November 19, 2014

7 Math Study Tips to Help You Ace That Exam

how to succeed in math

With nine college mathematics courses under my belt, I have come up with a set of strategies that has helped me do well on my math exams.

Today, I would like to share with you my top tips for studying math and boosting your test grades in your mathematics courses.

1. Read the textbook before class

Don't worry if you don't fully understand, you will make the connection during lecture.

2. Take both lecture notes and textbook notes 

After we've covered a section in class, I neatly rewrite lecture notes and add notes from the textbook for further clarification. Besides having easy to read notes to study from, you are reviewing the material when you rewrite your notes.

3. Review daily

Even if it is just for 5 minutes, regularly reviewing your notes and doing an extra exercise here or there keeps the topic in your mind and will make it easier for you to recall this information during a test.

4. Do your homework, the right way.

Don't procrastinate! Do the homework the same day the material has been covered. Because the material is still fresh in your mind, it will be easier to recall important steps and concepts. Additionally, it will be less stressful.

When doing homework, try to complete all the exercises without looking at notes or references. However, don't spend too long on one problem. If you get stuck, move to the next exercise. If you don't know how to solve this one either, then go ahead and pull out your notes.

If possible, check your answer in the back of the book. If you did not get the correct answer, try to understand why you did not reach the same answer.

5. Practice makes perfect

Be sure to mark any problems you were unable to solve on your own. Once you've finished everything, go back to those questions and re-solve on your own. At this time, you should also redo any exercises that you did not answer correctly.

 For any exercises that you find difficult, do additional exercises that are similar. This will give you the practice you need to master the concept.

6. Make a formula sheet

Write down all formulas, theorems, and definitions of a chapter onto a separate sheet of paper. This way you can quickly reference this page instead of looking through your notes.

7. Keep a positive attitude!

In order to learn any subject, you must want to learn. If you have a negative mindset, you have shut down the potential for learning. If you think to yourself "I will never get this", then you won't. Instead, go into class believing in your own potential.

There is a misconception among many individuals that in order to do well in mathematics, the subject must come naturally to you. This is in part fueled by the negative attitude towards mathematics that our society finds acceptable. But guess what: it is not true! If you put in the effort, you can excel in math.

A final note

If you are continuously struggling in math, there is the possibility that a math learning disability, dyscalculia, could be the at the root of them problem. If you suspect any learning disability is hindering your ability to do well, I encourage you to contact your school's office of disability services.


  1. Hi,
    Tiffany, thanks for creating this blog. your posts are very nice. Best of luck for your bright future......

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  3. Great Post, thank you. I was wondering if you had tips or examples on #6? Thanks

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Great tips, thanks. I'd like to add what works for me is to; Find the best study time, study environment and match it to the study style is productive. I've shared some on my blog here: