View Full Version : How come I'm decent with university-level maths but struggle with easy word problems?

08-01-14, 06:16 AM
I recently tutored a Year 9 student in maths and struggled with some of the most basic word problems and geometry questions, but I'm fairly fluent with higher level mathematics. I'm in my first year of my Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) at the University of Sydney, so I'm essentially doing a maths degree at university but had problems with Year 9 Maths. I'm very concerned and have always doubted myself, and even moreso now. How come I can understand stuff like the Markov process, transition vectors, the Cayley Hamilton theorem and the Taylor series, but take ages to do questions on distance/time, financial maths and geometry? I'm confused and doubtful whether I can proceed with my degree in maths (in terms of whether I have enough aptitude for it). Someone help please! Oh and I have ADHD - Inattentive, and stopped taking medication for about a year now.

08-01-14, 06:33 AM
Ever tried your hand at, say, applying Markov Methods to a Dynamical System or using Taylor Series to solve a problem in Numerical Analysis?

08-09-14, 04:38 AM
Maybe a bit rusty?

08-19-14, 12:54 PM
^I agree with HADDaball.
It's been a while since you've looked at/had to know lower level math, so I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. Sometimes simple problems can become complex if you overthink them, especially if it's something you haven't worked with in class for a long time. Plus, methods of teaching and changes over the years and varies from teacher to teacher. What are you planning on career-wise?

08-19-14, 04:42 PM
Agreed. Higher end math doesn't care about simple geometry.

I know some professors who cringe at distance/speed questions whilst they are leaders in the field of topology and dynamical systems. Don't worry about it. We aren't engineers, we are mathematicians! :)