- Edison

# How can I make sure I understand the math?

I love this question, I really do, because **understanding (not memorizing) is the key to success in math** and that’s what MathCubed is all about. When the math makes sense, your results will improve. Better understanding = better results!

How do you know you understand a math concept or question? **Understanding means you know** *why *you’re doing what you do when you answer a math question.

**Math builds on itself **which means you’re introduced to the simplest form of a math concept in elementary or middle school, and then **progressively more complex versions of the** ** same math concept in each subsequent grade**. It’s extremely important that you recognize that the math you learn in high school builds on math you learned in earlier grades. That means that much of the math you see in high school is not new math; it’s just more advanced versions of the same math concepts you already know.

**Being able to see the connections between past math and current math is very empowering**.

To make sure you understand the math, you should:

· Make sure you understand the basic, most essential form of a math concept very well

· Look for the **connection **between the basic math concept (from your earlier grades) and the math concept you are currently learning

· Remember, the better you are at recognizing the connection between the math you are currently learning and the math you learned in the past, the better you will understand **why** the concept works the way it does. The better you understand, the more success you will have.

**Important to know**: One of the biggest mistakes I see students making is that they speed through the easy questions on the homework, thinking that they understand them, when in fact they really don’t know why they are doing what they are doing. That’s a missed opportunity because the easy questions are where the student should be making the connection to past math. The easy questions are where a student can begin to solidify their understanding of the math concept and it's where their math knowledge can really grow.