Math Study Skills Brenda I. Mejias Academic Coordinator, Math & Science Student Support Services
Studying for Math is Different • Math builds on knowledge of previous concepts and skills. • Math is learned bydoing problems. • Requires practice even when the fundamental concepts are understood.
Preparing for Class • GO TO EVERY CLASS! • Have a positive attitude. • Review last class notes and homework. • Preview the text section that will be covered that day. • Find potential questions to ask.
Strategies to Study Math • ASAP summarize, review, and edit your notes. • Read your textbook. • Memorize formulas. • Do ALL your homework. • Study everyday. • Get to know your teacher.
More Strategies to Study Math • Transcribe notes only on the front of each page. Use the back side to enter examples, reminders, theorems, etc. • Always write the problem number, page, and the full problem itself. • Consider using a 3-ring binder. • Use other books as reference.
Some Memory Techniques • Word Association • Mnemonics • Acronyms
Use WHISK for Word Problems • W = What? • What the problem is asking you to find. • H = How? • How you will solve the problem. • I = Illustrate • Draw a picture, make a diagram, table, or graph. • S = Solve • Perform the mathematical calculations needed. • K = Keys
Tips on Taking a Math Test • Look over the entire test to get a sense of how long it is. • Read the instructions of each section of the test. • Start with the problems you know you can do. • Time is of essence - work as quickly as you can (while still maintaining legibility). • Show as many steps as possible.
Tips on Taking a Math Test • Don’t erase! - just put an X through the work you don’t want graded. • Box, circle or underline your answer. • Don’t give up on multiple-part questions, even if you can’t get the first part. • Before turning in your test, make sure that you have answered all parts to a question. • If you have time, check all your work.
Getting Help • When? - EARLY! FROM DAY-ONE! • Use all resources available to you: • ask questions in class • visit the instructor’s Office Hours • ask friends • go to the Math Lab, Math Help Room, and/or other tutoring sessions on campus. • Ask specific questions.
Examples of Questions • Okay Question: • How do you do #17? • Better Question: • Can you show me how to set up #17? • Even Better Question: • This is how I tried to do #17. Can you show me what I’m doing wrong?
Getting Help from Tutors • Your tutor is a resource to support and guide. • Go with questions in mind. • You steer the direction of the tutoring session.
The “SECRET” of Math Success • PRACTICE! • PRACTICE! • PRACTICE!
QUOTE “The Universe is a grand book which cannot be read until one first learns to comprehend the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is composed. It is written in the language of Mathematics.” --Galileo