At its heart, mathematics is a language for explaining how the world works. Too often it is seen as purely an acquisition of skills (Can you factorise a quadratic? Can you find a missing angle?), but whilst we mainly study maths through the learning of such skills, the ability to successfully execute these skills is not the end goal in itself.
The end goal of mathematics is to develop an ability to plan, think logically and construct a sound structured argument through a disciplined thought structure that allows you to overcome any problem.
By studying mathematics, and learning to speak its language, you gain the ability to do the following when presented with a problem:
Can you identify what the problem is?
Can you see what information you have, what information you don’t have, and what you need to do to find this missing information?
Can you come up with a plan of action that makes sense, where each step in the plan leads sensibly and logically on to the next?
Can you identify when you have solved the problem? Or, if you can’t solve the problem, can you change the problem to be slightly easier but still a helpful one to solve?
Whether the problem is finding the hypotenuse of a triangle or working out how you can save enough money to buy a house, by studying mathematics you will be equipped to be a problem solver, and in an increasingly competitive and challenging world, surely that’s a life skill in itself.