Tips on how to study for a math test and ace mathematics exams

By Mitch Rice

Getting better grades in maths can be difficult. Many students , although bright, suffer from maths anxiety. This can lead to a panic attack which results in the student being unable to continue the paper. If this sounds familiar don’t worry you are not alone.

This often leads students to ask how they can improve their grades so they feel more confident about taking on future papers. One of the most effective ways of doing that is by preparing well for your exams and practicing test questions similar to those that will appear in the actual exam.

Math is a subject that requires a lot of hard work and practice. However, if you follow the tips below, there is no doubt that you will improve your grades in this subject area. The following are some techniques on how you can study more effectively for mathematics tests.

1) Make sure you know what is expected of you before studying for an exam

Before learning anything make sure that you have already read through all of your material carefully and understood everything clearly. Make sure that you know what is expected of you. Get a clear idea on what exactly your take home exam questions will be and how specifically the test will be structured.

2) If your teacher lets you, practice at least some questions from past exams

If your teacher allows you to do this then try to find old tests like those that were given during previous years. While doing this make sure that you study them as if it was an actual paper for which you had to prepare. This means making sure that the time allotted to answer each question is right and answering all the questions without going over the maximum allowed time for any section. Make sure you check whether these older tests have been packed with similar trick questions or not so as upon getting used to these tricky questions you are able to spot them easily in the actual exam.

3) Make sure that your study material contains enough practice tests

While studying it is really helpful if you have books that contain several mock tests for each subject. This will help you to get accustomed to the types of questions that are asked during exams and thus build up more confidence when you actually take your real test. You can also talk to other students who have taken up maths before so as to find out which specific maths textbooks they used while doing their training papers.

4) Go over some past math assignment questions frequently

After finishing a study session make sure that on the next day or at least within a few days of completing the last practice question , go back over some or all of the past papers questions again. This will refresh your memory and help you remember some facts or concepts better while also helping you to spot any mistakes in maths calculations that may have crept up while studying for your exams .

5) Make sure that you give equal time to each subject

Although math is perceived to be more difficult, one must make sure that all subjects be studied equally because it is only possible if they are given equal time. For example, if you’re doing an awful lot of mathematics questions then chances are high that your score on physics could suffer a bit. So spread out work among various subjects with care.

6) Learn from other students who have done well in tests

Get to know about a few students who did very well during last year’s exams. Try to find out what specific strategies they used and whether they made use of any special tactics that helped them score high grades in the previous years. While you’re doing this do keep in mind that everyone has a different way of studying and thus finding which approach will suit you best is crucial.

7) When revising make sure to revisit concepts taught recently

When you go over your notes or textbooks it could be useful if you went through those topics or chapters where at the time you had skipped over some points relating to particular formulas because you didn’t entirely comprehend them at first glance. Make sure such gaps are filled no matter how small they may feel to be, as failing to pay attention to seemingly insignificant details can result in lower grades.

8) Don’t wait until the last minute to study

If you start studying a month or so before your exams it is never going to be enough time for getting very familiar with the concepts and formulas being taught in class. So try to allot equal amounts of time throughout the entire semester so as to have an idea of what is expected of you during exams at that point in time. Try not to put off studying for too long, because the amount of knowledge learnt by then might be very little and therefore cannot be revised easily.

9) Try learning different strategies from other students

There are various ways in which students learn things and thus you can get ideas from other people on how they tackled specific learning or revision tasks done by them on the subject. So make sure to ask your peers or even teachers about what they do in order to remember things for a longer period of time .

10) It is very useful if you make use of certain mental formulas

If the course involves any complicated formulas then it could be beneficial if you can try remembering them through mnemonics. This will help you recall the formula name more easily and hence doing math problems becomes much easier than before. Try using these methods that will also work well with others as per their own requirements during exams.

11) Make sure all your notes are properly revised each time

The best way to revise important formulae, key concepts is by making use of some post-it notes. While studying make sure to not only revise your class notes but also keep any important topics written on post-its for further ease of use. When you will get stuck at some point while doing practice questions , it is good to have these reminders via post-it’s handy so that you can solve problems quickly and with a higher degree of accuracy .

12) Don’t be afraid if concepts taught in class differ from what is expected during exams

You must be familiarized with the type of questions that come commonly asked during exams as per the syllabus set by your institute or university. You should know how tough they are, or rather do a few sample papers until you feel ready enough to tackle them without incurring many mistakes. Try to identify all the intricate details of each question asked for in exams, so that you are able to come up with speedy yet accurate answers.

13) Practice doing practice questions

Doing homework assignments will help students get accustomed to the format and type of questions asked during exams. These papers will also be helpful in understanding your grasp on concepts taught by teachers. This way not only you can estimate how well you have grasped the concepts fully, but it will also save some time when you do the actual exam paper. Though while revising these notes or books try making sure that you understand all topics properly before proceeding further. Try to do homework questions over and over until you grasp the concept completely.

14) Make flash cards for revision and go over old exams

This may sound like tedious work but it can pay off big time when it’s crunch time for an exam. Flash cards are an excellent tool for learning formulas, definitions, vocabulary terms and other things that you need to know for your exam.

If possible, talk to the instructor about getting access to old tests or reading through old handouts if these are available in hard copy. This will give you a good idea of how the exam will be structured so you can focus your study efforts accordingly.

15) Do not stop revising until exams are completed

Math is not something that can be learnt overnight. You need to keep reviewing material for an extended period of time until it becomes second nature to you. It’s generally a good idea to review some items before exams but don’t neglect this process after the exam either!

The are 15 key tips on how to study for a math test and help you take math your exam with higher chances of success. These simple strategies will help you understand concepts better and will also help you save a considerable amount of time when it comes to the actual exam. You should start applying these tips from now so that they become a part of your study methods and see improvement in your classes.