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Does speed matter in studying math?

If I can go back to the past, the first thing I’d like to change about studying math is taking enough time to think when I try to understand math concept and solve problems. Because of the pressure that I have to do quickly, I never enjoyed studying math fully. I remember I thought about this while I was studying math, ‘If I solve problems this slowly, I wouldn’t solve all of the problems during tests, then I wouldn’t get A, then I wouldn’t get a good GPA, then I wouldn’t get in to a good college, then I wouldn’t get a good job, then I will be a failure. ‘

Now I am imagining that I go back to the time when I am in third grade. I am not able to solve all of the problems during the test but I am happy because I understand what I am doing, totally satisfied. I have confidence. And then when I get a report card, I see my grade B or even C. But I like math and happy. Because I like math, I spend more time on studying math. As I am growing, I become better at a hard math than other students because I have a very solid foundation and I enjoy studying math. My grade is not always A but I know I can improve if I keep working hard and I love math and I love being challenged. I have a confidence that I can do anything. My GPA is not Stella. I don’t make it to top schools. Maybe a state university. I don’t have any fear to pick Economics, any sciences, math, or engineering as a major.

Looking back my life of 50 years, I have concluded, doing math quickly is not important. Understanding what you are doing is important. I’d like to tell young people, take your time when you study math. Take your time to think and ask.

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