# The HACK to ACE MATH no matter what - Caltech study tip

TLDRThis video reveals a transformative approach to mastering math, emphasizing the importance of understanding concepts over rote memorization. The host shares personal experiences and practical tips, illustrating how breaking down problems and building foundational skills can lead to effortless problem-solving. The 'magic trick' example demonstrates the power of creative thinking in math, while the three-part solution offers a structured method to enhance math sense and problem-solving abilities, ultimately changing one's relationship with the subject.

### Takeaways

- 😖 The feeling of being stuck in math class while peers seem to breeze through can be very discouraging.
- 🔑 Discovering the 'magic secret' of understanding math concepts deeply rather than just memorizing can transform one's math abilities.
- 🏆 The speaker's personal experience shows a dramatic improvement in math performance after learning to truly understand the subject.
- 🤔 Math can be the most challenging or easiest subject for students, indicating a significant difference in learning approaches.
- 🎓 The importance of 'math sense' and problem-solving skills over rote memorization of formulas is emphasized for success in math.
- 👨🏫 As a tutor, the speaker helps students improve their math scores by teaching them to understand and apply concepts rather than just memorizing.
- 🔍 Breaking down complex math problems into foundational parts can help in understanding and solving them effectively.
- 📚 Reviewing and truly understanding the tools or concepts needed for each part of a problem is crucial for mastering math.
- 🧠 The difference between memorizing and understanding is highlighted as the key to solving problems with less effort.
- 📈 The speaker's success in advanced math and competitions underscores the effectiveness of understanding over memorization.
- 🛠️ The construction worker analogy is used to illustrate that having more tools without knowing how to use them is unhelpful, similar to having formulas without understanding math.

### Q & A

### What was the narrator's experience with math in sixth grade?

-In sixth grade, the narrator felt embarrassed and confused with math, as it seemed like a foreign language to them. They pretended to understand while feeling hopeless inside.

### What did the narrator's father teach them that transformed their math skills?

-The narrator's father taught them the 'magic secret' of being good at math, which led to the narrator winning math competitions and excelling in advanced math classes from eighth grade onwards.

### What is the main difference between students who struggle with math and those who excel at it according to the script?

-The main difference is the 'magic secret' or the understanding and problem-solving skills in math, rather than just memorizing formulas.

### Can you explain the 'magic trick' with the Red and Blue Squares that simplifies the problem?

-The trick involves reorienting the inner square by 45 degrees, which reveals that the red area in each quadrant is half of the blue circle's area, making the ratio of the areas one half without any calculations.

### What is the importance of 'math sense' and problem-solving skills over memorization of formulas?

-Math sense and problem-solving skills allow for a deeper understanding of math, making it easier to solve problems creatively and efficiently, rather than being overwhelmed by memorization.

### How does the narrator help their students improve their math scores on standardized tests like the ACT and SAT?

-The narrator uses tricks and mindset flips that emphasize understanding over memorization, significantly increasing their students' scores in the math sections of these tests.

### What is the narrator's advice for students who struggle with remembering formulas in math?

-The narrator suggests focusing on understanding the concepts behind the formulas and improving real math skills, rather than just adding more formulas to one's 'toolbox'.

### What is the three-part solution the narrator suggests for practicing math effectively?

-The solution includes breaking down math problems into foundational parts, reviewing and understanding the tools needed for each part, and attempting to solve the problem from scratch before looking at the answer key.

### Why is it crucial to try solving math problems on your own before looking at the answer key?

-Solving problems independently helps build problem-solving skills, which are essential for real-world applications where solutions are not readily available.

### How does the narrator define math and what is their stance on memorization in math learning?

-The narrator defines math as understanding relationships between shapes and concepts, not as memorization. They emphasize the importance of understanding over memorization for effective math learning.

### What is the narrator's final advice for students who want to excel in math?

-The narrator advises students to embrace a new approach that focuses on understanding math concepts deeply, as this will make them masters of any math class and set them up for success in the real world.

### Outlines

### 🔢 Overcoming Math Anxiety

The speaker recounts a personal struggle with math during sixth grade, feeling embarrassed and overwhelmed by the subject. They describe a turning point when their father imparted a 'magic secret' that transformed their approach to math, leading to success in competitions and advanced classes. The paragraph emphasizes the importance of problem-solving skills and 'math sense' over rote memorization, suggesting that understanding the underlying concepts is the key to mastering math.

### 📚 Cultivating Math Proficiency

This paragraph delves into the speaker's experience as a tutor, highlighting the effectiveness of teaching 'tricks' and mindset shifts to improve students' math skills. The speaker criticizes the common approach of memorization and emphasizes the need to understand the foundational concepts behind math problems. They provide a three-part solution: breaking down problems into parts, reviewing and understanding each part, and attempting to solve problems without immediately looking at the answer key. The paragraph concludes with the importance of building problem-solving skills for real-world applications.

### 🎓 Embracing a Growth Mindset in Math

The final paragraph reinforces the idea that math is not about memorization but about understanding and applying knowledge. The speaker encourages viewers to adopt a growth mindset, emphasizing the long-term benefits of foundational understanding over quick fixes. They stress the importance of effort and persistence in learning math, and the potential for this approach to lead to mastery in any math class. The speaker invites viewers to share their progress and seek further assistance, ending on a note of enthusiasm for the transformative power of a proper math education.

### Mindmap

### Keywords

### 💡Magic Secret

### 💡Math Sense

### 💡Problem-Solving Skills

### 💡Memorization

### 💡Understanding

### 💡Foundational Parts

### 💡Unit Circle

### 💡Algebra Operations

### 💡Radian

### 💡Even Numbers

### Highlights

The speaker shares a personal story of struggling with math in sixth grade and the 'magic secret' learned from their father that led to success in math competitions and advanced classes.

The importance of developing 'math sense' and problem-solving skills over memorizing formulas is emphasized for truly understanding and excelling in math.

A creative approach to a geometry problem is demonstrated, showing how a simple adjustment can make a complex problem easy to solve without calculations.

The speaker's experience as a private tutor reveals that students often struggle with memorization rather than understanding, which hinders their ability to solve unfamiliar problems.

A comparison is made between adding more tools to a toolbox and improving actual skills, illustrating that understanding concepts is more beneficial than just memorizing formulas.

Students' comments are shared, highlighting the long-term benefits of developing a 'math sense' that helps solve any problem that comes their way.

The role of poor teaching methods is discussed, where students are left to memorize without understanding, leading to a lack of problem-solving ability.

A three-part solution is introduced to improve math skills: breaking down problems, reviewing foundational concepts, and attempting to solve problems from scratch.

The process of breaking down a complex math problem into its foundational parts is explained, with an example using the unit circle in geometry problems.

The necessity of reviewing and truly understanding each foundational concept before attempting to solve the larger problem is stressed.

The importance of attempting to solve math problems independently before looking at the answer key is discussed to build problem-solving skills.

A method for comparing one's initial problem-solving attempt with the provided solution is suggested to identify gaps in understanding and improve skills.

The long-term benefits of upfront effort in understanding math concepts are highlighted, showing that it pays off in the ability to master any math class.

The speaker encourages viewers to get excited about the new approach to learning math and to share their progress and questions in the comments.

A reminder that math is not about memorization but understanding the relationships between shapes and concepts is reiterated.

The video concludes with a call to action for viewers to adopt this new mindset towards math to experience a 'magical difference' in their abilities.