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10 Math Tips to Prevent Falling Behind in Math

When it comes to learning, not every student learns at the same pace. When it comes to learning math, students who need more time to understand a concept often fall behind, and they fall behind quickly.

Math learning is cumulative, meaning that each new concept requires a solid understanding of the concepts that were learned before.

When it’s time for a new unit and there’s still confusion about the current one, how can students prevent themselves from falling behind?

These 10 Math Tips can Help Students Prevent Falling Behind.

  1. Get ready to learn: Just like stretching before exercising, math is easier if your brain is ready for it. Do a few fun brain teasers before sitting down to complete homework or before studying for a test.
  2. Ask in Class: Unsure? Just ask. Not speaking up, then not being able to complete the math homework can put students behind. While in class, listen to other students’ questions as well as they may help you understand better.
  3. Slow Down: Math is not a race! Take time to understand, complete, and double check your work. Slowing down lessens the chances of making silly mistakes or of scribbling answers that the teacher can’t read.
  4. Know Your Textbook: The textbook is a great reference guide. Review chapters BEFORE entering class to prep the brain for the new lesson, and to get a head start on seeing how new material connects to previous material.
  5. Understand the Method & the Process: Knowing formulas is important, but so is knowing how and when to use them. Take the time to understand the principles behind the formulas to truly understand math concepts.
  6. Do The Homework: Even if a a concept/skill is clearly understood, doing all the assigned homework can help make the concept really stick. Imagine the questions as practice test questions: when they are completed correctly during homework, chances are better that they will be answered correctly at test time.
  7. Get some exercise before math homework. Studies show that light exercise increases blood flow and improves mental clarity and ability to concentrate, which is exactly the state you want your brain in before doing homework. So, go for a walk before hitting the books and maximize  both your headspace and your homework efforts.
  8. Practice, Practice, Practice: Concept still fuzzy even after doing math homework? Find some additional resources online. Getting the right answer is only important if you also understand HOW you got the right answer.
  9. Analyze Your Errors: When homework and tests are returned, take the time to go over any wrong answers. Figure out where you went wrong and do a few practice questions. Ask the teacher if you need help figuring out your missteps.
  10. Don’t Stress: If you’re struggling with a question or concept, set it aside, take a break, and return to it later.  Make a note of the problem and wait to ask your teacher the next day. Struggling with a problem that you can’t answer will only increase frustration and cause unnecessary stress.



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