The relevance of mathematics in later life can often be forgotten by teens struggling in the midst of revision. However, remembering the importance of this key subject can result in increased chances of international exam success.
A new report, published by the OECD has analysed the maths results of more than half a million 15-year-olds who took part in the PISA study in 2012. The report also asked students how interested they are in learning maths and if they can foresee the benefit of this focus in their future studies and careers.
Those students who can see the point of maths scored a huge 18 points higher on their papers compared with students who were disinterested in the subject. This gap in results is the equivalent to around half a year of schooling.
In the UK, teens who believed in the value of mathematics scored 12 points higher than peers who were less motivated to study.
The paper stated: “On average across OECD countries, students who are highly motivated to learn mathematics because they believe it will help them later on score better in mathematics – by the equivalent of half a year of schooling – than students who are not highly motivated.”
It concluded: “Student motivation is crucial for students to be ready to learn, both in and outside of school. Fortunately, across OECD countries 75% of students examined could understand the importance of studying mathematics. Around 78% said that learning maths could improve their career prospects, 66% said that they need maths for what they want to study later in life and 70% said that learning many aspects of the subject would help them get a job.
The formal acknowledgement of motivating students to understand the value of mathematics is highly significant. At Maths Doctor we believe that student motivation is central in their success in this key subject. Ultimately, mathematical ability opens doors later in life and enhances the future success of any student so if you’re struggling to stay motivated or know someone who is, remember that a bit of perspective can go a long way.