The New York Times published an interesting article – “Gut Instinct’s surprising role in Math”. The article shares an interesting view about human mind’s ability to instinctively solve math problems. It shows how the mind is wired to perform some seemingly complex math tasks with ease.
Have you ever noticed that while crossing a busy road, our mind judges continuously the positions and speeds of several vehicles and accurately finds the required gap in which to move forward. If a computer is asked to perform the same task, it would probably require a processor much more powerful than that of our home PC! However, the irony is that, for simple additions or multiplications, we depend on a pocket calculator. We all make mental calculations from time to time, though we may not always be aware of it. If our mind can make such complex judgements as is required to cross the road taking into consideration the direction and speed of all the moving objects, it is certainly able to manipulate a few figures. Probably, it is the cumbersome calculating devices we have probably been taught right from the good old school days – which require pencil and paper or a calculator to work out. Because of this lack of encouragement for mental calculation, it has prevented us from becoming efficient mental calculators.
Have you ever thought why…….. 1 means “one”, and 2 means “two”?
The roman numerals are easy to understand but what was the logic behind the phonecian numbers?
It’s all about angles !
Here’s my story on how I became an MBA in a matter of seconds –
I was just a mediocre guy on the street dreaming to one day become an MBA from an Ivy league college. Well, nothing wrong in dreaming. But my dream soon turned into a wish that rapidly became a want and before I knew morphed to a desperate need.
The next thing I did was to get in touch with some of my college mates, who I thought liked me , and could possibly help me. My stray chats with them on the how to’s, the do’s , the don’ts, the caveats, the carrots, and everything in between became a thorough research on how to get to a great B-school.
Based on the grand PhD kinda research, I opted to join an Institute for classroom coaching instead of taking a correspondence course. I knew that I am not the kind of guy who could study on his own, but can, upon prodding.
My initial days in the classroom were more exploratory, but those ended abruptly, when I gave my first mock test. It was that day – the day of realization – an apocalyptic day that opened up my head, popped out my eyes and scared the #*@# out of me. My percentile score was in the dumps and along with it were my dreams, wishes, wants and all kinds of desperate needs too. The figure 48 (percentile) made my head spin.
Finally, when I returned back on good ol’ earth, I looked around. I knew that my peers (who scored far better than me) were definitely doing something that I was not doing. I was just onto something… either something terribly wrong or something that will change the course of my future.
Befriending 2 guys from the top 10 percentile scorers group, I started talking, discussing and understanding from them their “secret”. In a matter of days, I had collected enough stuff to be ready to experiment it for the next mock test.
This time, I focused to only use the “secret” and see if it would become the fortune turner for me. When the results were out, lo, behold, my percentile score not only increased, but it jumped. This time around, I was at 77! It had jumped by a leap! With it came a load full of hope. Hope of getting into a B-school. I knew I was back in the game.
I started honing on the new found skills and kept focusing on the further improving them. Test after test, my score kept beating the previous one. By the last mock test before the D-day, I was @ 97!!
To many, this might sound to be a great score, but let me tell you, I had my eyes on the top B-School and I knew that I had to be at 99.7 to be there…
After all the sweat and stress, after all the grind and grin, the day of reckoning arrived. The results were out. I got my score and… I was 2nd amongst all who gave the test. I had managed to get 99.9997 and far better score than what I had even dream’t about!!!
So, what were these “secrets”? Well, I shouldn’t be calling them “secrets” any more, as I am gonna reveal it out to the world. Here there are –
A lot of mathematics exams nowadays, e.g. GMAT, SAT, etc, are either completely multiple choice or they have multiple-choice components. These exams required students to solve a stipulated large number of questions within a small amount of time. Students break a lot of sweat over solving these questions, by trying to solve them completely like other questions, and not utilizing the information that is in front of them.
One of the basic difference between multiple-choice questions and other questions is that for multiple-choice ones you have to just figure out the answer, and for achieving this objective, you need not necessarily solve the question completely, as the answer is right in front of you, among the 4-5 choices that have been provided.
Very few people in this world actually enjoy math and that is understandable; math is boring, tedious and is always increasing in difficulty. No matter how much you hate the subject, you will still be tested on it throughout your grade level and higher learning career. You know it is coming, so here is how to best it:
Whether you’re in Pre-Algebra or Calculus, taking a math test can be hard and stressful. Here are a few easy tips to get you that easy A on your math test.