How to do better in Math

Most people would agree that math is one of the harder subjects that students have to take, and that more students have trouble with math than with almost any other subject. What many people may not know is that it is possible to improve your math grades if you follow some simple tried and true tips.

The first tip is to properly prepare yourself for lectures, quizzes, tests and exams.

To properly prepare for a lecture, read the material before class and try to work the problems in the chapter before ever showing up for class. This will get your mind familiar with what your teacher is about to talk about which will mean it won’t sound so strange and hard to understand upon hearing it a second time. Working the problems ahead of time, or at least trying to, will help you to identify which parts you do understand and which you don’t so that when you’re sitting in the lecture you will know which parts to listen to harder and then, when to ask questions. It will also help in formulating more helpful questions geared more specifically towards your particular problem.

To properly prepare for quizzes, tests and exams, you need to keep up with what is going on in the class and your assignments so you won’t be playing catch-cup just before being tested. Then, you need to study the material that is going to be on the test, and study hard. Don’t just give it a cursory review, give it an honest effort, even if you don’t feel like you know what you are doing. The more you do, and the harder you try, the better your grade will be. And even if it isn’t and A, it’ll likely be better than a D or an F.

The next tip is to get away from thinking of yourself as someone who just isn’t good at math. That simple mindset can do more to damage your ability to do math than almost anything else you might have going on. Yes, certainly some people are better at math than others, but there are really, truly, very few people that can’t “do” math if they work hard and try, and don’t convince themselves first that they can’t do it.

And finally, give it your best shot, always; but especially at the beginning. Because so much of math is learning something based on something you were supposed to already have learned; so, if you don’t get the stuff at the bottom level, you’re not likely to do well with the stuff above it. So, don’t let yourself get caught moving slow, no matter how hard the material may seem. Dig in and give it your best, with your mind open to the possibility that you can do it, and you’ll ever so much better than if you don’t.