The formulas and ideas you learn in math are very useful, but even if you never use them again, learning math develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills—it makes you smarter.

Your body gets stronger when you exercise it by running, lifting weights, and jumping rope. Your mind gets stronger when you do math—solving problems, understanding new ideas, and proving theorems. Most athletes don’t lift weights in competition, but having stronger muscles helps you in all your sports. Most people don’t do advanced math for their work, but being smarter helps you in everything you do.

- Math helps you learn how to solve the hard challenges in your life that no one has solved before.
- Math helps you learn to recognize mistakes in thinking and errors in arguments—it helps you recognize when people are lying to you or trying to cheat you.
- Math helps you handle data. The world is filled with more and more numbers, patterns, and data. Math gives you the important tools you need to deal with it all, make sense of it, and use it in your life.