Studying skills are a crucial tool for school (and life). Without them, or with poor studying habits, completing homework, projects and preparing for tests or exams can be both stressful and frustrating.
When it comes to learning math, having solid study skills, and learning technique is really important. It can make a life changing difference for your child.
Many of our students, when they first come to us, are very nervous about math tests and math homework. For some, just thinking about math and math homework is overwhelming and causes anxiety.
We’ve helped so many children catch up, keep up and get ahead in math, that we’d like to share some of our effective our math study tips below. These tips can also help with all school subjects.
Math Study Tips for Kids:
- Use an agenda, personal organizer or simple notebook to get and stay organized and manage your time effectively.
- Create a dedicated study space at home which will help provide more structure and be a place to focus.
- Set aside time each day for math homework and studying, ideally when you’re most alert. Trying to get things done when your tired is not ideal.
- Embrace quizzing yourself! This is an effective way to learn, find out if you are understanding concepts and what’s been covered in math class, and build your confidence. You can write it out or do it verbally alone or with a sibling or parent.
Tips for Preparing for a Math Test:
- Get organized. Math is an important subject, but so are other school subjects. In order not compromise your other academic priorities, yourself enough time to review and practice material without distraction.
- Be clear on what material the test is covering. This will help you put together the best study plan possible, so you focus on what you are being tested on.
- Use your dedicated study space at home. If it’s not working, find another space to try and keep doing so until you find that Zen place.
- Don’t cram – it will not work or pay off. What does work is staying on top of all your school throughout the year, especially the concepts covered in math class. Homework really is your child’s friend. It’s how they practice and learn and get to see what they truly know and where they need support. If they struggle it’s not because they are bad at math. They may just need more support in strengthening their math foundation and number sense.
- Review previous assignments, homework & quizzes. Chances are high that you will see similar questions, in similar formats, on your math test.
- Be prepared for concepts presented in a different way. Tests are always a great way to test comprehension thoroughly and push learning forward. As an example of this is that “parts of a whole” can be presented as fractions or as percents (%).
- Practice helps you achieve your personal best! Complete practice math tests or a variety of math practice problems to really flex your math muscles.
- Rally your math support system. Your teacher, classmates and even your family can be a helpful resource. Don’t be shy about reaching out. If you need help, ask for it.
- Make enough time for fun! Yes, we are 100% serious. Having fun keeps you feeling positive, prevents burnout and helps minimize frustration and stress.
On the day before your math test:
- Do what makes you feel at ease, happy and relaxed. For some, this may mean giving your math notes a quick review, doing a little self quizzing or maybe completing a few math questions before chilling out. For others, it may mean focusing the whole day on doing fun activities that re-energize or relax them. Do not cram. It doesn’t work. If you’ve been studying consistently and diligently in the weeks leading up to your math test, you’re most likely on track to do well.
- Double check your school supplies. Make sure you have everything you need. Scrap paper, pencil, a calculator (if required), whatever you need.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Don’t stay up watching movies and chatting with friends or family. Just as homework’s your friend, so is sleep.
Tips for Taking a Math Test:
On The day of your test:
- Eat breakfast. This will help you start off your day right and give your body and brain the nourishment is needs.
- Use the restroom before your test begins. Using it during the restroom may not be an option, and that ‘gotta go’ feeling can be very distracting.
- Take a deep break and relax - Think positive thoughts. You got this!
- Write your name on your math test paper. This is actually forgotten more than you’d think
- Read the test from start to finish before you start. Give it a thorough review so that you know what’s expected of you. This will help you manage your time better as you know the types of questions being ask. This is also really important if your test contains a lot of word problems. Doing a careful read-through helps you catch so-called “trick” questions before they catch you
- Follow the instructions. If you are asked to “show your work”, that literally means you need to show your work.
- Neatness counts. A correct answer won’t get you marks if your “0” looks more like a “6” or if your teacher cannot read your written response.
- Double check your work. While time matters during your test, careless mistakes can cost you.
- Set priorities & budget your time wisely. Stating focused and on task is important when taking a math test (or any test). Keep track of time as you progress through the test. While there will be some questions you’ll breeze through, other questions will need more time to complete. Tip - Be mindful of questions that may earn you more points than others. If you are running out of time, you may want to focus on these.
- Don’t panic if you’re short on time. When taking a math test, focus on doing your best by answering all questions to the best of your ability. Leaving a question completely blank may cost you partial credit or part marks…however the only exception to this advice is in situations where you could lose points for incorrect answers. You will need to use your best judgment to determine what action to take.
- CELEBRATE when you’re done! Regardless of the end result, you worked hard and did your best, which is what really matters, so treat yourself!
We hope you and your child have found these math study tips helpful, and that your child benefits from them through the school year.
If your child needs a math tutor to help them catch up, keep up or get ahead in math, contact us today through our online form or call us at (905) 895-6284. We make leaning math learning fun, and we offer a free assessment. Learn more about our summer math programs and special promotions we have going on.
And, if you have any successful math study tips, please share them in the comments below.