As high school students you must have all looked forward to entering college and leaving your nests.
The word “college” has always been equated with freedom, growing up and unsupervised fun.
But now that you are in college, I am sure you all know college is much more than just what the movies told us!
Not only are you frequently bombarded by numerous lectures, assignments and projects, you have to maintain an active co-curricular life. And the icing on this not so appetizing cake is that you have to deal with quizzes, tests and exams on a regular basis too! Suffice to say, the movies get everything wrong about college life!
As a former student, I understand the dilemma a student goes through while preparing for the various forms of assessment tests and exam their professors throw their way.
So today I will be helping you to figure out how you can effectively prepare for your upcoming math exam! Mathematics is among the most feared subjects of all. And if you are a student who has opted for this subject for your major then you are in for a long and tasking journey. But believe me, it will be quite rewarding too!
So, let us tighten our seatbelts and begin this journey!
- Forming a blueprint for everything you plan to do!
No matter how much you think about doing something, you might forget about it sooner than later. So, if you are one of the people who forms their plan mentally, you will acknowledge that you forget a step or two every now and then. To get over this problem, form a blueprint of your plan! This might seem like a tedious task but believe me it does pay off in the end.
This blueprint of yours will help you outline everything you need to be doing before your exam while also acting as a checklist. This method of formalizing your plan will help you maintain accountability to your goals!
There are a number of ways you can make this plan. Some of them are as follows:
- Going the old school way
Grab a notepad and a pen and start with your planning right away just like your grandparents do before going on a trip! This might seem old school but it’s as effective as any other way I will be listing here! You can pin up this plan on your study table which will help you stay on track of your plan. The only downside to this way of making a plan is that you might not be able to make frequent changes in it without making it a messy affair.
- Use an app to track your activities
This might be more up the ally of the new generation! There are a number of apps which will help you make plans on the go and make changes as per your needs. Most of the smartphones come preinstalled with such apps. They also provide you with reminders and alarms to encourage you to finish your targets for the stipulated time period! A popular app for such purposes can be downloaded.
- Sign up for a study planner
A simple search on the internet will yield multiple websites which will help you in planning out your study sessions at a minimal cost. They help you plan out your weekly or daily targets in such a manner that you can comfortably reach your goals before your exam. They also provide multiple plans to suit your comfort while also encouraging you to use their study resources online!
- Taking notes while in class
Since our high school days we have been taught about how we should be taking notes before exams to help us study for them. The notes are encouraged because it helps to study in a concise and summarized manner. It also helps us to retain things in the long run with the help of flashcards and frequent revision. Instead of devoting a block of time before your exams to make these notes, it’s advisable to it before that! And the best time to do it is while you are still in class.
In all your college lectures, it is a common sight to see the students staring blankly or just idling their time away. So, the best way to make the most of this time is to take notes while your professor is teaching you. Not only will it renew your interest in the topic, it will also save your time for the long run.
There are a number of tested and tried methods when it comes to taking notes. So today we will discuss the best ones from among them!
- Outline Method
This is a pretty popular method among students owing to its simplicity. Under the outline method you create a summarized version of the topics covered in a chapter. It is easy and less time consuming while helping you understand the flow of topics in a class. But this can be an effective method only if the class takes places in a structured manner. As this will ensure that the notes you take is in tandem with the original text or reference book.
- Cornell Method
This is method which owes its origin to the Cornell University. In this method, you divide your notebook’s page into 4 sections:
- First Section –
In this section you need to mention the title and date of the class/lecture.
- Second Section –
This section comprises of 30% of the left hand side of the page. Here you are supposed to write down the keywords which will help you revise them late on. Any questions that may arise in class or while revision can also be included here for clarification.
- Third Section-
The third section is the 70% of the page on the right hand side which will help you take notes as there are dictated in class.
- Fourth Section-
The fourth and final section of the page will consist of the summary of the notes you have taken in the particular class. This will again help you in revising its content when you are in the final leg of your preparation for your exam!
