Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stirring Up Old Memories

In high school, I considered myself proficient in math. I took advanced algebra, geometry, calculus and trigonometry. But don’t let anyone fool you into thinking math is like riding a bicycle. It’s not. After almost seven years of not using any of those skills (other than the occasional tip calculation), I remember nothing. Nothing! This wouldn’t be such a big deal- since I obviously don’t use those math skills everyday- except for the fact that I’m studying for the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test).

In high school, I actually enjoyed math. I know, call me crazy. But there’s something satisfying about solving for a defined answer. It’s not subjective. No matter how complicated or insane the problem may seem, you always want to get one predetermined answer. And it can’t be anything other than that predetermined answer. I remember having calculus tests with only five total questions. Tests that lasted the full class time: 90 minutes. Getting one of those answers felt like such an accomplishment.

With all these strange, almost sentimental, thoughts running through my head, I decided it would be good for me to clear the cobwebs in preparation for the GMAT. I figured I would remember basic algebra, making studying not quite so painful. Unfortunately, every time I open my study folder, a new problem stumps me; a new equation fuzzily surfaces in my brain that I have to rememorize. For example: the Quadratic Formula. I had completely forgotten this formula until Justin triggered my memory last night during study.

“Quadratic formula? That sounds familiar. It must have been one of those formulas I drilled into my memory because it was so important.”

But do I remember it seven years later? Heck no! I had to look it up on Wikipedia this morning!

Half-way through the GMAT math prep workbook. Three weeks until the big test. Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

1 comment:

Wordy girl said...

The good news is that I have never actually had to use any of the math from the GMAT in grad school. As soon as you finish, you can relegate that knowledge to its old spot in the back of the vault.