Study Tips

We know math is not everyone’s favorite subject. Here are some tips to help you get through.

Prepare.

Before class, briefly preview the text material that will be covered in the lecture. Get an overview of the material by reading the section headings, diagrams or graphs and any introductory or summary passages. Make note of new terms, theorems and formulas. The purpose of this preparation is not to understand the material, but to get a general idea of what is ahead. It should not take much of your time, but it will help you to better understand the material as you see it in class.

Take thorough notes.

While one should do their best to write down everything the instructor writes down, this is just the start. When taking notes in class, you should be listening actively; intending to learn as you go. Write down any explanatory remarks, including: why a certain approach was used, any specific conditions to a problem, all pictures or graphs.

Even if you understand a problem, write down every step. You may find yourself confused later on and need those notes.

If you are unable to catch everything, or don't understand a topic, be sure to write down as much as you can. Leave space in your notes to fill in anc clarify later.

Supplement your notes.

As soon as possible after class you should review, summarize and edit your notes. Use your textbook to supplement or clarify what was covered. Note any links, either similarities or differences, to previous material.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

When learning math, it is always best to learn by doing; there is no substitute. The majority of your study time should be spent either working or studying problems. You should do your best to understand the concepts involved in a particular problem before you attempt to solve it. However, the act of working through multiple examples of the same type of problem will increase your overall understanding of the concepts involved.

Don't Hesitate.

Whenever you get stuck, don't hesitate to ask for help. Your instructor and the team of tutors in the Math Center are here to help.