Cognitive Capabilities for Success With Maths
Are you one of those students who used to hate maths classes?
You may feel like you are naturally bad at maths, but the truth is that you can learn to be better at it. Being successful at maths is all about logical thinking and enhanced cognitive skills.
I am going to try and explain the correlation between the two and how you can improve your mathematical reasoning skills.
The Relationship Between Cognitive Skills and Logical Thinking
What do we mean when we talk about cognitive processes? Cognition is all about the process of gaining knowledge. Your cognitive skills, therefore, refer to the way your brain comprehends, understands, builds and retains information
These capabilities enable reasoning skills and help achieve accuracy with your mathematical equations.
Logical thinking is a type of cognitive skill, where you go through a reasoning process to arrive at a solution - a critical process for mathematics.
Logical thinking involves both deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning skills. Deductive reasoning starts off with a broad truth or statement, followed by another more specific one.
For instance, we start with the statement that all cats are black. Our next truth is that Simon is a cat. We can then reach the conclusion that Simon is going to be a black cat.
When we use inductive reasoning, we use data to draw conclusions. For instance, if we see 50 students who are using the same bag, we may conclude that all the students at the school will use the same bag.
Maths require the ability to process information and equations and to reach a conclusion based on the knowledge that we have. This is why when our cognitive skills and logical thinking improve, we find that we can do better in maths classes.
How to Build Reasoning Skills to Prevent Careless Errors
So how do we actually get better at building capacity regarding our cognitive processes? There are some techniques that will almost certainly improve our memory and accuracy.
The first is to keep practising. Our brain functions improve if we keep exercising it to think a certain way, so practising logical or mathematical problems is a great way to enhance your logical reasoning.
Another tip is to unpack the problems you are faced with and understand the key patterns between the questions. At times it is important to memorize concepts, formulas and processes but it is also helpful to try to find out why the answer involves reaching a certain conclusion. Once you start to understand the reasoning behind maths problems, you are going to be able to apply this knowledge to other questions.
The Importance of Logical Thinking and Cognitive Capabilities
If you've ever felt like your maths performance is poor, know that you still have the opportunity to build capacity when it comes to logical thinking and reasoning skills. Take the time to practice how you reach certain conclusions, and unpack the maths problems to understand the reasoning behind them.