May 23, 2013— read in full
Key Skills: Maths and Literacy
Maths and literacy are important to everyone, but it can be hard to know how to improve.
Improving your reading, writing and maths skills can help you in lots of ways:
- University courses might ask for a certain standard
- Employers will look for them when you apply for a job
- They are useful in day to day life. For example, maths skills will help you to manage your money.
If you are interested in improving your key skills, try these tips:
Take a class
Whether you need a formal qualification or just want to improve, there are lots of classes that can help you. Depending on your income and the qualifications you already have, some of these could be free. DirectGov has more details about free learning.
You can get information about courses from colleges or your local library. You could also talk to your employer to see if they will help you to learn at work.
Make it everyday
Improving your key skills doesn’t have to be something you do for hours at a time. It might be easier to find 15 minutes a day to read something or practice your maths skills. You can also try to do more maths as part of your daily routine: for example, try to add up the prices of your shopping as you pick it up and see how well you did when you get to the checkout.
Lots of people who struggle with reading, writing or maths feel embarrassed or nervous about it. If you can meet up with other people with similar difficulties , or just someone close to you who you feel comfortable talking to, they can help you to become more confident.
Working with other people also makes it easier to get motivated – especially as they might notice you improving before you do!
Am I dyslexic/dyscalculic?
Dyslexia is a learning disability which makes reading more difficult. Dyscalculia is similar, but affects maths skills. They are not related to how intelligent you are: some famous dyslexics include Richard Branson, Eddie Izzard and Agatha Christie.
If you think you might have dyslexia or dyscalculia, you can take a test to find out. This is important for two reasons. First, you will need to deal with dyslexia and dyscalculia differently than you would deal with other problems. Second, you will be able to get extra support to help you.
If you are dyslexic/dyscalculic, or think you might be, talk to your university’s student services office to find out how they can help you.