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How to Study Math. By Tara L. Davis 2008. Inspired by C. Doherty and A. Smith 2003 Math and Problem Solving Skills Powerpoint .

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how to study math

How to Study Math

By Tara L. Davis 2008

Inspired by C. Doherty and A. Smith 2003

Math and Problem Solving Skills Powerpoint

For use with Math Behaviors Checklist and Math Study Skills Inventory Assessments Images used for educational purposes only.

try and try again
Try and Try Again
  • If you haven’t done so take the following assessments:
    • Math Behaviors Checklist
    • Math Study Skills Inventory
practice makes perfect
Practice Makes Perfect
  • Math is a skill that must be practiced, so always use the same general study tips as for any other class!
  • Don’t miss any classes – catching up is difficult especially if you’ve had trouble with the subject in the past.
  • Do homework and practice even if it is not required to turn in.
  • Read ahead. Even though you may not understand everything.
homework helps
Homework Helps
  • Clearly mark incorrect homework problems and try to figure out where you made the error.
  • Attempt all homework problems EVEN IF you get the wrong answer or can only do half the problem. You’ll be surprised at the number of times you are on the right track.
  • Don’t rely on your calculator to do your thinking for you. A calculator is a great tool, but it is not as smart as you are.
homework helps1

It’s okay to count on your fingers.

Homework Helps
  • Don’t rush through your homework.
  • Do your math homework a little at a time, if you need to, in between other studies so that you aren’t overwhelmed.
  • Do math homework every day and study everyday. The more you review the less time you will spend studying overall.
  • If you find certain sections too easy, then challenge yourself and find a harder problem to work on to be sure you can do it.
try and try again1

Here it is!

Try and Try Again
  • Don’t skip a problem just because it is difficult. You’ll learn more by doing it wrong than not doing it at all.
  • Review and practice often. Sometimes things will “click” and sometimes you must do many problems before you “get it”.
  • Having the basic skills is the key to doing more difficult problems. They may have more steps, but they follow the same rules.
  • Accept the fact that you will make mistakes and to succeed you must work at it.
be awake and aware

Hmm…Think the math…be the math…Yes! Got it!!

Daydream Destroyer 5.0


Be Awake and Aware
  • Don’t let yourself “zone out” when studying or doing homework
    • Work in short bursts
    • Take a break and have a snack
    • Stand up and move around
    • Use your note cards for a memory game
    • Work with plenty of light
    • Be comfortable but not so comfortable you fall asleep!
be awake and aware1


Daydream Destroyer 5.0

Be Awake and Aware
  • If you are in class and feel a “zone out”
    • Stretch and take a deep, cleansing breath
    • Remind yourself to focus and sit up straight
    • Chew gum, have a mint, or piece of hard candy
    • Sit closer to the front, so you will be less tempted to doze
confidence and common sense
Confidence and Common Sense
  • Be confident, but not over-confident.
    • No matter what you think you know, there will be small things that you will miss if you rush and don’t check your work or avoid homework altogether.
  • There may be deadlines and due dates, but you may need to spend extra time after that to learn concepts you find difficult until you master them.
  • Think about the lesson and ask yourself questions about each problem. Knowing what the answer isn’t is also important!
seek out help
Seek Out Help
  • If a topic is giving you trouble, do extra problems and write down questions for the instructor.
  • Get help as soon as you need it, don’t wait.
  • Use the free tutoring services at the math center
  • Form a study group; talking about a topic helps recall.

Foxtrot by Bill Amend

  • To avoid burning yourself out, take time to reward yourself with a fun activity after you’ve studied.
  • Don’t forget that humor is a great stress reliever!
related assignments
Related Assignments
  • Lesson: How to Study Math
  • Lesson: Study Skills Matrix
  • Powerpoint: How to Study

Sources from Original Powerpoint Presentation 2003 by C. R. Doherty and A. Smith

  • Study Skills Handbook, Learning Assistance Center, Northern Arizona University
  • Math Anxiety, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Math Power, Professor Freedman’s Math Help-
  • Tips for Making Mathematics Your Friend Tim Grosse.
  • Math Counts
  • Math Academy/ Platonic Realms-
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Mind Tools Problem Solving and Analytical Techniques
  • Reducing math anxiety and study tips, Rogue Community College
  • Oakland Community College

Added Sources for Update 2008 by Tara L. Davis

  • Foxtrot Comics by Bill Amend:
  • Calvin and Hobbes Comics by Bill Waterson:
  • F Minus Comic Tony Carillo:
  • Frank and Ernest Comic bu Bob Thaves:
  • Weapons of Math Destruction Comic:
  • Today’s Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen:
  • GJCalkins:
  • Math Power:
  • King Henry the Eighth:
  • Number Party by Mark Parisi:
  • Daydream Destroyer 5.0 strip adapted from: