Maths study tips

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  • Created by: Nadia
  • Created on: 05-09-12 14:26

Mostly Math's Study Tips

First, the General Stuff:

Try your homework on your own first

The first step is figuring out where your problems are. No one else can figure that out for you, and if you don't honestly attempt your homework, you'll never know what you can or can't do. Someone else can help you learn the material, but this process is much more efficient if you already have a list of questions or topics that you need help with.

Learn the way your teacher wants you to do the questions

Many teachers want you to do things "their way" so it's important to have clear, complete examples in your notes from which to study. We have all had a teacher who refuses to give credit for having the right answer, but the wrong form, or method. Instead of getting into a power struggle, and getting on your teacher's bad side, learn what is expected of you and use that as your model.

Learn the "vocabulary" of your math class

Many students struggle on tests because they learn to just look at the "math part" of the question and go on instinct. They do not actually read the question, often because they wouldn't really understand the words in the question anyway. When studying, pay particular attention to the wording of questions. Learn what is of expected of you when the question says, "Simplify" or "Evaluate." Most students don't realize that sometimes half the questions actually tell you exactly what to do, if you just understood what the instructions said!

Don't think that just doing the assigned homework is always enough practice

One of the biggest mistakes math students make is thinking that they should be fine because they did the assigned homework. Most students are not adequately prepared for tests if all they've done is keep up with the homework. You may be glad at first if you find yourself with a teacher that only assigns a handful of homework questions per night, but these are exactly the students who wonder why their marks aren't higher. You must continue to do questions -- even the ones your teacher didn't assign -- until you know you understand it. Otherwise, you're just fooling yourself.

Review questions from many different days' homework at the same time

It's easy to focus on one kind of question at a time, but you have to learn how to do questions when they appear in any order. One helpful strategy is to write out several different kinds of questions on separate index cards. On the back, work out a full solution. When studying, reach into the pile and pick a card at random. When you can successfully complete any question you pull out, then you know you're ready for a test.

Be clear about which material is fair game for tests

Will tests be based on questions from the text book only? Which topics will be covered on the test? If you don't know, ask! Warning…


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