I managed to navigate elementary and high school without understanding how to properly study for a math test. When I arrived at college, the game changed significantly, and my grades reflected my struggles.
One of the most frightening and daunting experiences I ever faced as a student was when the grades came out after the first semester of my first year. I had always been a solid 3.8 GPA student with an occasional B mixed in to keep my parents on their toes.
So, when a bold D showed up in my grades, it was a shock. My grandparents hired a math tutor, and despite my initial protests, I obliged.
I quickly discovered that I was retaining the information from class but wasn’t preparing for tests adequately or efficiently. It was a relief, but I had to work harder than I ever had for school to correct the issue.
In today’s post, I will dive into the basics of how to properly study for a math test. Ease the stress of math tests by developing good habits and focusing on the correct areas.
Take a Deep Breath; You Can Do This
Taking tests can cause anxiety for anyone regardless of the field. Because many people have a natural aversion to math, the task becomes more frightening.
Much of the fear will vanish when you understand how to properly study for a math test. I remember how odd it felt to walk into my first math test with excitement.
Math is the cornerstone for many of the problems our brains tackle daily. So, instead of looking at math as a foreign language, relax and know that you use many of these principles in your daily life.
Focus on the Areas Where Students Lose Unnecessary Points
When I learned how to properly study for a math test, I was astounded at how significant of a role reading comprehension played. The first step to acing your next math test is to be familiar with the vocabulary.
Many students rush through reading the directions and miss information, costing them their final grade. Some of you can probably work through the math in your head but have trouble putting the work to paper.
Yet, many math tests will award partial credit merely for getting the work correct regardless of a wrong answer. Pay attention to how your tests are worded and look for areas where you can improve.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Prepare
Most teachers give students several weeks of class time and homework to prepare for a test. That gives ample time to begin preparing for a math test.
It would be best to do the homework as it’s assigned and keep it for a study guide. Teachers and professors aren’t in the habit of springing new problems on you in a test.
Staying up all night cramming was a play I often called my first semester at college. The mental fatigue from that spilled over into my test-taking, which caused a decline in my grades.
Start studying for your test several days in advance and keep your study sessions to no more than one hour. When you pour over the same data for more than sixty minutes at a time, you reach the point of diminishing returns.
Concepts will become cloudy, and your brain tends to attach conflicting information. Make a study plan for your math test and stick to it.
The number one obstacle standing in the way of adequately studying for a math test is not giving yourself the required time to do so efficiently.
When Math Becomes Intuitive, It’s Easier to Grasp
Knowing how to study for a math test becomes more straightforward when you see how math is used in everyday life. From setting a budget to cooking dinner, math plays a factor.
Math principles became more intuitive when I saw how math impacted my daily routine. Calculating the travel time and costs to see my girlfriend two states away seemed like second nature, but when the same mathematical equations were presented on paper, my brain froze at test time.
By applying the math on the test to the real world, it suddenly became less challenging to understand.
Understanding how to study for a math test can eliminate much of the stress you have leading up to the event. By taking the steps above and using your homework as a study guide, you’ll smash your next math test with ease.