For many people, math is a dreaded subject due to it being difficult to understand. Through Geoffrey Colvin and his article, “What It Takes to Be Great”, it has been explained that anyone can become great at anything through the concept of deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is doing activities which help improve a person’s performance and has specific goals meant to improve the person’s abilities. It also is an “… activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance, that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence, provides feedback on results and involves high levels of repetition… (Colvin, 10).

In math, it takes understanding the concepts to do well; you can memorize, but eventually memorization won’t help. Anyone can improve in this subject and become a straight-A student through studying and understanding material. You can become a straight-A student using this method by learning the content and making sure you get it, understanding the reasoning behind ideas, using connections to deepen understanding, and asking others for help. A student can get straight-A’s in math through studying and understanding content by learning the material and making sure they understand it.

Through not understanding an idea, a misconception can occur and the idea may be used in an incorrect manner. To understand a concept, find out why something has to be done in a certain way. If it doesn’t make sense, use available resources; Google it or ask others. Study the material and figure things out using practice problems. Don’t be afraid if it takes hours to do well at the task because that’s what deliberate practice requires. If you make mistakes, try again after finding out what you’ve done incorrectly. Keep going until you feel comfortable with the concept.

Performance in math by understanding concepts can also be improved by understanding the reasoning behind ideas. To understand the reasoning for ideas, learn definitions, theorems, postulates, or whatever applies to your field of study. Learn how to apply them to the material and see why something must be done in a particular way; for instance, why one step must be done before another in a geometric proof. Don’t just go and memorize something, then claim that you understand because, without knowing how to apply something, it won’t be of use.

Understanding math doesn’t come naturally for many people so set goals of understanding one topic per day and work upwards from there; it could take a long period of time and dedication to understand, but it will be worth it for that hard-earned A. To become a straight-A student in math by understanding material and studying, you can also use connections. To make connections, find similarities between a specific math problem or situation and something in common life. By connecting the two ideas, whenever what the problem or situation is linked to is seen, the idea will be strengthened.

Linking ideas may be difficult and take time to get used to. Start with easy, common objects, then work up to things done in class. This will take much practice, but connecting ideas strengthens memory and understanding. If you find connecting ideas a little too difficult to do with math at first, try connecting other ideas which you may need to remember. Keep practicing until you feel like you are ready to move onto math problems or situations. Test out connections with math problems and, if you aren’t ready to connect with math problems just yet, decide if you want to go back and try connections with other ideas.

Keep working at connections because they can be very helpful. Also, if you don’t understand something, find someone to study with or help you. Ask friends, a tutor, or even the teacher for help whenever you need it. Get feedback from teachers or do practice problems and have them check it over. Ask for advice and never forget that others may have had difficulty with the same material, so they might have helpful hints. With friends, you can also form a study group where those who understand material help those who do not. Most people have tips, tricks, or specific ways of doing problems and one of them may be the right one for you.

Many others have gone through a struggle to understand math, so never be afraid to ask for help, because the odds are that they had to as well. Although math may not be the easiest subject for most people, anyone can get an A on that dreaded test or final report card by simply studying and understanding everything. By using the concept of deliberate practice, anyone can understand by learning the content and getting it, understanding why something must be done in a particular way, finding connections for ideas, and asking others such as their teacher, friend, tutor, or anyone else for help.

These help very much because memorization cannot get you through everything in life. It is said that “Mathematics is the music of reason. ” (Sylvester), so it will always help to understand it. Remember that “It’s fine to work on any problem, so long as it generates interesting mathematics along the way—even if you don’t solve it at the end of the day. ” (Wiles) because no one will be perfect from the start; it takes a lot of deliberate practice to be great at anything, especially math.