Article Summary: "Taking a math test is never an easy venture because math
can be a difficult and complex subject. But most students do poorly on math
tests not so much because the material is too difficult to understand as
much as the student's study habits are poor."
Taking a math test is never an easy venture because math can be a difficult and complex subject. But most students do poorly on math tests not so much because the material is too difficult to understand as much as the student's study habits are poor. That is to say, poor test preparation is often the reason for underperformance. Of course, through reversing a number of common math test preparation mistakes the ability to perform better can be achieved. Here is a look at the ten most common mistakes to avoid when taking a math test.
Studying at the last minute. Waiting until the night before the test to study is often a recipe for disaster as it leaves you with far too little time to study properly. Plus, if it turns out you need extra time in order to properly prepare…you are out of luck!
Studying for too long a stretch. There is only so much you can mentally and physically stand and forcing yourself to study for an extended period of time is self defeating. Instead, it is far better to break up your study time into shorter periods (say a half hour each) throughout the day.
Reading test material without practicing it. When it comes to math you have to actually work out the problems in order to become proficient. Math is not a course like history where you can simply read from the textbook. Math requires practice.
Studying haphazardly. What structure do you apply to your study session? If you try to study without any structure you may find yourself totally under-prepared when test time arrives. As such, a solid study plan should be devised and followed. Also, it is critical to be productive when you study and not waste time or cut it short. Such an attitude will prove self defeating.
Taking an "I got it" attitude. In other words, do not get too confident in your supposed knowledge of the material. People use this attitude as an excuse to study less and it is a bad idea. Believing that you have solid knowledge of the material when you don't will eventually bring a solid dose of unwelcome reality.
Not taking advantage of resources. If you have access to study groups, extra help sessions or even a private tutor you should utilize these resources as they will dramatically increase the chances of performing well. Sometimes you really shouldn't go it alone particularly when certain partnerships can lead to higher scores.
Not identifying or concentrating on weaknesses. If there is a particular area that you are weak on then it becomes important to invest time in this area the most. Yes, this can be a little difficult to do at times but the end result is your weak points will not longer be weak.
Incomplete study materials. This is a close cousin of haphazard preparation. When you sit down to study be sure you have everything you need. This means in addition to your notebook and text book you should review prior homework, old tests and quizzes, handouts and anything else that may be part of the class work. By comprehensively studying all classroom material you will undoubtedly
Be sure to have adequate sleep. Staying up all night to cram will leave you mopey, dopey and sleepy when test time arrives. That hardly sounds like the way to boost peak performance.
Not knowing what is on the test. This little item was saved until last because it the easiest to avoid but many people make this fundamental mistake. If the test is on Chapter 4 then you shouldn't be studying Chapter 9!