Top 10 Tips for Being a Successful Math Student
1. Have a positive attitude. Attend class prepared and eager to learn.
2. Be actively engaged in class, taking notes and asking questions.
a. Take 10 minutes before class to review the notes from the previous class & homework questions.
b. Take complete notes in class, copying all examples and additional explanations.
c. Take 10 minutes after class to “fix up” the notes to make them understandable and review them.
d. Use notes for studying and doing assignments. Read them before doing assignments.
e. Be an active learner. Ask when you don’t understand; respond when asked.
3. Complete assigned homework on time, not just when it is collected.
a. Complete as instructed in class; show all steps as taught; and do all the problems assigned.
b. Organize homework in a notebook with sections - stapled, labeled and ready to hand in.
c. Review homework when studying for tests.
d. Ask for help on problems that you didn’t get correct or don’t understand.
e. Check answers in the back of the book for correctness.
4. Use instructor office hours, the Math Center and peer tutoring for learning support.
a. Use instructor’s office hours posted on the syllabus and announced in class.
b. Come to the Math Center for tutoring services by instructors and math lab assistants.
c. Sign up for a peer tutor to meet regularly one-to-one once or twice a week.
5. Attend class regularly, having previewed content in text.
a. Contact your instructor when absent.
b. Be on time and stay for the whole class.
c. Be courteous to and respectful of classmates and instructors during class.
6. Prepare for tests throughout the semester by regularly reviewing, not just before a test.
a. Review quizzes, homework, and notes, and do assigned review problems.
b. Anticipate and prepare for unannounced quizzes.
c. Get help on and rework problems you had difficulty with.
d. Maximize your learning potential using flashcards and creating acronyms or diagrams.
e. Study to the point of recall (be able to define and explain concepts and procedures).
f. Get a good night’s sleep and eat a nutritious meal before a test.
7. Use time wisely when taking tests.
a. Read questions carefully and follow written and oral instructions.
b. Take 10 deep abdominal breaths to help release tension and enhance your focus.
c. Scan the test to plan your test time according to question difficulty and point value.
d. Do the problems you know well first; don’t spend too much time on any one problem.
e. Proofread your completed test to detect errors if you have extra time.
8. Schedule adequate “math time” during the week at regular intervals.
a. Take short breaks every 45-60 minutes to make your study time more effective.
b. Manage you time well to balance school, work, and leisure.
c. Stay current on homework. Catching up once behind is very difficult.
9. Read and retain the syllabus to reference the course grading, policies and expectations.
10. Learn how math fits into your educational, life and career goals.
a. Continue in your math sequence until you have reached your goal.
b. Strive for grades of “A” or “B” to increase the likelihood of success in the next course.
c. Strive to possess high moral and ethical standards both academically and personally.
“Inch by inch math’s a cinch. Yard by yard it’s very hard.”