What are some myths about math

These 3 Big Mistakes Shouldn't Stop You From Studying Math!

Maths study myth 1: "If you cannot solve the exercise sheet, you will fail in the exam"

As someone who has successfully completed all the necessary courses in the math bachelor's degree, but was always happy and satisfied to just somehow get through, I cannot tell you how often I shook my head at the above statement. You can't drive a new student to drop out even more than with this sentence.

The fact is: Each exercise sheet contains tasks that are absolutely not necessary to understand in order to pass the exam. And they will only be queried in this form with an extremely low probability, because they are simply too complex and time-consuming. It's more about puzzling the geniuses.

The classic looks like this, that 4.0-year-old students compulsively try to solve such tasks, only to find out desperately that it doesn't make any sense. Since many freshmen in particular do not have the courage to simply take a break or even admit to themselves that these tasks do not help you, you sit for hours in front of a blank sheet of paper - with the unsuccessful goal of calming your conscience.

Ansgar's tip

You don't have to be able to solve every task! In my opinion, this is a very central finding. It is indeed very important to be able to solve as many of the exercise sheet tasks as possible for the exam. However, it is sufficient to do this in the course of the direct exam preparation within a Study group To work through together and to be explained by someone who, firstly, has understood the solutions and, secondly, can convey them.

So: If you can solve an exercise sheet on your own right away, then I'm happy. But it's really not a problem if you can't do it. I would appreciate that personally until the beginning of the immediate preparation for the exam (about four to six weeks before the exam) could not solve almost 90 percent of the tasks! I even have to admit that during the semester I didn’t even try to understand a third of the tasks, since I did not consider this to be important for my exam objective - just passing it.


Maths study myth 2: "If you do not attend exercise groups regularly, you have no chance"

I almost never went to the exercise group and still managed to do it, even though I'm really not the greatest genius. Incidentally, my exam grade point average in the math bachelor's is 3.4.

I don't want to judge the quality of the exercise groups too strongly. There are sure to be excellent exercise groups and even more excellent exercise group leaders. However, my experience is that these groups generally take place on a level that is far too high and at least 70 percent of us students have no idea what the person up front is saying. It is always important that you are honest with yourself and reflect on whether these groups will really help you or whether you are only sitting here because of your conscience.


Maths study myth 3: "It is fundamentally important to rework every lecture"

To be honest, I only went to lectures for a few months. During this time I sat down after each one and tried to rework the content. However, since I had no clue what the professor was trying to convey to me, When this reworking looked like I just copied my lecture notes - to then still not even begin to understand what all this stuff is supposed to mean.

Ansgar's tip

I think soThe best way to learn maths is through exercises. So if you discuss the exercise sheet tasks within your study group in the course of the immediate preparation for the exam, you will indirectly repeat the lecture content anyway and in a much more application-related and less theoretical way. So, while you are busy with the tasks, you leaf through the lecture script a bit and pick out the sentences and definitions that are relevant to the solution of the task.


UNICUM book tip

Our guest author Ansgar Scholten (23) has been studying the subjects since the 2013/2014 winter semester Sports Science and mathematics at the Ruhr University in Bochum.

After three and a half years of study, he published the book "Mythos Mathestudium" (tredition publisher), with which he would like to help fellow students to pack their studies and therefore describe it from the point of view of a "normal mortal" 4.0 candidate.