Mathematics As A Universal Language

As extraordinary as it may seem, mathematics is quite literally the only language all humans speak the same. The process of counting numbers be it either addition, subtraction, division or multiplication has not changed through generations of our existence.

Regardless of race, where you come from, gender, age, culture and religion, Maths speaks the same to all of us. The circumference of a circle for instance, will always be twice the size of the radius multiplied by π (2πr).

Mathematics is a purely logical and objective subject, it is in fact, one of the few subjects you can truly quantify your knowledge against the rest of your class as there can only be one correct answer to a maths problem. The principal equations and functions will always remain the same.

calculators are useful for mathematics
You won't be able to use a calculator during exams, as you need to show your workings.

What determines scoring top marks in a mathematics examination is the steps you take to arrive at the correct answer while solving a question. This is true for JAMB, WASSCE, NECO and other similar O'level exams.

Here's how you can learn maths as an adult, when you have a career and/or a family to think of. 

Subjects Where Maths Skills Is Needed

Mathematics is all-encompassing, it is applicable in almost every subject. Whenever and wherever calculation is required, mathematics is somewhat always involved.

Its influence is more pronounced in science subjects especially physics, but it doesn’t mean the social sciences and art subjects don’t partake in mathematical calculations, subjects such as economics and commerce have calculations that require at least a basic knowledge of mathematics to carry out successfully.

You will come across calculations while balancing a cash book or ledger, and when calculating the Gross Profit of a company and so on.

Students are required to understand its concepts and know how to apply its functions in the other subjects of their study, be it sciences or the arts. The more you hone your maths skills, the easier it would be for you to comprehend calculations in other subjects.

Moreover, to get admitted into most universities, it is a requirement you get a Pass in mathematics in your WASSCE exams and depending on the course you choose to study, JAMB results. No wonder it is made compulsory throughout secondary school, and in the first year of university.

Mathematics is neutral in some way, it’s kind of like a framework where all calculations are based, it is a set of procedures or steps for solving arithmetic problems.

Learn all about Mathematics A level exams. 

Top Places To Study Mathematics In Nigeria

If your area of study requires lots of maths, or you want to become a mathematician, then you will want to go someplace where they offer great tuition on that subject.

Universities are the obvious choice to study advanced level maths, but which ones, you may ask?

Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA) is regarded with high reverence as a technical Uni in Nigeria, they have the expertise, and focus on science and technical courses.

They are closely followed by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University when it comes to focusing on the technical bit.

ABU Zaria, the University of Ibadan and UNILAG are less stringent on being tech-driven but their level of teaching is excellent. You can study mathematics there with roughly the same level of discipline the technical universities provide.

Federal University of Technology Minna
FUTMINNA is ranked high for mathematics and technical courses in Nigeria.
source: Futminna website

Besides universities, studying maths can be done with the help of private tutors; a one-on-one lesson with someone who knows their way around a subject. You can be trained in any particular subject in no time especially because the lesson is tailored to you personally.

Another great way to become very good at maths is by joining a study group or maths club. Sounds cheesy, but students who joined such groups usually excel better than anyone from their classes. The extra practice and group learning have its merits.

If anything, having to spend time with your peers whom share the same passion as you is a win situation.

After studying maths at school, it is important you sit and revise everything you have learned, here's a revision guide for advanced level maths courses. 

The Role of Mathematics In The Life Of Students And Professionals

Budgeting And Working Out Expenditure

Mathematics is not only a subject we had a brush with at secondary school and university, it is also something we make use of in our everyday life, we use it to calculate simple expenses like groceries and use it to budget our available cash.

Whenever you have pressing money needs to work out, or see something you really want to buy you usually sit and calculate how much it’s going to cost you and if you should save up for it or not, and so on and so fault. That is you applying basic mathematics in your everyday life.

Take for example you just resumed school and you need to pay for registration, buy some new books, pay for hostel rent, buy data subscription, some new clothes, etc. It requires you sit and appropriate how you are going to spend that month’s stipend.

As a student, you are always mindful of your resources. From experience and from this example we know it takes at least a basic application of maths to manage that resource.

Career Prospects For Students Who Studied Maths

Having studied maths you are more likely to be picked among your peers after a job interview because the skills you will develop as a result is highly sought after by employers. Maths, for example, enhances your decision-making abilities, your logical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Mathematics also lends itself as a great tool to broaden your analytic skills, which are vital in this day of technological advancements.

Having these skills give you an advantage in the workforce, without which you would find it difficult to keep up with our increasingly complex and advanced society.

Furthermore, careers in mathematics often have better pay, and with all the technological advancements happening all around us careers involving maths are in high demand, they seem unlikely to disappear anytime soon.

A job in Data Science is one such place where mathematicians are in high demand, so is robotics, an increasingly growing industry. Top government and private agencies where statistics are constantly evaluated is also a popular spot for mathematicians.

Your Family Life Needs Maths Too

Grown-ups with jobs and families to feed and look after, mostly have their monthly earnings divided up and budgeted to pay for their living expenses. Just like the student.

There is an even greater pressure now, they ought to be mindful of their spending because they have others to take care of.

They need to set money aside for food, for school fees, rent and have some extra cash saved in the case of emergencies, such as paying hospital bills.

Without all this hassle, a modern fulfilling life as we know it will not be possible.

Using It To Keep Business Going

If you run a small business, chances are you do most or all of your financial calculations yourself. Mathematics is what enables you to balance your cash book, calculate taxes and check to see if you are making profits or suffering loss.

This could potentially save you money as hiring professional accountants can be expensive. But don’t ignore the fact you may need one as the business grows.

For example, as a business owner, it is imperative you sit and work out costs and expenses, you determine what goods to buy more of next time and which ones to cut off completely.

If you provide services you are faced with the same options only this time, instead of goods to be bought or left off, you are constantly evaluating if you should charge more or less for services rendered, because it needs to cover the cost of materials you used and your time per hour.

working on a computer
If you choose to be self-employed or a freelancer, mathematics will come in useful for taxes and tracking expenditures.

A carpenter, for instance, draws from their math skillset to calculate their price for a client, it will comprise of the cost of materials they used and hours or days it will require to finish the job before they commit to a final price to offer their client.

Whether the person needs a pen and paper to carry out those calculations or could carry them out subconsciously you can see a direct application of maths skills here.

Not paying attention or doing your calculations improperly will cost you.

Besides calculating the amounts for goods and services you can also calculate your taxes yourself. Another means to save you money. But if they seem complex to you, it is probably better if someone else does it for you, you don’t want to end up paying more than you should, do you?

Mathematics proves time and time again its uses and functions in our everyday interactions with our money, spending habits, savings, academics, and career paths. An understanding of the subject is crucial to not only survival but to the overall success of humans as intelligent species.

Even though it is not often we come across its more complicated form (unless you happen to work with space rockets), it still serves our counting purposes.

Find out where to download past WASSCE maths question papers, and how to find A level maths past questions. 

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Hafiz is a freelance writer who has an appetite for creativity and smart tech. He also dabbles in poetry.