A male student with short brown hair crosses his arms behind his head and contemplates a math problem at the blackboard in his classroom.

Math Study Tips

What is the Best Way to Study Math?

Your success in a college Math class depends on how you study. If you follow these these Math study tips, your grades are likely to improve. 

  1. Study outside of class regularly.
    • Work on your Math homework or study your Math every day.
    • Study your Math at least two hours for each hour in the classroom. For example, a four unit class will require at least 8 hours of study per week. 
  2. Read your textbooks. See reading Math textbooks for details. 
  3. Get good at taking notes class. See note-taking for more details. 
  4. Make summary sheets.
    • Make a list of important theorems.
    • Make a list of important properties and formulas.
    • Make a list of important vocabulary words.
    • Make a list of the important course objectives for each unit in the course (usually a section or chapter of the textbook).
    • Review these lists every day. 
  5. Practice all problems until you have mastered the ability to solve and check them. 
  6. Be aware of what topics you know well, which topics need more practice and which topics you don't know at all. 
  7. Continually review: Review material from the beginning of the semester throughout the entire semester. 
  8. Do your Math homework before homework in other subjects. 
    • You will be working when your mind is sharpest.
    • If you get stuck on a problem, you can revisit it later.
    • You have time to get help on problems that you have no idea about. 
  9. Take study breaks. 
    • After a period of concentration, take a break for relaxation or to work on other subjects.
    • Return to problems that you could not complete previously. 
  10. Make use of campus resources.
  11. Study in the right environment. 
    • Quiet. You need to be able to think deeply to learn Mathematics. A noisey environment creates obstacles to your concentration and create distractions to focusing on the problems at hand.
    • Well-supplied. Have plenty of scratch paper, graph paper, pencils and erasers handy. Colored pencils are also useful. A scientific calculator is also useful.
    • Well-lit. Make sure there is good lighting while reading and studying. 
    • Study groups. If you are the type of person who learns well in a social environment, try joining or forming a study group.