Guest Post: 7 Reasons You Should Have Paid Attention in Your GCSE Maths Class
Okay, I’ll admit it. It’s been a while since I had to break out the old sine, cosine and tangent, but it has to be said that paying attention in GCSE maths has paid off on many an occasion. I’m not talking Integrals of inverse functions or anything uber-smart like that – just good old fashioned maths. So kids, if you’re reading this thinking maths is just a waste of time, think again! Here are seven reasons why you should pay attention in your GCSE Maths class.
1. Going Dutch. Why does splitting the bill after dinner with friends always turn out to be such a trauma? Everyone will swear blind that they’ve chipped in more than enough to cover their share, but somehow you’re always a tenner short. Even ‘going Dutch’ means a round of long division. If you weren’t paying attention at school you’d best just hope that the public display of maths skill doesn’t land on your plate to divvy up. If it does you best get counting on those fingers and toes, either that or reach for your smartphone and breakout the calculator app!
2. TV Test. As if buying a TV wasn’t complicated enough with all that LCD, LED, plasma talk, you also need to break out your old GSCE maths notes to ensure you get the right size, ratio and resolution. First of all what’s with all that inches stuff – we were taught in cm. Let’s just hope you were paying attention when they taught you how to convert inches to centimetres, or you could end up trying to fit a JumboTron in your living room. Screen ratios have pretty much been standardised to 16:9 these days, but you do need to know what screen resolution you want and it’s not just a matter of standard definition or HD either – with HD coming in 3 flavours 720p, 1080i and 1080p. Bet you wish you’d paid attention to Sir now don’t you?
3. Perfect Pizza. It’s those pesky inches at play again here. Fail to get a grasp imperial conversion when you’re browsing your local takeaway menu and you’ll either end up with a child’s portion or a pizza the size of a dustbin lid. Okay, so ordering too much pizza isn’t the end of the world – unless of course you’re ordering from that well known pizza delivery place and your all out of vouchers. Oooh – that’s gonna cost you!
4. DIY Disaster. Not buying the right amount of emulsion paint can be a pain, but it’s not the end of the world. However, miscalculate the number of rolls of wallpaper you need and it could spell trouble. Yes, that’s right – buying wallpaper requires major maths skills. You’ll need to consider wall height and width, allow for doorways, windows and radiators and worst of all, the dreaded pattern repeat! Don’t think you can just pop down to your local DIY store and buy an extra roll if you run out either. Oh-no! Every roll has a specific batch number which means you’d best get it right first time, or you’ll be staring at an odd strip of wallpaper for the next several years before you strip it all off and start again.
5. Fuel Failure. Weren’t paying attention in GCSE maths when they taught you all about litres? Then owning a car is going to be fun – especially with the price of fuel these days. Unless you’ve got pots of expendable income, you’re going to want to just how much petrol or diesel your car is guzzling. Okay, so plenty of new cars do this for you, but let’s be honest, those trip computers are never very accurate and you’re far better off getting your mind around those MPG calculations yourself.
6. Utility Futility. Even the best mathematicians struggle when it comes to interpreting their utility bills, so if you weren’t paying attention at school it might just blow your mind. With energy companies hiking rates more often than they drop them and constantly ‘estimating’ how much you owe them, this is one area you really must master to avoid being ripped off. Be on the ball here and you could save yourself a small fortune in unnecessary payments. Leave it to the energy companies and they’ll just keep on ‘estimating’ – usually in their favour.
7. Pi Eyed. Let’s hope you were paying attention when your GCSE maths teacher told you all about Pi. Not only will knowing all about Pi ensure you are always able to calculate the circumference of any circle, it will also prevent you from looking like a fool by mistakenly shouting out “Yeah, my favourite type of Pi is rhubarb” when trying to join in an intelligent sounding conversation at the local boozer.
About The Author: Michael writes for iTutorMaths, if you want to get your maths up to scratch, then iTutor can provide you with an online maths tutor.