# How to Relearn Math

Whether you want to brush up for your job or to help your kids with their homework, relearning math is useful and rewarding. Learning math takes practice and repetition, but you can achieve your goals if you’re willing to dedicate some time and effort. You can find plenty of resources online that cover all branches of mathematics, from arithmetic to trigonometry. Create a daily practice plan, and stick to it by working at your own pace and rewarding yourself after study sessions.

## Part 1Creating a Practice Plan

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If you start by taking a practice test, you’ll be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. That way, you won’t have to start from scratch if you already know the basics.
You can find free practice tests organized by topic on Khan Academy’s math section: . 2

You don’t have to spend any money on textbooks or printed guides. You can find all the free math resources you’ll ever need online. Online guides will also help you break down topics into smaller parts, which will prevent you from getting overwhelmed.[1]
Practice exercises are another advantage of online resources. Typically, when you get an answer wrong, the website will provide a detailed explanation instead of just giving the correct solution. While there are dozens of topic-specific websites, Math.com is an excellent resource for all areas of math: . Khan Academy also covers all subject areas and allows you to create a free account. This enables you to set goals, track your progress, and review past lessons to keep them fresh in your mind. 3

If you have old school books or just prefer printed materials, divide lessons up so you can learn at your own pace. For instance, you could work on one chapter per week. After reading a section, look away from the book and summarize its main ideas out loud.[2]
For example, after reading a section on subtracting negative numbers, you'd say, "Two negative signs become a positive sign, so 6 - (-3) is like saying 6 + 3, which is 9." Reading and speaking out loud will help you reinforce new knowledge. 4

Write a key word or the name of a formula on one side of the card, then write out the formula or definition on the other. You can quiz yourself or have someone else quiz you. Plus, instead of carrying around a textbook or computer, you'll be able to easily study your cards on the go.[3]
For example, write "Order of Operations" on one side of an index card. On the other, write "PEMDAS," or the acronym used to help remember the correct order. Under that, write "parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction." Then you could include a couple example problems, like 3 + (2 x 5) - (3 x 3) = 4. 5

The key to relearning math is to work at your own pace so you can make mastering concepts your goal. In school, it’s tempting to simply memorize formulas and techniques so you can pass a test. If you want to relearn math on your own, give yourself plenty of time to completely understand a technique’s logic before moving on to the next lesson.[4]
For example, you might have memorized how to find the sum of a triangle’s angles in school. If you really get a feel for that formula’s logic, you’ll be able to break trapezoids, pentagons, and other larger polygons into triangles to find unknown angles. 6

Actually doing problems is integral to learning math. Your online guides will provide you with plenty of problems, so set aside an hour or two per day to learn about a topic then complete practice problems. You’ll also have solutions on hand, but only use them to check your work once you’ve finished working the problems.[5]
It might seem tedious, but practice and repetition will help you rewire your brain and develop mathematical fluency.[6] 7

Before moving on to the next topic, take 10 to 15 minutes to review the previous day’s lesson. That way, you’ll reinforce what you’ve learned and prepare yourself to build on that knowledge.[7]
For instance, if yesterday’s lesson was an introduction to the order of operations, take a few minutes to review your practice problems. This will prepare you for today’s lesson, which increases the topic’s difficulty by adding exponents to the mix. ## Part 2Choosing Branches of Math to Learn

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It’s always a good idea to start with the basics. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are the foundation of mathematics, and getting an instinctive feel for these functions will help you master more complicated subject areas.
Math.com is a good starting point. MathABC features graphics that will help you visualize how mathematical operations work: . Arithmetic Game lets you set a time limit, which will help you hone your skills by practicing drill tests: . 2

Algebra is the gatekeeper for other maths, such as geometry and trigonometry. It might take some time, but digging deep into pre-algebra and algebra will be worth your while regardless of your goals. Algebra is a broad field, and you'll encounter topics ranging from solving for unknown variables to polynomials.
Math Goodies is the best pre-algebra resource. Its topics are well organized, and it includes plenty of practice exercises (along with solutions): . After getting your feet wet, move on to Math Planet’s algebra section. It’s also well organized, and includes informative videos with each lesson: . IXL Learning’s algebra 1 and 2 section might seem a bit overwhelming at first, but it provides an exhaustive list of relevant topics. Clicking on a topic will generate practice problems that increase in difficulty when you give a correct answer. Further, incorrect answers prompt detailed explanations to help you understand where you went wrong: . 3

Geometry is the study of shapes and has many practical applications. You can learn how to figure out distances, areas, and other useful values. For instance, if you were tiling your kitchen floor, you'd multiply the floor's length and width to find its area, which will help you buy the right amount of tile.
Geometry involves lots of theory, formulas, and definitions, so a graphics-rich resource like Math Warehouse will come in handy: . Like its algebra page, IXL Learning’s geometry section seems a bit intense at first, but it’s an excellent resource for practice exercises: . 4

Trigonometry is the study of the relationships between the lengths and angles of triangles. It has important scientific applications, so a refresher in trig is great if you’re interested in physics, engineering, or chemistry.
Dave’s Short Trig Course on Clarke University’s website breaks down topics into clear, easily digestible sections: . Brilliant is also well organized and offers practice exercises: . Varsity Tutors is another good resource for practice problems in trigonometry and other branches of mathematics: . 5

Calculus, or the mathematical study of continuous change, is a theory-heavy discipline. Free Math Help breaks up topics and explains them with clear language, provides interactive practice problems, and includes three calculator tools: .
17Calculus might appear intimidating, but it’s an exhaustive, complete guide to college-level calculus: . 6

From means and standard deviation to probability, statistics deals with the collection, analysis, and organization of data. Whether you're a scientist or a restaurant manager, brushing up on statistics will help you work with data more efficiently.
For example, suppose you want to find out how many average daily customers visit your restaurant. You'd add and divide your guest counts for each day that you're open, so if you have 360 guests in a 6 day work week, the average would be 60 guests per day. You could figure out the daily averages over a long period of time to see if your business is growing. The Statistics 101 YouTube channel offers a complete video course: . You can then find practice exercises on Stat Trek, which offers practice tests that include solutions with detailed explanations: . ## Part 3Sticking to Your Studies

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Try to strike a balance between committing to your studies and working at your own pace. Remember, you’re relearning math for your own self-improvement, and you don’t have to cram for a test at the end of next week. You’re in control, so try to have fun and avoid overwhelming yourself.[8]
If you had a long day at work or the kids stressed you out, don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to take a day off from your studies. 2

Rewarding yourself after working hard for an hour or two can help keep you motivated. Try to think of ways you can treat yourself after finishing a hard lesson.[9]
Rewards could include watching a favorite TV show, a glass of wine, a sweet snack, or a computer game. 3

You might find that there are a few people in your social circle who are interested in relearning math, too. Ask around to see if you know anyone who wants to start a math club with you.[10]
You and your study group can help motivate each other. Further, one person might understand a new topic quickly and help explain it to other members of the group. 4

If you find you’re not having the best luck at relearning math on your own, taking a course might be your best bet. Look online to find an appropriate course, like a math for parents or continuing education adult math class. You should be able to find a suitable, affordable course online or at a local community college.[11]