How do you learn math extremely fast? That is, how do you learn math faster than you normally would in a normal course of study? A lot of people say that there no shortcuts to hard work, practice, and time. This is basically true. Math undeniably takes a lot of practice, a lot of time, and a lot of effort. There are people who do math for a living, every day, and they still don’t know everything. There is no magical shortcut. But there are things you can do that will make your journey in learning math much easier, and faster. 1. Time Your Sessions Timing your study sessions can make a huge difference. You can use your phone or computer to do so, but this risks distraction (text messages, social media, etc.). It can be helpful to buy a simple, standalone timer. When you know there’s a timer running, you know you’re in a period of focus. Using a timer can help you build a bubble in which there’s nothing other than what you’re studying. In some sense it gives you license to simply put your head down and work. If you haven’t tried using a timer, try it! Start with sixty minutes a day (or even less, be it 15 minutes, or half an hour), as this will help to avoid burnout when you’re trying to build your study habit. 2. Make Math A Daily Habit There’s no shortage of people on the internet telling you to make some given thing a habit, and in theory it’s easy. You just…do it. Right? But in practice, because our brains and lives don’t always behave the way we would like, forming a habit can be a challenge. Some days we’re just not feeling it, so to speak. Some days it’s easy to give into whatever distractions are at our fingertips. Despite the challenges, forming a habit is worth it. When it comes to math – or when it comes to acquiring any other skill or knowledge for that matter – consistency is truly key. And here is where tools like a timer can help, too. Sixty minutes of math a day will simply make a difference. So, know this: if you form a habit, you will get to where you want to go more quickly. 3. Do A Set Number Of Problems Each Day Setting a specific number of problems to do each day will help you. Of course, the exact number of problems you might do within a day is going to vary depending on what you’re studying. For example, if you’re studying algebra, or calculus, a reasonable number of problems might be somewhere between five and ten. Five problems can be quite easy, and ten problems (depending on their difficulty) might take somewhat longer. It’s okay to do say, twenty or thirty problems in a day if you’re feeling particularly motivated, but don’t punish yourself if you can’t keep that volume up. If you’re doing higher-level math, like functional analysis, doing something like ten or fifteen proofs a day might be too much. It’s important to pace yourself in a way that sees you able to continue learning math day by day. Again, consistency is key. In other words, try not to set your bar too high. If you’re studying math to begin with, or seeking out information about how to study math, there’s a good chance you’re quite ambitious. But this can backfire. You can burn yourself out if you try to do too much too quickly. You can discourage yourself from studying, or worse, from learning math altogether. Another way of framing this is to say that you should treat math as a lifelong journey. There are people who have been studying, researching, and learning math for decades who don’t know it all. So, treat learning mathematics as a marathon, not a sprint. When you’re setting goals, set goals you can accomplish. 4. Make Sure You’re Comfortable When studying, make sure you’re comfortable. Your physical and mental comfort simply should not be overlooked. Make sure that your study space is adequate. Make sure you have enough room, a nice pencil, enough light, the paper you like to use. Make sure it’s quiet enough, and that you’re warm or cool enough. You want to make it as easy as possible to focus on the math in front of you. Allow yourself to have your own style of studying, too. If you don’t like notebooks and want to use loose leaf paper, use loose leaf paper. If you prefer pen over pencil, use a pen. Personalize your study habits, and do whatever it takes to make your learning environment one that’s comfortable for you. Beyond these basics, you can add other elements into your study sessions to make them more fun, engaging, and comfortable. For example, maybe you want to order pizza, or have a snack while you study. If you’re someone who would rather not study in isolation, you could study with a friend. Having something or someone that keeps you going in the moment can be invaluable. When you’re studying, follow this rule: do what you need to do to feel good, and to focus on the mathematics. 5. Take Breaks This is perhaps the most important tip: take a break if you need one! It’s easy to think that if you take a break, it’s not helping you because it’s time during which you’re not doing math. But learning is more complex than merely taking in as much information as you can, as fast as you can, and using it. Your mind needs rest. If you need convincing, think about something like weightlifting. If you’re doing squats, you do some number of sets, with some number of repetitions within each of those sets. But between those sets, you’re taking a break. If you didn’t, your muscles wouldn’t recover, and you would not be able to lift those weights optimally during the following set. Likewise, exercise plans tend to incorporate entire rest & recovery days, as they are crucial to long term development. Note that how long you study within a given day can affect whether you’ll need breaks, too. A marathon study session here and there is okay, but if you’re studying for three or four hours a day, you could be risking burn out. As it is in weightlifting, you can essentially overtrain, pushing yourself too far. If you wake up one day and find yourself not wanting to do math, this means you need a break, and it’s okay to take one! It’s important to know that breaks are valid, a useful tool, and absolutely necessary at times. Consistency is important, but allow yourself a little ebb and flow. Taking breaks as you need them will help you. Mathematics is not something you can rush. You need practice, you need time, and it takes a lot of effort. But following these tips will help you learn math as fast as possible. Get a timer, get comfortable, set goals for how many problems you’re going do; form a habit, but take breaks as needed, and don’t over do it. Before you know it, you will know more mathematics than you could have imagined.