i hope i can get some help on how to get better at high school maths i find them very difficult compared to middle school.

Whats the big difference so i can work on it ?


You're starting to move into more adult learning when you get into high school. In elementary, they spend huge amounts of time for very slow learning and do lots of review. In high school, it's more cut and dried...topic a, lesson 1, topic b, lesson 2, etc. You HAVE TO KEEP UP or you'll get killed. (Intermediate school is halfway in between.)

You can probably handle the high school math, but you will need to start working more. Consider it like a sport. You need to train. And it is a tougher thing because you are growing up into a man. High school football is a whole different feeling than peewees.

  1. Do the homework every night. (At least all assigned. If possible, just work ALL in the section. It's like running more laps...you will get better wind.)

  2. Preview the lesson that you will get the next day, by reading the textbook. This will seem hard at first, but your body (oops, mind) will get trained to enduring the work. When you read, pay SPECIAL attention to the example problems or derivations and work them in your notebook. Math is like sports, more about doing than passive reading. (languages, physics and chemistry are similar to math albeit not as extreme; history, English, and biology are more passively readable).

  3. Go to your teacher every day after school and get help. If you don't have a specific question, no problem, sit in a desk in front of her and read the book and work problems. Be a little badger about getting help. Just keep biting at it until you get what you need.

Do all three of these and report back here, weekly, with your progress. I am sure that within three weeks of working like this, you will be kicking ass instead of getting kicked.

  • $\begingroup$ i will for sure. $\endgroup$ Feb 22 '20 at 18:22

Is there a particular topic in high school math that you find hard?

From my experience, I found that middle school mathematics was mostly computation and/or algebraic manipulation. For example, learning about exponents, solve simple linear equations, expand and factor polynomials, and the mathematical topics were compartmentalized without really connecting them. Everything was somewhat straightforward where you could almost type questions (as you see them) into a calculator and get the answer.

For example, you'd learn how to factor $f(x)=y=x^2+6x+5=(x+1)(x+5)$

High school math, however, I found was more about generalization and/or connecting different topics in math. So, using our example, if we wanted to sketch the graph $f(x)$ we could

  • Find the $x$-axis intercepts by doing the additional step of setting set $f(x)=0$ and realizing that the product of those two factors would need to be zero ($x+1=0$ and $x+5=0$) and then you'd get $x=-1$ and $-5$.
  • Learning that the line of symmetry is in between the $x$-axis intercepts. So $x=-3$. And also learning that the vertex lies on the line of symmetry and so the max/min would be when $x=-3$ so $f(-3)=-4$
  • Find the $y$-intercept, by setting $x=0$ and getting $y=5$
  • Connect the intercepts $(-1,0), (-5,0), (0,5)$ and the min $(-3,-4)$ with a smooth curve to sketch the quadratic.

Later, you could generalize further and have the quadratic $ax^2+bx+c, a \neq 0$ but you could still figure out the general shape and specific points based on $a,b$ and $c$.

Overall, questions get longer with multiple parts and they aren't as straightforward computation.


The three specific things that always helped me and what I always tell my students:

  1. Vocabulary is going to be very important since terms will give you a lot of information that will help you understand what a question is asking. It would be good to make a vocab list
  2. Geometry or visual interpretation will make the algebraic manipulation more "concrete". It starts with lines and slopes and intercepts, but then continues on with quadratics, lines of symmetry, vertexes, and so on.
  3. Step-by-step from the basics so that you're not calculating without thinking, but that you're thinking about why you're doing each step. Break down one hard questions into lots of easy questions.
  • $\begingroup$ I have always found proving in algebra and functions hard . i started understanding middle school maths until i reached 22 years old . high school maths are still an obstacle for me .And i really love reading algebra books $\endgroup$ Feb 23 '20 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ FYI, graphing a quadratic polynomial did not show up in my high school's math classes until our 4th year math class (the college prep sequence was algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2, advanced math; no calculus), although it was the first topic studied in that class. But this was a rural area, in the mid 1970s. I know, because I have a copy of our text and I still have my notes. Our algebra 2 class covered the first 6 chapters of the 1968 edition of Dolciani's Algebra and Trigonometry 2 and our advanced math class covered the remaining chapters (#7-15). $\endgroup$ Feb 23 '20 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks i have started doing some high school maths using middle school techniques. hopefully ill get better with this method . Please dont hesitate to suggest your own techniques . Thanks guys $\endgroup$ Feb 29 '20 at 16:48

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