How to Ace a Math Test

Got a math test coming up?  Of course.  It seems like there’s always a math test, right?  And, you’ve probably been told to study for your math test.  But, just how are you supposed to do that?  It’s not like history or science; acing a math test requires an entirely different form of preparation.  As long as you know how to study (and where you’re losing silly points), you should be ready to go – unless you’ve left it for the last minute.

It’s Not Studying; It’s Practicing

When it comes to math, you can’t just memorize a few facts and consider your studying complete.  That’s because it’s not really a matter of studying.  It’s about practicing for your math test just as you would practice for sports tryouts.  Fortunately, getting that math brain working might just be easier than boosting your physical strength or endurance.

If you want to ace a math test, there are a few things you’ll need to do though.  And, you should be doing them routinely (if not every day).

Pay Attention – Reviewing your homework in class or learning new formulas can be a drag.  But sleeping through it, finishing your English homework or doodling in your notebook means you’ll need to spend more evenings practicing.  Whether you like math or not, it simply doesn’t pay off to do anything but pay attention in class.  Stay awake and engaged by taking notes and asking questions when you don’t understand.

Learn the Formulas – Don’t waste a lot of time memorizing new formulas.  This won’t help you on your test.  Instead, learn how each new formula works.  And, the only way to really do that is to work through each one until you’ve got it down.  (Sorry, but that’s your homework and specifically why you should never copy.)  If you’re at the point where you need to decide which formula to use, even more practice is what’s called for.

Practice, Practice, Practice – Once you know what will be covered on the test, all you need to do is work through each type of problem enough to get answers right every time.  In some cases, you’ll catch on quickly and only need to practice a few questions.  In other cases, you’ll need to practice more.  And, if you’re still not getting it, ask the teacher.  (Just don’t ask on the day of the test; it won’t help even if your teacher is willing to explain it at such a late stage.)

Don’t Lose Silly Points

Students often lose points on math tests for silly reasons – even if they’re super prepared and understand all of the material.  There’s no need for this, especially if you’ve taken the time to practice for your math test.  Silly reasons for losing points include:

Skipping the Directions – Seriously.  If your teacher wants to see the work, and you’ve not read that in the directions, you could be losing partial points or getting entire questions wrong.  It won’t take long to read the directions, and it could mean the difference between an A and a miserable score.

Just Handing Over Your Test – Maybe you don’t have time to check all your work, but try to go through at least one question in each section before handing in your test.  It’s not a waste of time if you’re trying to ace an exam.

Working from Start to End – Some questions and problems are going to be trickier than others.  Don’t lose points by not getting to questions that you could have easily answered.  Work through the test by answering the easier questions first.  If you get stumped at any point, skip that question until you’ve completed everything you can answer.

Need more help practicing?  That’s exactly what we do.  Consider getting a tutor for any subject you struggle with – or for test prep.  You could be acing everything.