We all know that Maths is an integral part of the school curriculum and is compulsory at GCSE level, but why is it so important?
It’s often asked what the point of studying maths is, particularly by those who don’t enjoy the subject or are struggling with it. What relevance will geometry, algebra and trigonometry have in real life?
Although not all the specific maths learned at school will be used by everyone when they leave, there is no doubt that being proficient in maths generally is a great help when it comes to doing well in life.
Here are just a few reasons why maths is so important.
Maths is used in so many everyday activities
If you stop to think about it, you’ll realise that you use mathematics pretty much every day for all sorts of things. Some examples include:
- Cooking and baking requires accurate measurements as well as multiplication and division to work out portions.
- Splitting the bill when you’re out with friends means someone needs to do the calculation, as well as working out the tip.
- Time is based on mathematics and in addition to telling the time you’ll sometimes need to work out how much time you have until a certain event or calculate how much time a task is going to take to complete.
- Doing DIY and crafts often requires accurate measuring and calculations to ensure things fit or end up where they should.
- Using maths while shopping can help you work out discounts, the best deals or whether something really is a bargain.
- Even nutrition or dieting and fitness require maths – whether it’s to work out calories ingested or burned to gain or lose weight, nutritional breakdown of meals, splits and timings in racing, or sets and repetitions in the gym.
It’s almost impossible to go a full day without doing any type of calculation based on maths!
Maths helps with your finances
Being comfortable with figures is a huge asset when it comes to taking care of your finances. At the most basic level, you at least need to ensure that your expenditure doesn’t exceed your income to avoid getting into debt.
Being able to calculate and update your budget to make sure you can pay all your bills is a necessary skill to avoid getting into financial trouble throughout your life.
Maths also helps you when you’re taking out a mortgage – you’ll need to work out how much you can afford to pay each month, what that translates to in terms of the value of a house you can buy, and what the best deals are in terms of interest repayments.
Being good with numbers will similarly help with savings accounts, credit cards and paying off debts, ensuring you don’t end up paying more or earning less interest than you should.
Maths teaches analytical thinking
Studying mathematics teaches you to think logically, analyse data and verify hypotheses, which are all necessary for problem solving and critical thinking.
This might be one of the reasons that so many career paths require you to achieve a certain grade in maths at school even when you won’t be using pure mathematics in that career.
Maths is a good foundation for so many careers
Maths prepares you for so much more than being a mathematician. Those who study maths at degree level can go on to become computer engineers, scientific researchers, statisticians, economists, bankers, accountants and meteorologists to name just a few.
Journalists, politicians, advertisers, media producers, the military and most industries all rely on the data that is produced and analysed by various incarnations of mathematicians and statisticians.
In fact, almost all technology is based on maths and, as technology continues to take over our world, maths will continue to become more and more useful, being used in algorithms and calculations as well as in the creation of games and software programmes.
Maths can even be useful in creative careers. Mathematics is behind a lot of the theories of what makes art and music beautiful, and is useful in fine art and music as well as in graphic design and architecture.
There is very little in our world that isn’t touched by maths, which is something worth bearing in mind the next time you find yourself wondering or are asked why maths is so important.