The Reason Why You’re Finding Maths Methods So Damn Hard

“I cry and stress so much thinking about how bad I’m at Methods. It’s just so damn hard”.

Poor Claire.  

She wasn’t a strong student in maths and really hoped to achieve a 30 study score in Maths Methods .

On this particular day she was having trouble understanding composite functions.

She knew how to work out the rule… but was shaky when asked to state the domain and range, and when it came to defining a restriction so the composite function is defined she was completely lost.

Here’s the reason why Claire found Maths Methods so hard.

Claire failed to realise one thing.

That one thing is – like many students – she fell into the trap of seeing topics in Maths Methods as separated chunks of maths when in reality they all complement each other.

You see, Maths Methods is a subject that builds on previous topics – earlier topics covered in units 3 and also topics introduced in units 1 & 2.

In order to be able to answer composite function questions, Claire needed to have a solid understanding in set and interval notation, being able to find the domain and range of functions and having the skills to sketch various graphs.

Without the understanding of these previous topics – the concept of composite functions became much harder to understand.

That’s why Maths Methods is really hard for a lot of students.

Just like Claire, so many students quickly learn a new topic and move on to the next – or worse they want to learn the concepts for the SAC and then they never want to see them again.

Not realising that Maths Methods will always call on knowledge from previous topics.

These same skills, writing in interval notation, finding the domain and range or sketching graphs never go away.

It’s these exact skills you’ll need for later topics like integration and even probability.  

Of course it’d be ideal if you could work on a topic until you get everything down pat, but I get it – that’s probably not realistic for every student.

But you should have a good grasp of each topic- before moving on.

At the least attempt a few harder questions or exam style questions for each topic to test that you’ve gained the assumed knowledge required before moving on.

To make this easier consider joining the Maths Methods Club – where you can group past exam questions by topic.

You can quickly test yourself on each topic before moving on – and if you see you can’t answer a question – then the worked solutions will guide you to the answer.

Remember Maths Methods topics all complement each other – and if you’re finding the subject hard – it’s probably because there may be some holes in your knowledge from previous topics you haven’t addressed.

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