Studying math is slightly different than studying for other subjects. Math is a critical thinking course and is learned by actively doing problems. It is very important for students to complete the assigned homework and even extra math problems for practice. Doing homework and practice work helps students learn formulas and techniques they need to know. This also helps improve problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Studying for math begins in the classroom. It is very important for students to take responsibility for studying and being aware of strengths and weaknesses. Attending each class is essential. Not only attending, but becoming an active participant in the classroom, as well as taking notes. Test material is typically covered in class, so it is imperative that students pay attention.
Math is a subject where each class builds on the previous. Students need to make sure they understand the material before moving on to the next topic. The amount of time spent on studying is vital. Students should spend as much time as they need to complete all their homework and fully understand the material.
Using problem solving strategies is beneficial to solving math problems. Problem solving strategies include using one or more variable, completing a table, considering a special case, identifying patterns, guessing and testing, drawing pictures or diagrams, making lists, solving simpler related problems, using reasoning, working backward, solving an equation, looking for a formula and using coordinates.
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The best way to solve math problems is to utilize Pólya's four-step process. Understanding the problem entitles identifying which quantity the problem is asking to find or solve. Once the problem is identified, a plan is devised. The plan explains which skills and techniques are necessary to solve the problem. The plan is carried out then reviewed to see if the answer and method seems reasonable.
If a student is still having problems studying regularly, he or she may best benefit from the help of a math tutor. Tutors, including online math tutoring programs, are a great way for a student to receive individual, personalized assistance with difficult subjects. Tutors can provide the needed assistance and show students how the complete a problem through each step.
Dennis McLynn is the Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Business Development for High Points Learning. HighPoints Learning (HPL) is a leader in Web-based math education and instruction. HPL offers an online math tutoring program that helps raise participants' math scores an average of 15 points in pre and post testing. HighPoints Learning services the 3-12 grade market with products and services that include AchieveMath, Achieve HighPoints, and AYP Math.