Studying for Math – What Does It Mean?

A lot of people have told me that they don’t know how to study for math. They read their notes, they read problems, they read the book, but it doesn’t seem to help. This isn’t a big surprise, because studying for math is more like getting ready for a basketball game or for writing an essay, and less like memorizing the bones in the body or the Spanish vocabulary for colors. The best way to study for math is to practice doing math. Reading a problem, or even its solution, just doesn’t compare to the preparation of actually doing the problem. So, what problems should you be doing? Problems where you already know where to find the answers, or better yet, the solutions. These could be previous homework problems that you redo, previous quiz questions that you missed the first time, or an online program that lets you answer multiple choice problems and get immediate feedback. The key is to keep doing problems, and check to make sure that you are doing them correctly. It’s just like riding a bicycle. Reading about it or watching YouTube instructional videos won’t help you, but once you get on a bike, after a few falls and some scrapes, you will be able to ride and won’t ever forget.

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