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Would like to get better at maths


reddog

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Bit of background, didn't do great at GCSE maths, got a C grade.  Didn't do A-level maths.

 

Went to university and did a subject with a fair bit of maths in it (chemistry).  They did a bit of remedial maths training for people who didn't do a level maths (calculus, statistics etc.), This didn't go great for me but I scrapped through.  In the degree, always felt handicapped by not being good at maths.

 

In my current job (I.T. for finance) I could probably get further  if I had a better grip on maths particularly for data analytics.

 

I have looked for training to improve myself in maths, there are some Udemy courses etc.  But I am wondering if I would be better self teaching myself(with the help of on line resources) GCSE and A Level maths.  My logic is, there is a lot of resources out there, and these courses have s properly structured syllabus.

 

Any thoughts?  Part of me thinks it is a silly thing to do, as I have a pretty good job, and most of my colleagues would spend any study time studying for an MBA etc., not redoing the fundamentals of GCSE maths.

 

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Silly? Not if you think it'll help or want to do it for its own sake.

Whether teaching yourself or not would help that depends upon you. There's enough stuff out there and it sounds like the background you've got is enough to know what to look for. The question is whether you've got the self-discipline to teach yourself, and find you get further with digging around when you get stuck instead of asking someone.

 

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16 hours ago, reddog said:

 

Any thoughts?  Part of me thinks it is a silly thing to do, as I have a pretty good job, and most of my colleagues would spend any study time studying for an MBA etc., not redoing the fundamentals of GCSE maths.

 

If you are OK with learning from books, I'd go onto Ebay or Abe books and buy a bunch of old maths text books. 

Don't search Maths text books as you end up with Key Stage 1 books. 

Search for 'Pure Maths', `Applied Maths' and Statistics. That should give you what was between GCSE and A-Level Standard.

Read the chapters and the exercises, and you'll be great. 

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Thanks for the replies.

 

One thing I was interested in though is do you think I should strictly follow a syllabus for example for GCSE and A-level, or just randomly teach myself stuff? 

 

I am thinking it is better to follow a syllabus to give it some structure, and decided on the GCSE/ A-level because it is what I know, but I would be open to here any other ideas.

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On 12/01/2020 at 17:30, reddog said:

Thanks for the replies.

One thing I was interested in though is do you think I should strictly follow a syllabus for example for GCSE and A-level, or just randomly teach myself stuff?

I am thinking it is better to follow a syllabus to give it some structure, and decided on the GCSE/ A-level because it is what I know, but I would be open to here any other ideas.

Firstly, let me say that there are 3 different kinds of person in this world: Those who can't count, and those who can.

Seriously though I agree a progressive route with structure is best. Open University might be good if they do the Maths you are after?

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I was never very good at maths at school, disliked it as a subject, also got gcse c grade. Ive spent years teaching it at primary school, prefer teaching it to anything else now, believe i teach it well. In retrospect, ive realised how badly the subject was taught in general. My own maths improved by having to think about the best way to explain it to children. 

I dont have the subject knowledge to teach maths at a higher level. However, i have noticed that the main reason that individuals struggle with maths is important gaps/misapprehension  in knowledge, moving on without fully understanding what underpins what comes next. This leads to the horrible feeling of constantly scraping through. Unfortunately, lots of people have to resort to scraping through, due to the pressures of needing to pass an examination or whatever. 

Having studied science at degree you obviously have a decent level of intelligence, so you should be able to start teaching yourself. My advice would be to work out where the gaps in your knowledge begin. Then go back, maybe further than you might think,  and without the pressures and boredom of having to pass a test, spend time on filling these in. 

 

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There are many good resources on the Internet, most of them free.

One that I have found particularly useful for teaching the basics to my grandchildren is the “mathantics” YouTube channel. Attention span sized chunks, excellent graphics.

(this is purely anecdotal, DYOR)

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On 11/01/2020 at 20:39, reddog said:

Bit of background, didn't do great at GCSE maths, got a C grade.  Didn't do A-level maths.

 

Went to university and did a subject with a fair bit of maths in it (chemistry).  They did a bit of remedial maths training for people who didn't do a level maths (calculus, statistics etc.), This didn't go great for me but I scrapped through.  In the degree, always felt handicapped by not being good at maths.

 

In my current job (I.T. for finance) I could probably get further  if I had a better grip on maths particularly for data analytics.

 

I have looked for training to improve myself in maths, there are some Udemy courses etc.  But I am wondering if I would be better self teaching myself(with the help of on line resources) GCSE and A Level maths.  My logic is, there is a lot of resources out there, and these courses have s properly structured syllabus.

 

Any thoughts?  Part of me thinks it is a silly thing to do, as I have a pretty good job, and most of my colleagues would spend any study time studying for an MBA etc., not redoing the fundamentals of GCSE maths.

 

Have a look at this.;)

https://www.khanacademy.org/

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21 hours ago, winkie said:

Have a look at this.;)

https://www.khanacademy.org/

+1 For Khan, I was going to post this if no one else had.

 

I've a similar background to the OP and did the statistics course on Khan, if I was doing data analytics I would have thought that and linear algebra would be two of the most useful.  Of course that needs to be on a firm foundation of the basics, fractions, decimals etc. also covered by Khan.

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On 14/01/2020 at 21:17, nothernsoul said:

I was never very good at maths at school, disliked it as a subject, also got gcse c grade. Ive spent years teaching it at primary school, prefer teaching it to anything else now, believe i teach it well. In retrospect, ive realised how badly the subject was taught in general. My own maths improved by having to think about the best way to explain it to children. 

I dont have the subject knowledge to teach maths at a higher level. However, i have noticed that the main reason that individuals struggle with maths is important gaps/misapprehension  in knowledge, moving on without fully understanding what underpins what comes next. This leads to the horrible feeling of constantly scraping through. Unfortunately, lots of people have to resort to scraping through, due to the pressures of needing to pass an examination or whatever. 

Having studied science at degree you obviously have a decent level of intelligence, so you should be able to start teaching yourself. My advice would be to work out where the gaps in your knowledge begin. Then go back, maybe further than you might think,  and without the pressures and boredom of having to pass a test, spend time on filling these in. 

 

Very good point regarding traditional teaching of Maths, here's Sal from Khan academy with a TED talk about exactly that issue.

 

 

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On 17/01/2020 at 14:01, excon said:

+1 For Khan, I was going to post this if no one else had.

 

I've a similar background to the OP and did the statistics course on Khan, if I was doing data analytics I would have thought that and linear algebra would be two of the most useful.  Of course that needs to be on a firm foundation of the basics, fractions, decimals etc. also covered by Khan.

I'm on fairly solid ground, but thought I might start with the GCSE stuff just to make sure I have everything covered.

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