Many students who are struggling with math often have not developed efficient math study habits. Without an understanding of what math study skills work for you, you may find yourself struggling to study at home. Developing effective study habits is easily accomplished by implementing different types of study methods.
As a Colorado Springs math tutor, I am keenly aware of how difficult it is to create good study habits at home. Many of my students approach me with questions like “how can I improve study habits?” or “how can I focus on studying at home?” From my experience taking many math courses and teaching struggling students, I have compiled a comprehensive list of the best study methods I have discovered over the years of tutoring.
Tips and Tricks to Study at Home Effectively
- Repeat Similar Problems
If you find yourself stuck on a particular topic, ask your teacher for additional problems that have the same structure. The more you work through questions that require the same strategy to solve, the quicker you will be able to see how they are structured. Once you understand the foundation of a topic, it is much easier to see where you run into issues or make mistakes.
- Break Down Problems from Your Notes
Most math teachers break down questions into parts. This shows students how each different piece of the process contributes to a solution. Make sure you take thorough notes to utilize this tip. Reviewing your notes and really analyzing each step helps foster a broader comprehension of complicated equations. Rewriting the problem or completing similarly structured problems also reinforces this habit.
- Explain a Problem to Someone Else
If you cannot figure out how to break a problem down, but still slightly know how to solve it, try explaining your process to someone else. This trick works best if the person you choose has no idea what you are studying. Their lack of knowledge forces you to simplify the concepts. Feel free to reference your notes and textbook as you explain. By repeating the information in a new way, you may stumble across the area that had you stuck in the first place.
- Try Solving Questions Different Ways
In many cases, math problems can be solved different ways. This depends upon the complexity, but generally, a student can find various paths to achieve the same result. If you are working through the material and find that the method of one step stops you from completing the equation, try something new. This is a great opportunity to reach out to fellow classmates or a tutor to see how they solve problems.
- Review and Compare Notes with Classmates
Speaking of classmates, everyone takes notes differently. By comparing notes on a question you are struggling with, you may be able to find a new way to tackle an equation. Have your companion explain their notes and show you a few examples. From here, you can implement their strategies on troublesome problems. In many cases, having a fresh perspective will allow you to see where you were getting stuck.
- Make Flashcards
The last and certainly not least skill is to make flashcards. The act of repetitively writing an equation, referencing it, and recalling it solidifies knowledge. After you finished documenting each problem on its own card, test yourself. Keep track of what information you struggle with. Run through the cards multiples times, but make sure that you take your time. Once you feel confidant, have someone else test your skills.
Customized Math Study Skills | Costa Comprehensive Tutoring
Proficiency in math starts with repetition and practice. If you need help developing effective study habits, Costa Comprehseive Tutoring is ready to help. As a math tutor in Colorado Springs, I love helping students feel confident in their skills by creating customized study plans, providing educational resources, and offering 24/7 support. Start achieving your math goals and book your session today!