For many students, the mere mention of Math is like pronouncing the dreaded name Voldermort , the villain who must not be named in the Harry Potter series. Like Voldermort, Math-phobes think the subject is evil. AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center Math Teacher Raymond “Wacks”Cagampan begs to differ.

Math is not as agonizing as you think, Teacher Wacks says. If you want to do well in your test, prepare at least three months ahead of time. Practice makes perfect. Learn to solve math problems as a matter of course and you’d soon feel the pressure easing up.

When solving Math problems, there are a number of shortcuts that you may use. It’s just a matter of spotting and following patterns, which is far easier than memorizing concepts.

“You just have to spot a few patterns, then extrapolate. That’s why children should be trained to spot patterns as early as possible,”Teacher Wacks says.

“Let’s take age-related word problems,”he begins. “At first glance, all you see are words repeated over and over, but it won’t be that hard if you make a table out of the problem. For instance, if Maria is twice Pedro’s age, make a table for Maria and write `2x’ (for twice Pedro’s age). Then make another table for Pedro and put `x’ on it. Now that you can visualize the problem, you’ll find it easier to solve than making an equation out of it.”

AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center Teacher Wacks also suggests a shortcut for solving fractions. Place the fractions in one group and the pure numbers in another. Perform the operation called for per group and combine the two answers to come up with the final answer.

If you want to add 1¾ to 3 ¾, for instance, you must first add one and three, which is 4. Then, add ¾ and ¾ to make 6/4 or 3/2, when pared down to its simplest form. The final answer is 5 1/2. Easy does it! No need to convert the complex fractions into simpler fractions.

Here’s another shortcut from Teacher Wacks. When multiplying by five, divide by two and add zero to get the answer. To get 18 X 5, divide 18 by two first. You get nine. Add zero. The answer is 90.

“That’s because five is equal to 10 divided by two,”AHEAD Tutorial & Review Center Math Teacher Wacks explains. Now, isn’t that easy?!