Developing Good Math Study Habits
1. Meet with instructors before you sign up for classes. Compare your learning style to their instructional styles.
2. Make sure you attend every class. In college, you will find that if you miss a class, you miss a lot!
3. If you do miss a class, ask your instructor for permission to attend another section of the same course or view the videotaped lecture in the Math Lab.
4. Read ahead in the textbook - your text is the main tool you have for learning the material. You need to be able to read the text and understand what you have read. To improve your understanding and learning, recite the concepts and take notes on steps for solving problems.
5. For each chapter, prepare a list of math vocabulary, make an informal outline, and write down questions for the instructor.
6. Use a good math note-taking system:
• Copy all information written on the board.
• Repeat, mentally, each step and try to solve the problems mentally.
• Make note cards to remind yourself of the steps you need to solve various math problems.
7. Set aside time to study math. Choose times when you are most alert and least likely to be distracted. Have distinct starting and stopping times and try to stick to them. When possible, give yourself an hour before class for last minute reviews and an hour after class to make you know how to do the homework.
8. Find a good place to study. Whether it is the library, a desk in your bedroom, or at the kitchen table, find a well-lighted place with minimal distractions where you are likely to remain alert.
9. Prepare to study by having all materials, such as sharpened pencils, paper, calculator, textbook, etc., handy.
10. Maximize study time by eliminating the need to get up and down while studying. Turn off the phone and work away from the computer unless it is needed.
11. Have a study partner that you can call for help. Choose students who are disciplined and motivated and form a study group with them.
12. Take breaks when needed. If you have been studying for thirty minutes or longer, get up and stretch and get some fresh air. If you are frustrated by a concept, walk away for a few minutes, and then return to the material.
13. Get help early in the semester. Schedule time to visit the Math Lab on a regular basis and take full advantage of all the helpful resources available.
• Jot down times of problem solving sessions and SI sessions.
• Make a note of any resources available for your course, such as computer tutorials, CD's and videotapes. Use them!
• For difficult topics, schedule tutoring appointments or watch the videotapes before going to class.
14. Do math everyday. Keep a challenging math problem in mind as you commute to school or go to bed. A great deal of positive energy is generated whenever you "solve" a math problem.