You may think that you’re not good at math, but it’s probably just a lack of confidence. If you keep on believing in your ability to improve , you can find ways to strengthen your skills ! Read over these tips and work them into your studying routine—it will help you get better grades in math class!
Add to that the fact that math education isn’t as static as we might like it to be. As we better understand learning and the human brain, the ways in which we teach math inevitably evolve. For many, the sorts of problems and strategies that comprise the “new math” can seem impenetrable.
But fear not! There is hope with growing evidence that your reaction to math, while completely understandable, is more related to how your parents, teachers, and peers talked about it than anything related to your brain.
1. Try to touch base with math every day!
You can do this by checking your daily calendar for upcoming tests, by reviewing old material, or doing a few problems from an earlier chapter. Even if you are far past learning the concepts discussed in the early chapters of the book, it is still good to review what you have previously learned. Every once in a while, it’s good to see what you can do with the skills you have. If you keep them fresh in your mind, math will be easier for you!
2. Make sure that you know all of your basic facts!
You might not have heard this before, but practicing is better than just going through the motions. If you’re not sure if your facts are memorized, give them some practice right now! Here is a list of the basic math facts that every student should know: addition , subtraction , multiplication , division . It is required that everyone knows their multiplication tables up to 12 × 12 before they can advance to the next level, so make sure these are fresh in your mind.
3. When you get stuck on a problem, don’t get frustrated!
Don’t just guess at an answer and move on—even if it turns out to be right, this won’t help you learn how to do problems like this one more quickly in the future. Instead of giving up when you get stuck, try making educated guesses with what else you know about the problem. There is always a way to solve any math problem, you just need to figure out what it is!
4. Take as many notes as possible in math class!
This can be as simple as drawing pictures on your paper or writing down important points from the board—anything that makes certain information stick in your mind. If you do not take enough notes, it will make studying for future tests much more difficult !
Not only should you copy problems and formulas verbatim (which can be useful with division and fractions), but try to organize them into patterns that help you find solutions faster : A = B + C; D = E ÷ F; G > H < J .
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions !
If you don’t understand a concept, it’s okay to sign up for an after-school tutor or get help from the teacher during office hours. When you have a question, try writing it down and showing it to your teacher—this way, you won’t forget the details.
Don’t be embarrassed if your teacher cannot explain something clearly enough for you to understand! Instead of getting frustrated with yourself, ask them to explain what they mean in a different way.
6. Make sure that you review all of your work carefully !
Every once in a while—especially before tests or quizzes—take a red pen or highlighter and mark mistakes in the problems that were assigned for homework. This is very important because sometimes, you will get lucky and guess correctly even if you haven’t done the problem right.
Then when it comes to the test , you won’t know which concepts are correct or incorrect! Use your pencil on paper—if something doesn’t make sense for that problem, don’t attempt it again in the future.
7. Ask classmates for help !
If you’re having a hard time understanding homework problems with friends, sit at their table during lunch or wait after school .
Most people want to be helpful, so they might give you some tips about how they solved difficult problems. You can also ask them if they remember certain concepts from class—sometimes seeing the information written down can make it easier to understand!
8. When you’re taking tests, make sure that you use scratch paper !
You can experiment with different ways of solving problems to see which technique works the best. When you do not have enough time to write out all of your work on paper , it will be much harder for you to figure out what went wrong if you got the answer wrong.
9. Don’t forget about writing skills!
If math class or homework is becoming more challenging, try practicing your handwriting . Concentrating on legible lines will help you write faster and clearer—and this will make studying easier in general!
Sometimes, studies show that students who learn how to type quickly are better at learning math concepts because they need fewer resources outside of school.
if your school doesn’t allow laptops or iPads during tests, you can practice writing your notes (and then burning them!), try playing handwriting games where you write out large numbers , and work on maintaining a steady hand.
10. Try not to get overwhelmed
you are not alone! If math is hard, remember that everyone has to struggle with something in life . You might get frustrated when other people seem to understand concepts quickly, but often the people who act like they know everything need help too. Instead of trying to figure things out by yourself all of the time, make sure that you ask lots of questions and get answers from other people in class .
Sometimes another perspective can really help. after school or while doing homework together, grab some food at your favorite restaurant, go for a bike ride or play a board game . Everything might feel more manageable if you’re having fun! These activities help your brain release endorphins, which can make annoying assignments seem less difficult
Are your grades going down? Not getting the math help that you need from your parents? Check out our Learning Center filled with free resources to get back on track. If you are ready for some intense math tutoring, click here . We offer affordable hourly sessions Monday-Thursday after school and Saturday mornings.