How to study for a Math Test 1

How To Study For A Math Test:


There are many ways to prepare for a math test. We would like to discuss time-tested techniques for getting an A+ on that next Math test! Are you ready for some techniques that you (or your student) can use to nail the test each and every time? We’ll delve into why you shouldn’t “cram it all in” the night before, and we’ll teach you some of the best strategies and the best places to get your information. Well, let’s dive in to “How to Study for a Math Test”!

How to Study for a Math Test

How to study for a math test

Today, students that are getting into more advanced math classes are putting off studying until the day before an exam. So, why not just cram for the big test, the night before the big test? It’s about 2 things, practice, and retention. Think about this in terms of a runner who’s just signed up to race in a marathon. If this “runner” has only trained the day before the 26.2-mile race, imagine how ready they are for the marathon the next day. First of all, they are probably exhausted from training the day before so vigorously. Secondly, how well do you think they will perform in the race after training for only one day? And more importantly, if they somehow do manage to eek out a “victory”, imagine how well their bodies are really “trained” to really handle that marathon….OR, did they somehow just barely live to survive another day? In Math, knowing that concepts build upon each other, runners, just like test takers must train for the marathon. This is similar to the Math Exam that a student is about to take. A student needs to prepare a few weeks in advance to excel in that math test so that just as important as doing well, the student retains the knowledge they have learned, so that they can build upon those new found skills. Cramming puts the information in SHORT TERM memory, When you cram, you put the information in recall for only a short time . If you cram, the question you have to ask yourself is, are you feeling lucky? Is your short term memory good enough, and will it hold out? Better not take that chance. Better to put that information in long term memory, and have that information forever, by studying over a long period of time, right? Here’s why not to Cram for a test and the benefits of short term vs long term memory.

Now, let’s talk about resources. Generally, a math teacher usually provides a study guide in advance so the students can look over the material and get a good feeling of how the test will be constructed. To prepare for the test a few weeks in advance, a student can look over each section every night before going to bed. This is one of the best guides as to what kind of problems the student should be practicing. Next, the math book is chock fool of problems the student should be practicing. And the student needs to know what type of problems to be working. Homework is a great guide for that.

So, once you know what types of problems you should be doing, let’s talk about doing those problems. Students should of course be doing their homework problems that the teacher assigns. The familiar saying “practice makes perfect” applies to any level of math. If a teacher assigns all the odd problems, why not give yourself more practice by doing a few of the even problems on the difficult problems? Many times textbooks will have formulas in the beginning of the section that a student needs to memorize. This is essential when student are beginning Algebra. Students need to rework example problems that their teacher gives them in class. Just copying down a problem off the board does not mean you understand how to solve the problem. Students need to understand what was done in these example problems, as generally the teacher will change the problems on the test, so students should be able to do any problem like the sample problem, no matter what numbers are in the sample problems. This is why, at night before going to bed, students need to look over the class notes and understand how the teacher solved a problem.

The next step is to make a practice exam for yourself after going over the material on the study guide the teacher gave out. The practice exam should be done approximately two days before the test. If the teacher did not give one out, you can create your own study guide. Generally or you are having trouble creating a practice exam there are two options that I recommend. The first is to go to the end of the chapter is your textbook and take the publisher’s chapter practice test. The second option is to find a study partner and work together. If you are feeling confident and your friend is not, studies show that teaching the material to a friend actually benefits you because you are getting more practice doing the teaching. Learn by Teaching!


Your final steps to earning that A+ on the test is to review the material the day before the test. Before dinner, take about an hour to rework some problems of every type that may be on the test. Review the formulas that will be on the test as well. You have contributed six to eight hours of studying for this math test, what to do now? The night before the test, go do something fun that will relieve your brain from math. Working out or going to play some basketball, just pick something you like that’s physical and gives you some exercise and relieves your brain.

Now it’s the day of the big assessment. First of all, don’t skip breakfast, and eat plenty of carbs and fatty foods the morning of the big day. Many kids skip breakfast the big day and its detrimental to brain function when you’re thinking about food instead of math, your brain is literally starving. Studies show kids who eat breakfast score an average of 17.5% better on mat tests if they’ve eaten breakfast.


That’s almost 2 grades better! So, if you follow nothing else from this post, follow this advice and eat breakfast! All your hard work will pay off when you enter the classroom to take the test. One hour before the test, look over the material one more time and while doing this stay focused. This is the last time you visit the material before taking the assessment. All this studying now has given you confidence to do well on the test. There are multiple ways to study for a test. This has just been a great way for many students. Many times students cram for a test the night before and do poorly on the test. Take advantage a few days before the test and review all the material the teacher has presented you. Math is a subject that you will use the rest of your life. We hope you use these tips to nail your next test. Looking for more resource papers like this? Check out our math resource blog!

About Sam Thompson

I grew up in Fort Mitchell in a great family with and entrepreneurial hard working father, loving mother, and charismatic sister. Went to college and graduate school locally, and took my father's path and started my own business out of graduate school. Besides running my businesses, I love math, spending time with my wife, playing with my 2 sons, my daughter, and being out on the golf course, I love purchasing and rehabbing properties and dabbling in politics. I look forward to traveling someday when the kids grow up, but that wont be for sometime, so I'm enjoying the fast and busy life of little babies, toddlers, and growing businesses.

One thought on “How to study for a Math Test

  • Tylor

    Thought I would read this article in preparations for my calc final Thursday. Is there any way I can skip studying and still get that A+?

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