thinking about things before you try practice problems means less time is spent actually doing the problem, and you;ll feel more confidant doing them.

    I'm not a math major, but I used to suck at and did not understand math, and this method really helped me I think.
    "Avoid getting too preoccupied thinking about what you’re going to do, to actually do it."
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  3. #3
    Senior Member great_bay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smilephantomhive View Post
    For me spending time to think about the problem/equation is the most helpful. Try an connect to it to something you have learned in the past or some kind of idea or something, and maybe try and figure out why you need to do what. Spending more time thinking about things before you try practice problems means less time is spent actually doing the problem, and you;ll feel more confidant doing them.

    I'm not a math major, but I used to suck at and did not understand math, and this method really helped me I think.
    I'm not sure what you mean by tie the formula with an idea or from the past.
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    Senior Member Smilephantomhive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by great_bay View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by tie the formula with an idea or from the past.
    I mean think of a similar math problem you have done. Obviously there will be some differences, but thinking about it can help you understand it more. And by idea, I mean a concept that is similar to the mathematic concept at hand. Like think about how they are similar.
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    Senior Member great_bay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smilephantomhive View Post
    I mean think of a similar math problem you have done. Obviously there will be some differences, but thinking about it can help you understand it more. And by idea, I mean a concept that is similar to the mathematic concept at hand. Like think about how they are similar.
    Yes, this makes a lot of sense. I will keep this in mind.
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    I always preferred the process to the solution; learning how to do it was exciting but memorizing cards I found to be a hindrance that might leave me handicapped if I should end up in a situation where I didn't have the cards in front of me. And flash cards always made me feel overwhelmed whereas if I felt I could understand the basic gist or underlying principles and mechanics, then there would be no need to memorize a lot of data by rote.

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    deplorable basketcase Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Don't remember having to memorize equations for algebra, but in Trig, there are some useful phonetic memory aids such as:

    SOH CAH TOA

    sine = opposite/hypotenuse
    cosine =adjacent/hypotenuse
    tangent = opposite/adjacent

    and CAST: (for remembering which trig function is positive in which quadrant)

    S|A
    T|C

    in the "A" quadrant (0 to 90 degrees), All (sine,cosine,tangent) are positive.
    In the "S" quadrant (91 to 180 degrees), Sine is positive;
    In the "T" quadrant (181 to 270 degrees), Tangent is positive;
    In the "C" quadrant (271 to 360 degrees), Cosine is positive.
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    Senior Member Red Ribbon's Avatar
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    I'm an engineering student. I love math. My solution to your problem is to do a variety of problems. The equations will come to you naturally then.
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    Sweet Summer Dik Dik yama's Avatar
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    Practice > flashcards. Learn the process, not the answer, and then you can solve anything.

  10. #10
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by great_bay View Post
    Hello, I am interested in majoring math. I will be taking Algebra 1 and 2 in 16 weeks. Both in 8 weeks. I need to find out the most effective method in memorizing the equations to deal with tons of work in a short amount of time. I was wondering if flashcards are better then doing the same math equations over and over. For instance, is it better to write down the formula and try to remember with the flashcards as oppose to just simply doing the math problem over and over? Which method is easier for memorizing the formula.
    Flashcards are best used for rote memorization. This might be helpful with formulas, but you might find it easier to understand the formula better than simply to memorize it. As others have suggested, this will come with practice. If you understand it really well, you should be able to derive it based on that understanding.
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