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A Guide to Math Study Skills

PREPARATION: Read the text prior to your class session. Attempt all example problems as you read the section. Donít wait until you do the homework.


  • This gives you the opportunity to try the exercises and note any questions or problems.
  • When attending a lecture you can use your notes to ask direct questions relating to the section.
  • The lecture will reinforce the text, which leads to better understanding of the material.

HOW TO STUDY YOUR TEXT: Read the information. Take note of all highlighted boxes (boxes contain formulas and equations). Work an example.

  • Use a blank sheet of paper and cover the answer in the book.
  • Work the problem on that sheet.
  • Check your work to the answer in the book. If all steps are the same, go on. If the answer is wrong; ask yourself, why?
  • If it was a math error or sign error, then correct it and try again. Look for an incorrect step.
  • If there are five steps to a problem, and you missed only one, donít redo the problem.
  • Concentrate on the wrong step, not the entire problem. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

HOMEWORK: Homework is essential to math success!! We learn by rote. Repetition is the key to learning math. Prior to working a section, do the steps listed above. At first it will seem to take more time, but youíll quickly get used to it. You will end up using less time, because youíll know where the examples are, and you will start with a better understanding of the material.

TESTING: The big question, ďHow do I survive tests?Ē Donít stress out!
An exam in any subject can be stressful. Good preparation is the key to doing well. Here are some doís and doníts.

  • Do all homework, stay up to date!
  • Donít wait until the last minute to cram on half completed homework.
  • Do study at least two days prior to the test.
  • Donít cram the night before. Note: If you donít know it one day before, then you wonít know it the day of the test.
  • Do eat a good dinner and relax the night before. You should be prepared so enjoy the evening.

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