How many of you are still taking IB Maths courses this summer? If so, I know it can be hard to keep your skills sharp over the summer without any classes to study for, but there are plenty of ways you can challenge yourself during the break! Whether you’re looking to gain some extra confidence or simply trying to pass your next class with flying colours, here are seven ways to keep your IB Maths skills sharp over the summer!
7 Ways to Keep Your IB Maths Skills Sharp Over the Summer
1. Join A Maths Learning Course:
Getting your head around a new subject isn’t always easy. And when you don’t have class time in which to do it, you may find yourself struggling with those pesky formulae. If you don’t have time for regular classes, but want to keep up your IB maths skills over summer, there are plenty of ways you can keep learning – such as watching videos and using online tools. Just make sure you get some practice: solving questions is a great way to stay sharp.
2. Shop and Calculate:
When you go shopping, add items up as you put them in your cart. If your children are old enough to shop with you, challenge them to do their own maths. One variation of that activity is for each person in a family to write down a different item on their grocery list; have one person add up all of those items at checkout. The more ways you can think of to get maths practice into your life (and still be able in some way balance your cheque book) the better off you’ll be!
3. Watch YouTube Videos
Looking for a place to start? A quick search of IB mathematics on YouTube will return thousands of results for videos explaining topics like ratios, proportions, tangents and other advanced concepts. If you don’t feel comfortable watching them (and if they go over your head), at least familiarise yourself with how they’re structured: they often have an instructor talking directly into camera while explaining mathematical problems by drawing them on a whiteboard or sometimes using visual elements like computer programs.
The creators may make errors along the way that could prove valuable because they help you see common mistakes when doing maths yourself—and how not to make them.
4. Get The Right Resources
If you’re a high school student planning on taking IB exams, you’ll need to brush up on your maths skills over the summer. You don’t have access to your teachers and can’t count on getting any help from them, so your best bet is going online and finding resources that cater specifically to IB mathematics.
The Official Guide for IB Mathematics HL & SL has practice questions and an e-book version (PDF) is available online. If that isn’t enough, you can download a two-hour audio file of additional practice material. For extra studying, try grabbing another resource like IMathOnline’s Interactive Formulator.
5. Spend time on Maths Games
Often, people with a background in maths feel that they get rusty over summer break. However, there are several ways to spend your time during summer that are enjoyable and educational at the same time. For example, you can play a maths game on your phone or tablet while waiting for an appointment.
You can also work out maths puzzles while watching TV with family or friends. Another option is to find a coding class near you and use these skills to solve puzzles as you learn! The best way will depend on what else is going on in your life – but never underestimate how fun these games can be!
6. Listen to NPR While Commuting
I’m always surprised by how much I can pick up while driving home from work, and since a lot of my commute is spent waiting at red lights or stopped in traffic jams, I take advantage of that time to learn more about what I’m passionate about. My favourite show right now is Invisibilia on NPR—I listen every night when I get into bed. (They are also a great podcast if you like audio books.)
Even if you aren’t listening in your car, NPR has an app where you can download stories for later and listen during your downtime. You could also check out TED Talks or watch documentaries. The ideas shared in these shows will help expand your mind and keep it fresh!
7. Do Crossword Puzzles
Although it might not seem like maths, crossword puzzles are an engaging way to keep your mind sharp over the summer. As you work through a puzzle and look for words that fit into a specific pattern (horizontal or vertical clued answers, for example), you’ll actually be exercising mathematical reasoning. Crosswords also help you learn new words, which will definitely come in handy when studying again in September!
If you really want to maintain your maths skills over summer break, there are ways to do it. Set time aside on a regular basis—even if it’s as little as 20 minutes each day. And spend that time practising maths problems (with and without help). Make sure you take advantage of all of your resources, whether they be friends, tutors or online tutorials. You may even find yourself getting back into school mode before you know it!