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Learning Disability or Poor Math Skills?

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Joined: Apr 13, 2006
Posts: 3
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Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 9:22:51 AM
Subject: Learning Disability or Poor Math Skills?

Hi, I am new here and I was wondering if anyone can offer me advice on whether or not I have a learning disability. I have always had problems with math and I am now 24 years old and I would like to apply to Graduate school. My problem is when it comes to standardized tests such as the GRE, GMAT, Praxis, etc. I shut down on the math section. I don't if I have learning disability or if I just didn't get the basics of math in school. I was typically a C math student, but I had to take Geometry and Algebra II twice in high school. The second time around I passed with a D and now I'm lost on how to score what I need on these tests to go to Grad School. I've tried to study and teach myself but it's not working. Has anyone else had this experience? I have always been a straight A student in English, but math seems impossible for me. I am extrememly frustrated because I want nothing more than to go to Grad School. I have a solid undergraduate GPA, but without the test scores I don't know if I can get accepted anywhere.

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Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 1784

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Posted:Apr 13, 2006 11:39:56 AM

I tutor math and I can tell you that more than nine times out of ten it is poor math skills, frequently helped along by absolutely horrendous teaching in the past. Yes, disabilities do exist, but they are fairly rare, while bad teaching and teaching of bad attitudes are epidemic.

If you do not have good math foundations, teaching yourself is often counterproductive because you are teaching yourself with the same bad habits that are holding you back. You absolutely need a good math tutor, someone who knows thsubject inside out (NOT an elementary teacher who can't do advanced algebra herself) AND who has experience teaching.

Sometimes you can get a really great young person at a college, and it is always worth looking. Other times you can find retired professors or business people who have tons of experience. Professional tutors like myself have to charge a living wage, but my students think it's worth it.

In general commercial tutoring centers are not a good deal, a huge advertising budget and low pay for their teachers so they do not attract and keep really good teachers.

Good luck with this.

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