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Students! Don’t forget to take advantage of the Flashbulb feature in Brainfuse where you can easily create your own flashcards for efficient self-study. Students also enjoy 24/7 access to an extensive library of online flashcard sets in virtually every subject.

West Virginia Northern Community College

by Dennis Bills

Many adults know how frustrating it can be to struggle with basic math. Others know what a blessing it is to subtract and multiply quickly and easily without having to think about it. The difference between the two is often pretty simple: people either mastered math facts when they were young, or they did not. Sometimes the problem is more complex than this, but most of the time it is not. Those who cannot immediately answer problems like 7×8 or 9×6 could benefit from some review.

While there are many wonderful ways that math can be made fun and interesting (and I would encourage people to use as many as possible), there are few replacements for good ol’ drill and practice. Even those who do know their math facts but still struggle with simple math errors can benefit from just a few minutes of drill and practice every day. The use of flash cards is a tried and true method that teachers recommend to cement math facts in minds young and old. Inexpensive flash cards are available at discount department and education stores. Here is how to use them:

Starting with the simplest cards, guess the answer to the cards while creating two stacks–a “got it right” pile and a “got it wrong” pile.
If you must stop to think about the answer to a card, the card should immediately go into the got it wrong pile. Your goal should be to answer correctly as soon as you recognize the numbers on the card.
When you have finished the cards in hand, pick up the “got it wrong” pile and work through them the same way, adding to the existing “right” stack and creating a fresh “wrong” stack.
When all the cards are finally in the “got it right” stack, repeat the entire process once or twice each day before mixing in the next group of cards. After a week or two, memorization, speed, and accuracy should increase dramatically.
After enough cards have been mastered, you can be mix together multiplication, division, addition and subtraction cards to encourage carefulness and avoid simple math errors.

Students! Don’t forget to take advantage of the Flashbulb feature in Brainfuse where you can easily create your own flashcards for efficient self-study. Students also enjoy 24/7 access to an extensive library of online flashcard sets in virtually every subject.

Another great feature of Brainfuse is their 24/7 Question Center. The 24/7 Question Center is ideal for students who have questions outside of service hours or who require a detailed, structured explanation of a difficult academic concept. Students simply submit their question (and even attach supporting documents) and a Brainfuse expert will respond within approximately 24 hours.

You can access Brainfuse using this link or by logging into your Student Portal.