The Best Math Test Taking Strategies

Math tests are some of the most intense academic challenges that a student faces. . Whether it is a multiple choice test or a fill in the blank style exam, the amount of work the student needs to do does not change. Math assessments often require students to show their work, which adds stress to the already stressful test-taking experience.  

I understand the struggle that comes with being a math student, this is one of the main reasons I became a math tutor Colorado Springs. Discovering new mathematical concepts then applying them is the foundation of learning this subject, and it can be hard. With frequent tests and exams, students can feel overwhelmed. By providing both test taking tips for students and math multiple choice test taking strategies, this blog is sure to help prepare you for your next exam! 

How to Improve Test Taking Skills in General

Before a student even begins a test, it is crucial that they hone their existing test taking strategies. Some students prefer to set up personalized ways to prepare for a test, but there are ways to optimize these methods for maximum assistance during an exam.

  • Establish a study schedule. Studying regularly is one of the best ways to solidify information prior to an exam.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The more problems or work a student completes prior to a test leads to better retention. This can be done through regular assignments or with optional/additional work.
  • Ask questions! If a student asks questions on problems they get stuck on, this helps them understand the material better and will lead to more accuracy on the test.

6 Essential Math Test Taking Tips 

Now that basic skills have been honed, below is a list of tips and tricks that help with math exams specifically. Some of the best test taking strategies are the simplest ones! 

  1. Read the directions of every single problem! Do not assume what the question is asking when you can know what it’s asking. Break down the question if you need to. This will help you know exactly what equation you need to use or what direction to go. 
  2. Write out your work for every problem and box or circle your answers. This allows you to see what went right and wrong when the online/paper test is submitted. 
  3. Take your time! Many mistakes occur when you are trying to finish the exam quickly. Prevent these mistakes by not rushing through the test.
  4. Double check your work! Before you submit an answer, look over what you have done thus far to see if you agree with your past self. Do not be afraid to redo problems if necessary (make sure you have the time before redoing any problems).
  5. Skip and then come back to problems you are not sure about (if possible). Sometimes, recalling how to do a certain kind of problem can pop back into your mind if you skip and  return to that problem later. 
  6. Study BEFORE the test! Do not cram! This relates back to honing test taking skills section. If you do not make a habit of studying regularly and rely on last minute cramming, information is less likely to come easily to you when completing an exam. Cramming adds to stress and can lead to unnecessary errors.

Multiple Choice Math Test Taking Strategies

Multiple choice style math exams can be a student’s worst nightmare. Rather than focusing on completing the required work for a problem, they must also balance the answers available to them at the start of each question. In some cases, having many options provided before the student starts the problem can overwhelm and cause doubt in their own work. 

  • Ignore the provided answers.
  • Complete your work for the problem
  • Compare your answer to the selection of answers available.
  • Select the answer that corresponds to the answer you found. If none of the options match your solution, redo the problem.

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By implementing these helpful test taking skills and honing your existing ones, you are sure to achieve great exam scores! All it takes to do well on exams is confidence in your knowledge and implementing helpful tips before and during a test. However, if you find yourself struggling on tests even after these tips, it may be time to consider a tutor. 

Math is hard enough by itself,  but math tests do not have to be! As a Colorado Springs math tutor, I understand how daunting math tests are for students of any level. This is why I specialize in a wide range of math subjects. Whether your middle school student needs help with new math concepts or you are a college student that needs help with Calculus, I have the skills needed to hone those essential math skills. Book your tutoring session today to start improving your studies today!

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