Education

How 6th-grade maths olympiads build life skills

Approaching the curriculum of sixth-grade mathematics with intrigue and curiosity helps a student build resourceful and very strong life skills.Here is how the mathematics of 6th standard build skills for life-

  1. Helps in financial management- Sixth grade teaches the student all the basics of integers, fractions and decimals are used in all the different aspects of life. These topics are a building stone for managing one’s finances, from calculating the total bill in a grocery shop to calculating the discount after applying a certain percentage. During university, where one might manage their own finances for the first time, a good grasp of the topics taught in sixth grade can help a student manage their money in the most efficient way possible. Even in terms of career, a good idea of finances helps increase savings, decrease debt, and contribute to the overall quality of life. These basic concepts stay with one for life and help a person in being a more savvy buyer. 
  2. Encourages spatial thinking- Some of the most important topics taught during sixth-grade mathematics include geometry. While solving questions related to two or three-dimensional figures, a student builds the habit of visualising the problem at hand, which is called spatial thinking. Hence, geometry helps in the visualisation of a problem and eventually increases spatial thinking. With the use of spatial thinking, concepts of distance, direction, and more become much easier to grasp for a person. These are core life skills that any person needs, and they increase one’s confidence, self-assurance and ability to be independent. 
  3. Builds leadership qualities- A leader is one who takes the initiative, and mathematics encourages students to take the initiative, whether it’s the initiative to practise every day or to learn and understand the meaning of different concepts and not just the final formulas.
  4. Introduces data analytics- Data is booming, and the planet has more amounts of data than ever before. Mathematics taught in sixth grade introduces the beginner’s level or basics of data analytics. These topics prove to be very useful in any field that one takes up. Mathematics also teachers how to analyse vast amounts of data and eventually adds to the problem-solving skills expertise. Data Analytics itself is an enriching career path. The basics that are introduced at an earlier age help one encourage the analysis of any data that one receives and help it turn into insightful information. 
  5. Increases aptitude- It is an obvious truth that proficiency in mathematics increases aptitude. But specifically, the concepts taught in class 6th prove to be extremely important in multiple exams as one progresses. Even in competitions or hackathons, the mathematical approaches one learns helps one in navigating the problem at hand. Aptitude tests are often the preliminary test even while taking up a job in a non-mathematics related field. Hence, the need for good mathematics skills cannot be overseen. Having a good grasp of the topics taught in sixth can help in various facets of life later. 
  6. Helps in postgraduate degree preparation- It may be unknown to many that a strong foundation of the principles of mathematics taught in sixth grade can even help fifteen years down the line. For post-graduation degrees like the Master’s in Business Administration- the primary syllabus is the mathematics taught in the early years of secondary schools, and professionals often find themselves revisiting these topics taught in early years of education. 
  7. Olympiads teach time management-The pattern of testing in Olympiads of class 6th is often tested later while giving very important entrance exams. Familiarity with olympiads makes the student more confident while appearing for different exams later. Giving olympiads as early as class 6th helps the student understand the importance of time management in objective time papers and helps them develop a more strategic approach to solving questions. Some of the best sample papers can be found here  IMO Sample Paper 2 for Class 6.
  8. Increases problem-solving skills- In any career, a problem-solving approach honed by solving cases is usually evolved. This is true for careers, and the case-solving system is encouraged by Harvard in multiple curricula and in the oldest university of the world, Oxford as well. Hence, problem-solving skills are the need of the hour in any career field that one takes up. Mathematics really helps improve that. In class 6th, a student gains exposure to multiple new concepts and build the basics of algebra, measurement, fractions and more. These encourage the adoption of a solution-oriented mindset and encourage the student to solve diverse problems that they face.
  9. Maths teaches patience and perseverance- Since the topics in class 6th are relatively new and need more time to be fully comprehended by the student, maths helps build patience and encourages disciplined hard work. Patience is an essential virtue in every phase of life and improves the overall wellbeing of the person. Perseverance and hard work are the core ingredients to achieving anything one wishes for. 
  10. Reminds that consistency is vital- The most crucial aspect of performing well in mathematics is regular practice. Hence, maths reinforces that consistency is the key to excelling in any field. Just as one practises different topics to gain proficiency in them, the same way important habits in life can be built. This important life value stays with students for life.   
  11. Algebra improves processes- Class 6th introduces algebra to the student where we take a variable and then, step by step, find its value. This process of getting to the answer teaches a step by step process to solve problems and challenges. The same approach can be applied to life to have a strategic approach where one takes one step at a time while solving any challenge. This can be applied at both personal and professional levels. 

Hence, it is without a doubt that everything learnt in mathematics reflects in so many different aspects of life, even twenty-thirty years down the line. The various topics in mathematics are valuable tools that one can use at different stages of life to solve, repair and even build.

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