Why do I need to ‘show all my working’ when I can do it in my head?

Unless your teacher tells you that you are doing mental maths, you should show all the working for your answers.

A well laid out answer can be read and understood by another person.  This is an important skill to learn for the real world, not just for maths exams!

So don’t just write down numbers!  Use words to explain the steps in your answers.

In the SQA exams you will only get full marks if you show full workings.  Even if you make a mistake in an answer you may still get some marks for other parts of your answer.  So it’s always best to show a full working.

When am I ever going to use this maths I’m learning in real life?

All the maths that is taught in Secondary School is used in some area of the real world.  Algebra and equations are used all the time by engineers, economists and scientists.  If you go on to study any of these subjects at college or university you will find that your school maths will be your foundation for learning even more complex mathematics which is used in the real world.

However, one of the most important skills that maths teaches you is problem solving.  If you develop skills which help you understand and then solve a problem, you will use these skills in lots of different areas of your life.

Of course, everyone needs to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide to get by in the real world.  The more confident you are at arithmetic, the easier your life will be!

Do I always need to do the homework?

If you do not do formal homework this will be noted in maths department records and you will be automatically referred to the Principal Teacher of Mathematics who will take appropriate action.

Teachers constantly monitor the completion of informal homework.  Not completing homework is likely to lead to disciplinary action.  If you get stuck, try your best and write down what you can.  Tell your teacher the next time the class meets that you had difficulties and they will arrange help for you.

Everyone has busy lives … make your homework a priority – it will help you learn to meet deadlines, and will also improve your maths skills.