How to Learn Geometry Well?

Geometry is a very challenging subject for many students. Many of the concepts are totally new, and this can make for a very scary experience. Through combining good study habits and a few study pointers, you can succeed in Geometry.

  1. Ask questions. Your teacher is there to help you learn, not just to assign grades. If you don’t understand something, ask.
  2. Do your homework. Homework isn’t assigned to torture you. It helps you learn, so get it done.
  3. Study with classmates. Two heads are better than one, three are even better. If you don’t understand something, they might.
  4. Use study tools. Does your book have an integrated website? Visit it. Having trouble remembering formulas? Make flashcards.
  5. Make mnemonic devices. “Some Old Hippy Caught Another Hippy Tripping On Acid” reminds you of the formulas for sine, cosine, and tangent: Sine = Opposite/Hypotenuse, and so forth–just use the first letters of every word.
  6. Remember important terms. “Complementary” angles are those angles which add together to make 90 degrees, supplementary angles add to 180. Remember that “vertical” angles are always equal, as are “alternate interior” and “alternate exterior” angles. “Right” angles are 90 degrees, while “straight” angles are 180.
  7. Prove everything. In most geometry courses, it’s not enough to just remember that something is true, you must be able to prove it from simpler principles. You might be asked to prove that alternate interior angles are equal. Always ask yourself “how do I know this is true?” and then demonstrate the truth step-by-step. This way, even if you forget something important, you can still answer the question correctly because you can get to the answer on your own. This is how professional mathematicians do it.
  8. Draw diagrams. Geometry is all about graphics, make use of them. If you’re asked about some angles, draw them. Relationships like vertical angles are much easier to see in a diagram, if one isn’t provided, draw it yourself.
  9. Practice problem-solving. Geometry is as much a skill as a branch of knowledge. Simply studying the rules of geometry will not be enough to get an A, you need to practice solving problems. This means doing your homework and working extra problems for any trouble areas.
  10. If you have time, do more problems from your book to understand more about Geometry and learn how to solve all the kinds of problems in Geometry.

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