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How to Study and Prepare for a Math Test

As a math teacher, one of the questions I get asked the most often is, "What do I need to do to study for this test?" Or, unfortunately, often after someone doesn't do so well on one test, they will ask me, "What can I do to do better on the next test? I really studied for this test and it didn't seem to do much good."

Well, I have some bad news and some good news. The bad news is that there is no "magic bullet" that guarantees that you will do well on any test. There is no recipe that I can give you that guarantees you will ace your next math (or English or history or...) test. However, there are some things you can do to prepare for a test and some tricks you can use when you are taking a test that can greatly improve how well you do on it.

First things first

I don't imagine it will come as a big surprise to anyone that the most important step to doing well on a test is to know the material covered on the test really, really well. This is not something you can take care of the last week (or day or hour) before the test. This is something you have to do all along, throughout the semester. So, for a math course, I suggest you do the following things throughout the semester:

The test starts to loom on the horizon

Well, okay, so you have been a Good Person and done the things I suggest above. However, a test is now coming up shortly. What additional things should/could you do to prepare for it?

The test arrives

So, the day of the test finally arrives. What sorts of things can you do going into the test and during the test to help you be successful on it?

This webpage was created by Marcus McGuff.
It was last updated on January 22, 2016 .