- The Charting Method
In case of topics related to multiple subsections or statistics, the Charting Method helps to understand the various pros and cons of each topic in a table format. It also saves you time when taking down notes along with serving as a quick revision chart!
- Form a study group
College is an important phase off your life where you are encouraged to bond with your peer to make long lasting friendships. So, the best way to do this is tackling your ever growing mountain of assignments and exams together! Forming a study group will help you to form a bond beyond just partying and hanging out with your classmates. This can be especially beneficial if you are studying for your upcoming Mathematics exam!
The advantages of forming a Mathematics group study are:
- Helps you put an end to procrastination
Mathematics is a topic which due to its challenging nature is often avoided and ignored. Thus, it is often the cause of most of your procrastination by joining a group study you will be able to combat this effectively. Being with your peers will help you feel competitive and this will push you to finally open your book!
- Getting out of own comfort zone
Often times we find that while we are self-studying we overlook our mistakes or put them off for the future. And it is a human nature to forget things with time. Thus, we are left with our unsolved mistakes and errors. When you become a part of a group it is natural that eventually someone will encounter a similar if not the same problem. In this way your own doubts and mistakes will be solved too! This is one of the best reasons why you should join a study group while studying Mathematics!
- Improving your communication skills
Studying alone can be pretty lonely and sometimes depressing too. If you have been studying alone for quite some time then it is natural to crave human contact. Being a part of study groups provide you the needed contact and encouragement to study hard. In the long run it helps you form bonds and helps in networking for the future. So be sure to find a group of your classmates to help you in your assignments and projects. This will definitely pay off in the long term!
- Revision, revision and more revision!
Revision is an essential step to recalling everything after having learnt it. This is therefore an important step in your study process. To make the most of this habit, you should start sooner than later!
- Revise after class
The best time to start revising is when you come back from class. This is the first step to do so and you should be regular at it. This will help you recall everything you have learnt in class. By doing this it will be easier for you to understand the next class and so on. It will also help you to establish continuity between lectures. As a student of Mathematics it is of utmost importance that you do all your homework and assignments in a timely manner.
- Make use of flashcards and summaries
Do remember to make flashcards and summaries while you are studying. By doing this you will save time and simplify your studying mechanism. Right before your exam it is easier to go through these flashcards rather than reading your extensive class notes. These flashcards will help you cover more topics in a short period of time. Hence, this is the most preferred way to revise right before your exam.
- Go through the examples
Before your Mathematics exam remember to go through the examples your professor made you study in class. These examples will help you understand the concept in a simple and easy manner. They will also help you understand the preferred methodology of your professor to solve a particular problem. While you are studying for your exam always mark the questions which you found challenging and right before your exam ensure to go through these questions too!
- Tips for the night right before the exam
Now that we are done studying and revising, we have arrived at a crucial point of time. The time right before your exam is of great importance due to the fact that you might either be too tired or stressed out to remember things before the exam. So here we are with a few tips to help you get over your nerves!
- Eat a nourishing but light meal before the exam
Be it your lunch or dinner, eat a meal which is nourishing and light. It is common to be nervous before an exam which makes it difficult to eat anything. But it is definitely advised to have a filled stomach rather than an empty one before you sit to take the exam. As this will ensure that you don’t feel faint or fall sick due to lack of food.
- Sleep well the night before you sit to take the exam
Few students love to boast about the amount of sleep they have been sacrificing leading up to an exam. This may seem like they are putting all their time and effort into studying for the test. But in reality they are just setting themselves up for unwarranted stress and fatigue, which will severely impact their exam performance. Hence it is always advised to sleep for a minimum of 7 to 8 hours while you are preparing for an exam.
Jane Adams is a renowned Mathematics expert in the field of academics. She is known for her prowess as a professor and educator for the past few decades. She has been instrumental in coaching and guiding her students as well as her peers to success in various fields related to Mathematics and Statistics.