Happy New Year

At the beginning of the year, time to contemplate some resolutions perhaps – an annual update – all links checked and some new ones added: 

Firstly, remember the ten eleven commandments!

Also available as a poster: 11-commandments-mathematics

To elaborate a little more on some of these and provide some further links:

1 – reading and understanding the problem
See this document from The University of California, Berkeley for a succinct guide to Polya’s problem-solving strategy and for a more detailed guide with examples try this excellent publication from Arizona State University which is exceptionally clear. 

2 – on Algebra, you will find many examples to help – see Notes. See also this post on Transition Time which includes some very helpful documents with lots of examples.

OCR Transition Algebra Fractions

See for example this brilliant guide for students from OCR –  Bridging the gap between GCSE and AS/A Level Mathematics – A Student Guide.

5 – looking it up – there are several excellent resources online for you to look up definitions or find extra examples. Never rely on just one source if you are finding a topic tricky, it can be helpful to see explanations written by different authors.

6 – To learn Mathematics you need to do Mathematics. You can never do enough examples! There are plenty of questions here (with answers included). Have you looked at the problems on Brilliant?

9 – on Arithmetic, many tests for University Admissions require competence with estimation and mental arithmetic. Put your calculator away sometimes – perhaps have a look at this Open Learn (free) course on Rounding and Estimation.
If you want to practise your arithmetic you could play some games!

10 – on writing the language of mathematics correctly – see this clear guide to writing Mathematics from Dr Kevin P Lee and from John Kerl some excellent tips for mathematical handwriting, many of these tips these apply to students of all ages – do you distinguish carefully between a 1 and a 7 for example? Perhaps it is hard to tell whether you have written a 2 or a z or perhaps your 5s look a bit like a letter s?

Have a look at Peter Alfeld’s guide to Understanding Mathematics which he wrote for his students at Utah University.

Are you familiar with all the excellent (free) resources online to help your studies? Have you tried the brilliant Desmos graphing calculator for example, or used WolframAlpha to check your work?

Some more thoughts for you.

If you are trying to get organised generally then some of the resources on this page might be useful. I recommend Evernote highly (it’s free).


Wishing you all a very happy and productive 2019!


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