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Nine Tips to Help you Ace your Next Math Exam and Four Bad Habits to Avoid

October 12, 2021
By Mrs. Mary Ollier, Mathematics Department Chair

Preparing for a math test can be stressful, but every student is capable of earning good grades.  Try out these proven methods to start boosting your test scores.  Many of these study skills apply to other subjects, too!

Gather all formulas/identities onto one notes sheet

...whether it can be used on the exam or not.  It will make it easier to study those facts you need to know.

Study vocabulary

Quizlet.com offers many free quizzes.  Making your own note cards might help with retention even more as studies show that writing things down can help improve your memory.

Do all review

Optional or required, teachers create review guides to highlight materials that will be on the test.

Attempt all problems in the study guide

Circle problems you are struggling with so that you can ask questions before the exam date. Review what you do not know!

Do the odd problems and check your answers in the back of the book

Do you find yourself looking through your review and struggling with problems from a specific section? Keep reworking the problem until you get the correct answer.

Create your own study guide

Use old homework assignments to determine which sections from each chapter you have covered in class, make a list of all the topics from those sections that could appear on the exam, then narrow down what you need to study.

Check the textbook for extra review problems

Your teacher might not have assigned every problem has homework or covered it in class.  These new problems offer a fresh opportunity to refine your knowledge.

Get a good night’s sleep!

You’ll think more clearly and make fewer mistakes.

Come to the test prepared with required materials

Pencil, graph paper, and a reliable calculator (fully charged - or make sure you have extra batteries if needed) are important tools you need to succeed!

Four traps to avoid

  • Waiting until the night before the exam to start preparing

  • Assuming that since you have done pretty well on smaller assessments, you do not need to study for the final exam

  • Forgetting that understanding the vocabulary is also an important part of a math test

  • Falling prey to the faulty thinking of ‘there’s no way to study for a math test’

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