Let’s face it! How many times have you “studied” for a math exam but failed that exam? You spent so much time “studying” but you still failed! No wonder you just “can’t” do math, right? Wrong! The truth is, you must know the right techniques to employ when studying math. Here are a few steps to guide you.
1. Review your notes
After you leave your math class/tutoring session, be sure to review your notes within 48 hours. The sooner the better. Once you let 48 hours past, things start to get fuzzy, and you may forget why each step was done. Reviewing your notes may also reveal any gaps you have in the content that was covered in class.
2. Do sample questions with reference from your notes
After reviewing your notes, try all sample questions that were done in class or in your session. You may try solving the questions while reviewing your notes. Yes, redo the questions because you have a blueprint of how to solve them, as well as the solutions. As you are going through each question, ask yourself, “Do I understand each step?” If the answer is yes for all questions, then you have mastered the content for that topic. On the other hand, if the answer is no for any of the questions in your notes, you may go back to your teacher or tutor for further explanation. It is recommended that you do all sample questions from your notes until the answer to the question, “Do I understand each step?” is yes.
3. Do sample questions without reference from your notes
Next, you should try doing all sample questions again, without reference from your notes. You may write the questions on a blank sheet of paper independent of your notes. Close your notebook and try doing all questions on your own. Do you still understand what to do and why? It is okay if for the first few tries you get stuck. Guess what, you are studying! If for some reason, you cannot get unstuck, you may go to your teacher or tutor for clarification. You should repeat these steps until you are comfortable doing the sample questions without any hesitation or lack of clarity on each step.
4. Do homework assignments
After you have mastered your notes, you may move on to doing your homework assignments. I must admit, often, homework assignments are more challenging than the questions done in class. This is usually because the questions done in class serve as a basis of knowledge. Mathematics is all about how to apply the knowledge you have gained, to solving a problem – in class, but essentially, in real life. Don’t forget, you may go to your instructor or tutor if you have any issues while doing your homework assignments.
If you complete these steps, you are well on your way to doing well in your math course. Mastering math boils down to you committing time to the subject. Math is very unforgiving. If you do not put in the time and show it some “love”, it will not love you back. It will take a lot of practice and reflection to master math.
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