"Arithmetic is being able to count to twenty without taking off your shoes." Mickey Mouse

Do math problems make you want to take off your shoes and hit your textbook with them? No need to untie those laces when you can tie up any learning knots that you may have and overcome that mathematical learning barrier.

If you live in the capital city of Kwazulu Natal - Pietermartizburg - you know that it is known as the "City of Flowers". Look around you at all the azaleas and roses in full bloom. Can you count all the azaleas? How can you not want to bloom in Mathematics in this marvellous city of flowers and butterflies? So if you want to fly as smoothly as a butterfly through problem-solving this year, read this guide on how to get the mathematics help that you need in order to achieve marks that are above your grade average.

Counting the rose petals
Blooming in mathematics in Pietermaritzburg. Source: Unsplash | Katie Goertzen

Finding a Maths Tutor in Pietermaritzburg

"Without mathematics, there is nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers" Shakuntala Devi

Even the brightest of sparks tend to find themselves underperforming in maths from time to time. The reason as to why you may not be gaining the marks that you expect in the subject is because you are unsure of how to improve in mathematics. The first step towards improving in mathematics is trying to figure out why you may not be performing as well as you should. The second step is problem-solving and trying to perform better. This is where a maths tutor in Pietermaritzburg may come in handy. A maths tutor may help you understand what your problem areas are in the subject as well as guide you towards improving your marks in maths.

In an attempt to overcome any learning barriers that you have in mathematics, you can talk to your maths teacher. Your teacher will know exactly where your problem lies and may also help you draw up an improvement plan that will be beneficial in the long run. Your maths teacher may also help you to find a tutor who will assist you to overcome all your mathematics problems at your grade level.

If you are doubting whether finding a maths tutor in Pietermaritzburg will be beneficial for you, read more about how maths tutors in South Africa can help you overcome maths problems.

Perhaps the reason why you can't seem to get better marks in mathematics is because you daydream during your maths lessons. If you just copy down the solved problems without any understanding of how it was solved, once your teacher has gotten through the explanation of how to solve the problems on the board, then clearly you tend to get distracted and lost in the classroom situation. In this case, you are not actually learning how to problem solve due to your lack of focus.

This is where a private mathematics tutor will come in handy. Learning on a one-on-one basis with a private tutor means that you can't daydream or lose focus during your tutorial session without your tutor noticing. You can also always ask for a re-explanation if you may have missed a step or did not understand a step. You can ask for more help without harming the flow of the lesson or getting nasty stares from your peers. If you realise that not being able to concentrate for the full mathematics period is what's hindering your performance, then certainly private attention is what you need.

There are many private tutors who offer online classes and at home classes if you are searching for the right tutor for you.

focusing on problem-solving
Focusing on the problem being solved may be all you need to get better grades in maths. Source: Unsplash

Finding a Tutor to Help with Maths Problems

"The only way to learn maths is to do mathematics." Paul Halmos

For many students, procrastination is what actually hinders their ability to perform as well as they should. If you constantly find something else to do over your maths homework, you may be procrastinating too. Solving maths problems by yourself and understanding exactly how you derived the answer is the best way to achieve success in mathematics. So if you feel that you are too distracted to sit and solve your mathematics exercise on your own every afternoon, joining a mathematics homework group may be the answer for you. Working with peers who are dedicated to solving the problems in front of them may be what you need. A homework group may allow you to sit for an hour and do maths homework instead of scrolling aimlessly through your social media.

The problem is while your friends may understand how they are getting the correct answer, they may be unable to explain their reasoning and ways of thinking to you. In this case, you may need to organize a learning schedule for yourself and rope in a tutor to help with maths problems. A qualified maths tutor will explain to you how he or she has derived a certain answer and will be able to teach you application rules. A tutor will make sure that you understand how to solve the sum completely before moving onto another sum.

measure the difference with a maths tutor
Measure your progress throughout the year with a maths tutor. Source: Unsplash| Ashkan Forouzani

Finding Maths Lessons Near Me

"Maths is like ice-cream, with more flavours than you can imagine-and if all your children ever do is textbook maths, that's like feeding them broccoli-flavoured ice-cream." Denise Gaskins

Perhaps you can manage all the sums in your mathematics textbook, but you struggle in the test because the numbers used are slightly different from the ones you saw in your textbook. Maybe the questions are phrased slightly different from how it was written in your textbook and that throws you off track slightly. Working strictly and only from your textbook in mathematics is never ideal. Just taking a look at the revised annual teaching plans for 2020 and 2021 for your phase will give you an idea of what topics will appear in the maths curriculum for your grade but you may need some help covering all the topics covered in the annual teaching and learning plans:

To get more variety in mathematics, you would benefit from taking maths lessons near you or attending a mathematics tutorial centre.

If you feel that you will benefit from a once-off online workshop then you welcome to visit the Tutor Pietermaritzburg website. You can attend a fractions workshop if you are in the intermediate phase or a mathematics paper 2 workshop if you are in matric with Tutor Pietermaritzburg.  If you are looking specifically at a planned and craftily coordinated maths program, you can choose to attend Seriously Addictive Mathematics (SAM) in Pietermaritzburg which uses maths as a vehicle to teach the necessary problem-solving skills that children need to thrive in the 21st Century. If you feel you would rather opt for a private tutor who will structure their mathematics lessons based on your needs, addressing your weak points and harnessing your strengths - a Superprof tutor can easily be found in the Pietermaritzburg area. Some of the tutors on Superprof are qualified to teach students up until a doctorate level as well.

compass maths
You will benefit by having the right maths tutor in your circle. Source: Unsplash

Maths Revision is All You Need to Get Better Grades

"The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics." Paul Halmos

Sometimes all it takes is added practise, practise and more practise. One of the most vital things to do is revise mathematic concepts before the paper. You need to make sure that you leave ample time to do revision prior to actually taking exams. If you are in Grade 12, working through past maths papers is a requirement and many of your teachers and tutors will work through maths paper with you.  In fact, working through past papers and mock exams is important. Ask your teacher or your private tutor for mock exams that you can try out on your own. Set aside the same amount of time that you are given to write your maths exam. Once you start, mentally make note of sums or problems that seemed rather challenging. If you have a memorandum, you can mark your maths exam yourself. If you do not have a memorandum for your mock exam, having a private tutor is ideal because the tutor will help you mark the paper. In this way, you can see where you went wrong and correct your work. You learn in maths by correcting your work. Sometimes even the sums or equations that may have seemed manageable and even easy may be the ones that you got wrong. Having a maths tutor show you where you went wrong is beneficial.

As said by the Scottish-born mathematician, "Obvious is the most dangerous word in mathematics." So when you feel the answers to story sums were rather, "obvious," think again. There's always a catch with the way sums are posed in the exams.

Here's more about how maths tutors can help you overcome maths problems.

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Laila is an enthusiastic English educator and a fun-filled freelance writer. She has accomplished her dream of getting her first book published and has managed to write over 1 000 000 words since beginning her freelance career. In her free time, she is a travel blogger who explores all South Africa has to offer.