“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – 

Pablo Picasso


Picasso clearly recognised that one has to continually be attempting new and, sometimes, difficult things in order to grow and improve yourself. A quote like this could inspire you to learn a subject like mathematics. Although it is advisable to have a guide or mentor, you can learn maths independently.

Many people think themselves incapable of learning maths on their own. In fact, online maths resources and interactive websites can assist you to become proficient in maths to the point where basic math or algebra is no longer an insurmountable challenge.

This article aims to assist you if you find it difficult to get to a maths class or if a private tutor is beyond your means. It will aid you, if you find maths problems tricky, by showing you how to master maths on your own.

You Can Teach Yourself Maths Using a Computer

These days, electronic devices like  smartphones, tablets and computers are some of the best aids to use when wanting to study on your own. They make studying maths online a good idea!

maths equations on chalkboard
Yes, it is possible to learn Maths outside the classroom. ⎢Source: Unsplash

When referring to computers, we imply both desktops and laptops! The advantages of using these devices are numerous, including:

  • Doing maths exercises at your leisure
  • Studying  scientific subjects such as chemistry and physics, as well
  • Revising for your matric examination or towards a bachelor's degree in mathematics
  • Receiving tuition from a tutor on-line

You need to have a sound, solid, methodical approach if it is your goal to work independent of assistance. Maths encompasses far more than just the concepts of even numbers, addition and subtraction. It also explores how to:

  • Understand and solve problems
  • Apply appropriate theories when required
  • Rationalise (reason)
  • Improve your memory by doing particular mathematical exercises
  • Work on more complicated maths operations which may include linear equations, tangents or logarithms.

Another positive aspect of studying mathematics on your own, using a computer, is that you can learn maths at any level, from primary and high school through to university level maths. Each student can learn at his own level and pace.

However, it is crucial that you put in place a detailed programme of study to enjoy the greatest benefit from your lessons and readings. You must create a framework of your objectives: getting to grips with basic maths concepts,  revising, improving, preparing for examinations.

You need to be aware of cut-off dates so that you can achieve your goals in a timely manner. Be realistic about setting deadlines, as you may demotivate yourself should they be unrealistic.

Educational apps and maths games can also allow you to prepare calmly using your computer.

Playing Games to Learn Maths

Playing games is far greater fun that cramming from a book. Right?

numbers on dice
Toys and games are a fun way to improve your thinking skills.⎢Source: Unsplash

It is great to learn maths by playing maths games which cover a range of maths topics:

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Arithmetic
  • Trigonometry
  • Physics.

You can plug gaps in your maths knowledge with online audiovisual aids which cover a raft of subjects:

  • Geometry: congruence, similarity.
  • Calculations: multiplication, division, means and medians.
  • Numbers: fractions, decimal numbers, real numbers, etc.

There are numerous maths games which permit you to work on a particular kind of mathematical way of thinking. The most popular types include:

  • Reading games
  • Logic games
  • Thinking games
  • Memory games
  • Online board games
  • Card games
  • Free online maths games, word problems, exercises
  • Calculus games.

Kick off by going online and cracking simple maths problems. There are also educational apps that  can assist you in your study of maths.  The following are the types of maths games and apps you should consider:

  • Math-based games like chess or Sudoku
  • Apps for tablets and cell phones, such as iTooch, that allow you to study maths at your leisure, anywhere and at any time.

 “Teachers should provide repeated opportunities for students to play games, then let the mathematical ideas emerge as students notice new patterns, relationships, and strategies. Games are an important tool for learning in elementary school mathematics classrooms.” - National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

You should also check out some of the best maths websites and educational apps:

Learn Maths Fast

There are a range of different motives why you may cause you to learn maths fast:

  • Preparing for exams: matric or a university exam.
  • You’re short on time: a full schedule or a long working day.
  • For a test:  Your maths teacher, for example, has asked you to get to grips with percentage change calculations and negative numbers for an upcoming next test.
notebook with numbers and laptop
There are plenty of benefits to getting better at maths. ⎢Source: Unsplash

Considering the above,  there's a lot of work waiting for you. If that sounds daunting,  you might benefit from working in a group where you can:

  • Make revision sheets
  • Recite calculations out aloud
  • Do particular maths exercises to improve your memory
  • Work through past papers to speed up your revision.

Mathematics is not just a set of haphazard numbers. Even basic maths has numerous applications in everyday life and can help you:

  • Problem-solve
  • Improve your short-term and long-term memory
  • Improve your cognitive reactions
  • Broaden your skill set
  • Learn to use various programmes.

Learning on your own, will require you to be disciplined and for you to use the appropriate learning techniques. You will need to motivate yourself, using the correct maths games and books. You will also need to reflect on your particular learning style.

An auditive learner will focus on repeating things aloud as you did with your multiplication times tables at school.

A visual learner, will  focus on the use of visual resources and look at brightly-coloured representations.

If you're stuck and feel you need help, you can always call on a maths tutor for an hour or two and then revert  to learning on your own.

Briefly stated, you can learn mathematics quite easily if:

  • You use mnemonic techniques to help you learn complex maths calculations.
  • You use maths games or games that advance memory and logic.
  • Make use of as many tools at your disposal as you are comfortable with. Mix quizzes and worksheets with online courses, free websites and educational apps.

Exhale and you'll quickly realise that mathematics is not an impossible subject to master!

It's Easy to Study Maths

You can simplify studying maths by collaborating with a private tutor. A number of tutors offer the first lesson free so that you can ensure that you like their teaching style.

They will also modify their lessons to suit you by:

  • Providing homework assistance
  • Giving you Matric exam prep courses
  • Providing academic support for primary and secondary school learners and even university students
  • Offering group classes for learners/students of all ages.
maths exercises on chalkboard in classroom
Once you get good at maths, it'll bring a smile to your face! ⎢Source: Unsplash

You'll be able to arrange lessons in almost any time-slot with your tutor, whether you want to work over weekends, holidays or evenings. If concepts like division, multiplication or linear equations are still challenging, consider making use of the services of a private tutor.

Qualified and experienced tutors, as well as amateurs who are passionate about maths and helping kids learn, are a mouse-click away. Because a tutor advises you on maths techniques and methods, countless learners end up with vastly improved maths results.

Private maths lessons are very unlike your typical maths classes in school, because you can do interesting activities, including some online, which may impact on your enjoyment of studying the subject. You are also at liberty to have your lessons when and wherever you and your tutor choose. You can have your tutorials at the library or a café, as opposed to your or your tutor's residence.

On the Superprof website, there are an abundance of experienced and qualified tutors who offer a wide range of teaching styles. You're sure to find the right kind of maths help there, whether you're seeking an online tutor or one who will come to your home to help you study.

It is important to remember that many tutors offer the first hour of tutoring free. In that first free hour, explain what you hope to get out of the maths lessons, what your objectives are and how much time you have to achieve them. You can, of course, use that hour to see if you and the tutor are compatible. You definitely don't want to choose a tutor who is wrong for you and have to see him or her repeatedly!

If you want to be a maths fundi, with some effort, the appropriate gratis online mathematics resources and textbooks, you will soon be making tremendous progress in maths.

Not all of us are the same, so if a particular approach is not working for you, be bold and change your method.

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Career teacher turned writer. Passionate about family, running, and the great outdoors.