4 Reading and writing mathematics
Reading a piece of mathematics requires a more detailed and active approach than some other types of reading, so it is worth taking a few moments to think about strategies to use when doing this. Some useful tactics are summarised below, but of course you might have your own ideas as well. Writing these down is a great way to acknowledge the skills and understanding that you already have.
- Read carefully and check that you understand any special terminology, symbols or abbreviations.
- Make sure you understand what you have to do.
- Highlight or underline key pieces of information.
- Check that you have all the information you need at hand, including skills and techniques learned earlier.
- Add extra lines of working if that helps your understanding.
- Draw a diagram to help you visualise the problem and put the information you have on it.
- Mark the parts of the problems that you find difficult. You may want to come back to these, talk through the ideas with a friend or look on the internet for some guidance.
The key is to take your time and be methodical; that way you are less likely to miss any important details or instructions.