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Math Made Easy: ‘Search for real-life applications of each topic that are fun and interesting’

If a teacher is teaching a teenager a Math concept, relating the concepts with pop culture might interest the student, say experts

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Editor’s Note: Math Made Easy is a new series by Apeejay Newsroom where experts share study tips and fun ways to learn the subject. This is part III of the series. Read part II here and part I here.

Why is it that some students struggle with Math while others make it look like a cakewalk? People will tell you that practice makes a person perfect and this can’t be truer when it comes to Math. However, experts and teachers say that students are afraid of Math because its education is flawed. Language essay or painting is usually marked subjectively, however, the Math marking system is purely objective. Hence, students are under constant pressure to use the right formula and get the correct answer.



“There are several such tips and tricks that we teach students that make it easy for them to not only solve the questions but also enjoy the subject”

Rinki Verma, Math teacher at Apeejay School, Noida



So, how can teachers make the subject more interesting and easy for students to understand and follow? According to Rinki Verma, a Math teacher at Apeejay School, Noida in Uttar Pradesh, the way to master any subject is to read it over and over again. “The same is true for Math. Also, the way the subject is taught today is very different. There are so many fun ways that we (teachers) at Apeejay use to make each topic in Math fun and easy to learn,” Verma said.

We all remember the easiest way to remember the Trigonometry formula: Some People Have Curly Brown Hair Through Proper Brushing or the Hindi version: Pandit Bardi Prasad Har Har Bole. “Similarly, there are several such tips and tricks that we teach students that make it easy for them to not only solve the questions but also enjoy the subject. 

Neelakantha Bhanu, the world’s fastest human calculator who can process 12 numbers per second said that it is possible to train the brain however you want. “Anything is possible which means processing 12 numbers per second. We are called the smartest species for a reason. We should train our brains like we train our muscles. If we can train our bodies why we can’t train our minds? It is all about practicing and perseverance,” Bhanu explained.




“A student-teacher bond is very important to make a child feel comfortable about a subject. To make a child understand a subject better, the teacher should know the child’s mindset”

Neelakantha Bhanu, the world’s fastest human calculator




In an impromptu interview, here is what he had to say on how to make Math more interesting:

How do you create a spark for Maths?

Math is considered boring among students because of the way it is taught – a topic’s definition and its formula are introduced; a few questions are solved using that formula, and the rest are given to students as homework. Instead, a real-life problem should be introduced first. One can start learning Trigonometry by talking about how to measure the height of a skyscraper without a measuring tape on Day 1. We should present the problem first and then show the path of the channelling the need for Math will always help students to know and learn better. 

Why do most students struggle with this subject?

We need to understand that accurate calculation are only part of the end goal of mathematics. It is all about the concept and process which finally takes you to a result that is more important.

Is it possible to eradicate phobia? How?

Humanising the subject is the way forward to eradicate Math phobia. Students around the world should be taught Math in a very engaging way. Every child should be motivated to learn the application of Maths. How we teach language, we don’t ask children to learn the dictionary, and then start speaking. Rather we teach the alphabet first then words and so on. The same concept should be applied to Math; let the students understand the application of the subject. The Math curriculum – I use at Bhanzu to teach – is exactly solving to help students overcome their fear of Math.

How did you become the world’s fastest human calculator?

I never thought I would become the world’s fastest human calculator. I started appearing in some competitions and winning them. I won the regional championship, and the national championship twice, and I became the fastest human calculator in India. I then participated in the international championships. I happened to win the speed arithmetic championship at the age of 13. During this journey, I also broke records of Shakuntala Devi and won India’s first medal and the Mind Sports Olympiad.

How do you channel curiosity and ensure students don’t forget Math?

I believe one can develop an interest in math by questioning the concept of math. Ask why the concepts are being created and taught. Understanding and comprehending the thoughts that mathematicians had behind concepts and theories can help to debunk the subject. Once someone learns the history of a concept, the subject becomes more interesting to him. A student will be willing to learn once he understands the importance of the concepts.

What can teachers do to help students improve their Math?

A student-teacher bond is very important to make a child feel comfortable about a subject. To make a child understand a subject better the teacher should know the child’s mindset. For example, if a teacher is teaching a teenager a Math concept, relating the concepts with pop culture might interest the student. Teacher communication is essential for developing subject relatability, which paves the way for personalised learning.

Tips to make Math fun

1. Search for real-life applications of each Math topics

2. Always ask why

3. Practice and don’t give up

4. Consider math as more than a subject but as a true learning experience

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.

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