How to Get a Good Grade on a Math Test

Many students find that math is the hardest subject in school probably because you learn a lot of things in a small amount of time, and because numbers are "another language" and your horizons on this language are constantly expanding.

Some simple steps for improving your grade in Math are written below, so read on!


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    Go to class. While you can get away with skipping class in some subjects, math is like a ladder. If a rung is missing, or if you don't get a good grip on it, you'll struggle to reach the next rung. If enough rungs are missing, it will be impossible to climb higher. In addition, teachers often emphasize the most important topics in class, so come test time you'll know exactly what to study.
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    Sit in the front row and participate in class. By sitting in the front row, distractions are minimized and performance heightened. Asking questions or providing answers helps the student to stay engaged in the learning process, this improving attentiveness and retention of materials learned.
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    Do your homework. Homework may seem like torture, but it's really designed to help you learn. The key to learning math is repetition: do enough problems with the quadratic formula, and you'll eventually be able to recite it in your sleep. Plus, as you do your homework, you'll be able to identify concepts you don't understand. It also doesn't hurt that test questions are often based on the homework assignments.
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    Ask questions. OK, so you did your homework, but you still don't understand how to factor a polynomial. Go ahead and ask your teacher, TA, professor--even other students may be able to help. There's no such thing as a stupid question, and if you think it's embarrassing to ask a question imagine how you'll feel when you get a big red "F" on the exam. Everybody has questions about math; successful students ask theirs.
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    Review before the test. Good job! You went to class, did your homework, and got your questions answered. Now, the test is tomorrow. Do you a) breathe a sigh of relief and go to bed; b) turn on the TV and watch The Simpsons; or c) review what you've learned? That's right, it's time to review. This is not the time for cramming, however; you're better prepared than that anyway. Go over your notes, take practice tests, and make sure you have important formulas memorized. Of course, you could just watch The Simpsons, but don't be surprised if your grades turn out more like Bart's than like Lisa's!
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    Relax. Make sure you get a good night's sleep the night before the test. You'll feel better and think more clearly if you're well rested. Right before taking your test, look over the important formulas one last time, but other than that, you're done preparing. Remember, you're ready for this, and no matter what happens it's not the end of the world. I find chewing gum helps - if your school allows it, of course.
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    Pace yourself. Once you have your exam in front of you, look it over to see how many questions there are and what kind of questions are included. This will give you an idea of how much time you can spend on each problem. If you get stuck on a question, move on to the next one and come back later. Sometimes a later question will even jog your memory so that you can answer the one you skipped. Most importantly, don't rush yourself.
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    Pay attention to neatness. Any math teacher will tell you that sloppy work is the test-taker's worst enemy. Even if you know the material cold, a smudged digit here or a forgotten negative sign there can ruin an entire problem. If you make a mistake, use your eraser--that's what it's there for.
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    Check your work. Great, you finished the test with plenty of time. Don't turn it in yet, though! Good test-takers make mistakes all the time, but they find them and fix them before they hand in their exams. I can't stress this enough - you will always find a mistake somewhere. Anyway, depending on what kind of problems you're doing, your teacher will probably give you some hints on how to check your work. In general, though, carefully reread each question and ask yourself if your answers make sense. You still may not get every problem right, but you'll increase your chances of success exponentially. Always verify your answers one or two times after writing exam.Read the question two/three times before writing the exam.Do not make tensions in your mind while writing an exam.This will lead to you forgetting your answers


  • Ask questions even if you're embarrassed! Somebody is bound to have the same question, so ask!
  • Never give up on yourself. Always try your very best.
  • Make sure you know how to work problems without a calculator, and be sure to check your calculated answers for accuracy.
  • Do not rush! If you make a mistake, erase the problem completely.
  • Practice makes perfect. In your private time, periodically solve maths problems. you'd be better at them the more you do.
  • If you are the only one that's left taking the test when everyone else is done, try to finish it on time but don't rush through the test. You might make a mistake when rushing, so take your time.
  • Pace yourself, and don't worry if you are the last to finish. If you rush you will make mistakes and possibly even miss questions.
  • Learn to concentrate and not to cheat.
  • Do not stress, the more you practise, the more you are confident.
  • Practice always helps even when you make mistakes.
  • Go for extra classes or take tutoring sessions. Practice more.
  • Practice early for your maths test, for example practice one or two weeks before the exam and that will give you time to practice math problems everyday.
  • Don't have a melt down if you don't do as well as you hoped. There is always next time to do even better.
  • Don't worry if you can't resolve a problem. Return to your lesson and check it again.
  • Try to study the subject everyday.
  • Ask your teacher if you can get help outside of class sometime if you find that you are falling behind.
  • Don't cheat on your tests. You don't learn anything through cheating, and when caught, your teacher will fail the test. In some cases, cheating can even get you dropped from the class!
  • Look over your test paper if you are done early, that way it's less you won't make mistakes that you didn't suppose to..
  • If you want your grade to be higher, yet it doesn't seem to go up, ask the teacher why and if there is any work to do for extra credit.
  • Focus on the Basics, even the hardest math problem depends on the basics.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Protractor (for geometry)
  • Calculator (if allowed)
  • Paper (if needed)
  • Compass (for geometry)
  • A few pencils (in case one breaks)
  • And of course your math textbook

Article Info

Categories: Surviving Mathematics | Tests and Exams