Only 36% of first-year students are prepared for university-level mathematics.
This means that the majority-64% are ill-equipped for college mathematics and will struggle through their course work and exams.
The Organization for Economic Corporation and Development program for International Student Assessment found that the US ranks relatively lower in math comprehension.
While there are many reasons for this, it’s not all doom and gloom. Indeed with some effort foresight and commitment, there are things you can do to improve your math grades in college gradually.
Are you curious to find out what to do to perform better in math? Here are some tips and tricks to get you on the right track.
1. Do all Your Homework
Some students view homework as a choice. This is a mistake. Instead, see it as an integral part of your coursework.
Homework is necessary because it helps you put concepts into practice. This, in turn, enables you to internalize what you learn in class.
Set up a regular, consistent schedule where you settle down without distractions and complete your homework to the best of your ability. The more you do this, the quicker it becomes a habit, and the more your grades will benefit.
2. Accumulate High Points Before Exams
The college has a series of assignments and continuous assessment tests. These then contribute a percentage of your cumulative grade at the end of every semester.
If you neglect these and focus on your final exams, you are doing yourself a disservice. When you think about it, exams come with a certain level of unpredictability.
At times even the brightest, well-prepared students suffer from exam anxiety, which can affect their performance.
If you feel overwhelmed and need some help with these, there are tutor that can sit your online classes and tests.
This way, you get to accumulate a high score during the semester to help boost your final exam grade. Visit the site to learn more.
3. Study Systematically
This sounds simple but is instrumental in math’s performance.
All math courses are taught in a standardized sequence to ensure that every topic builds on a subsequent one.
If you can’t understand a topic, resist the urge to skip and move on. While getting stuck might be frustrating, abandoning a challenging topic and moving on to the next one will only create bigger problems.
Whenever you are stuck, try a different book, get extra tutoring, or ask your classmates for help.
4. Work as Many Problems as Possible
You learn math by doing. And it’s through doing that you gain the level of mastery required to be a top-performing math student.
Unlike other theoretical classes, you cannot read through several pages and become an expert in that section. You have to solve problems.
Find a coursebook that has math problems at the end of each section and work through these before moving on to the next section. If you are unable to solve the questions correctly, this is a clear indication that you are not ready to move on to the next section.
Testing yourself regularly like this allows you to acquaint yourself better with concepts and applications, and you will have a much easier time doing the same during your exams.
5. Help Students with Bigger Challenges Than Yours
This might seem counter-intuitive if you are struggling yourself, but it works.
Those that can teach often have a deeper understanding of the content. This is a universal truth. If you are in a study group with individuals that seem to be more having more trouble than you are, take it upon yourself to explain what you know.
The very process of breaking down complex information and rephrasing information to someone else will increase your own understanding.
6. Attend all Classes
Because every lesson builds on the previous one, math classes move fast, and you can quickly fall behind just from cutting a few classes.
Attending all classes means you move at pace with your coursework, and schedule your free time to revise not to learn math topics for the first time.
Attending classes also allows you to flag problem areas and work on them long before your tests. The last thing you want to do is to be struggling to catch up a few days before your exams start.
To perform better, attend your classes, move at pace, and work out problem areas before they snowball into overwhelming ones.
7. Go Beyond the Classroom
It’s not uncommon to attend all classes a do all assignments but still fall short of expectations.
Don’t let this discourage you.
Technology has provided many internet resources to help students study most subjects, including math.
Look up online courses as well as math videos and tutorials to complement textbooks. For visual learners, using videos can be a much more effective learning tool than flipping through pages of text and numerical.
8. Tackle Past Papers
Once you have gone through your coursework and understand the concept in your syllabus well, you can take mock tests.
The best way to do this is by using past exam papers. This is ideal because instructors tend to test the same concepts year after year.
Indeed, by looking at several papers, it’s common to be able to identify specific topics that always make it to the final exam.
If you can tackle these, the chances are that you will perform well in your actual exam as well. For an extra jot of confidence, take the mock exams under exam conditions. You can time yourself and restrict yourself to the time you will have in an actual exam.
Failure to do this can give you a false sense of confidence, which can fall apart and affect your performance once you sit your exam.
Performing well in math takes a combination of things from attendance, practice, building confidence, and accumulating marks over the semester to augment your final grade.
Try and implement as many tips as possible and continuously measure their effectiveness. In time, you can focus on those that seem to be delivering the most results.