Do you seem to understand the set work before the test and then not do well in the test itself? Are you going into your test feeling like you are not going to do well even though you feel that you have prepared well?
HOW do you study for Maths tests? Is there a way to prepare for maths tests and then do well in them?
Yes there is. Its called practice practice and more practice. There really is only one way of getting better results in the things we do. And that is to do the hard yards and practice. If you practice what you have learnt in Maths enough times so that you can easily remember how to do it as well as getting it correct then that is good preparation.
But you don’t want to leave all the practice to the night before the test. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t know it the night before the test then you wont’ know it on the day of the test. So you really need to give yourself plenty of time to get through enough question in your preparation. Anything from 3 to 7 days before the test is a good place to start. Even if you get through the study in the first couple of days you will still have plenty of time up your sleeve to ask any questions.
So the practice is really the main thing. However there are a couple of other key things that need to be done to prepare effectively for maths tests.
1. Being neat and organised in your bookwork
2. always correcting your work as you do it and not at the end of the exercise
3. Setting out your work correctly
4. Asking for help well before the test
Starting with your bookwork. It must be set out correctly and neatly. When you are learning stuff in class copy notes and examples down neatly and accurately. They are your guide for how to do those types of questions. Many students don’t even read their notes and some can’t even read their own notes. Why is it so important to have neat and tidy notes? So you can read them later when you need to!
And part of the neat and tidy aspect of setting out your work is the correcting of it. Many students neglect to correct their work. And in doing so they don’t know whether they can do the problems correctly or not. Some students like to complete the whole exercise before checking any of their answers. This quite often results in an unexpected surprise. All the answers wrong because they were done the wrong way! Sometime also all correct! If you check your answers as you go then you will find out immediately if you are on the right track or not.
Then you can ask for help if you need it.As you do the exercises leading up to the test it is important that you ask questions about the things you are not sure of. Don’t wait until the last couple of days before the test to ask. It is usually too late at this stage to find out and learn a new skill this close to a test. A better way is to make the effort to ask your teacher as unanswered questions or problems with homework come up.
What happens if you can’t get the help in class that you need? What if your teacher is always helping someone else? I know that in class you don’t always get help from your teacher. So you may have to give up some of your own time to get extra help.
If you do these things and do them well then you are doing some of the key things that students who do well at Maths already do. All these little things are important in some way. They all contribute to learning maths in an organised logical way which is how it is learned best.
All of these things need to happen on an ongoing basis from topic to topic. The actual studying for a test is really just practicing questions from all the exercises in the topic you have covered. You need to practice them until you don’t have to look back at similar questions to remember how to do them. If you practice them enough you will know when you know them.
Really studying for a test is just jogging the memory. If your teacher is fair then the questions on the test will be similar to the ones you have already done in the exercises. Nothing too new there for the most part. So if you have understood how to do the questions in the exercises leading up to the test and you practice them enough then there is no reason why you can’t do similar questions in the test and do well in your next test.