Study Success: A Guide to Acing Your Next Math Exam
Math can be an intimidating subject for anyone, but with the right tools and study tactics, you can be successful. One of the best ways to do well in a math course is to know how to prepare and study for your exams. Here are six great ways to help you prepare for your next math exam.
Try to do your homework as soon after class as possible while what you’ve learned in class is still fresh in your memory. Studies show that waiting as long as a week to do your coursework after attending class can lead students to perform much more poorly on assignments than those who did their homework the day it was assigned. Also, never wait until the night before the test to do the homework.
Some may think that short but extremely frequent study periods are the best way to study for an exam. However, according Mike Jensen, a math instructor at Stevens-Henager College, students who do the opposite perform best on their exams.
For example, a student who studies for 2 hours, 3 days a week will usually perform better on her exams than a student who studies for 30 minutes every day of the week. This doesn’t mean “cramming” for five hours on the day of your test. This just means that the periods in which you study matter, and longer, less frequent study periods have shown to be more successful than short, frequent study periods.
It’s important to always review your work after completing assignments, even if you don’t have a test coming up. It’s also important to review immediately after completing an assignment. This confirms that you are absorbing the information—not just filling in the blanks.
This doesn’t have to take all day! Five to ten minutes is all you need for a good review of your assignment.
Group Work Makes Great Work
Group study sessions are beneficial for a few reasons:
- You can receive help from your peers by asking questions in an informal setting
- You get to know what everyone else is confused about, so you can ask the instructor to elaborate on difficult topics in class before the test
- As you teach and discuss the concepts with your classmates, you retain more of the information and realize what topics you don’t know as well
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice tests can make a world of difference. Students tend to skip practice tests because they usually aren’t graded. However, practice tests tell you what to expect on the test and what areas to focus on while studying.
Follow these tips and chances are you’ll be performing better on your next exam. Just remember: timing is key, work with a group, and always practice, practice, practice!
About the Author
Christa Follano is a receptionist at the Stevens-Henager College Murray (Salt Lake City) campus. She greets students and assists with administrative work around the campus. Before joining the Stevens-Henager team, she lived in New York while finishing her bachelor’s degree in sociology. She enjoys working with staff to help students achieve their goals.