Math can be a challenging subject to study alone. As a student, you will come to realize that we all have different study habits; some study habits can elevate your learning experience while others can bring you down.
In this article, we will explore a few detrimental study habits and teach you how to overcome them. We will also explore a few productive habits that you could potentially employ to improve your study experience and get better at math.
Procrastination is one of the biggest hurdles students face that prevents them from achieving their study goals. To beat procrastination, you have to admit your failure; once you do that, you need to set achievable study goals. For example, if you set aside time to go over your math homework, you must stick to your schedule. Spend at least two hours going over your math exercises and notes and practice solving a few problems. Also, it doesn’t hurt to spend time exploring topics that you will soon cover in your next class. Staying ahead of the game in your study plan will put you at ease when the topic is covered in class.
- Time Management
As a student, you have to set a specific time to study; one of the biggest mistakes students make is studying only when they want to. Which means time-wasting or other activities could easily take precedence. Time-blocking is the simplest and most effective way to manage your time successfully. You will need to have a hardcopy or digital planner to schedule your time accordingly in order to achieve your study goals effectively.
- Avoid Distractions
Studying requires self-discipline; this involves much more than staying put in a quiet room. Distractions can appear out of nowhere; for example, turning off your phone or putting it on airplane mode can enhance your study experience. It will help you avoid looking at apps, social media, emails, and texts from friends. If you are using a computer to study, several apps for Mac and PC can help you focus on what you are working on and silence distractions.
Another distraction is listening to music; many people like to play music on their headphones or in the background while studying. Research by Psychology Today has shown that music doesn’t help people learn new or complex concepts. Music and especially songs with lyrics consume processing space, particularly when you are trying to concentrate.
- Not Asking for Help
Another challenge students face when it comes to overcoming unproductive study habits is not asking for help. Your teacher is the best source of assistance; if you are afraid to approach him, you will make that a pattern. Remember your teachers are there for you; they want to help you succeed. They know what material needs to be taught and how to go about learning it.
If you are afraid to approach your teacher, come prepared to class with the notes you want to discuss. Listen and work along with him as he goes through the explanation. Take notes while he is explaining, and keep your notes clear and concise to make the best out of your time and your teacher’s time. You can also seek help from an online math tutor to improve your study experience.
- Not Learning from Mistakes
When you get feedback on a quiz, homework, or in-class exercise, look at the problems or equations you made errors in and highlight them. For example, if you made a slight mistake in one of the steps when solving an equation, go over it once more and try looking at the examples to fix it. Look at the gaps in your knowledge and work on them. Many students immediately throw away old tests, quizzes, and assignments; if you fail to keep them, you might lose out on a practical and resourceful revision resource.
- Missing Classes
If you make missing math classes a habit because you are not interested in the subject, you risk falling back on it and eventually failing. Missing class is a burdensome experience for students; you will spend a lot of time copying notes and asking classmates for the material you have missed. If you regularly attend classes, you will be in the loop and better equipped to handle upcoming challenges, even if you find math challenging. Skipping classes regularly will hold you back; you will need to read and relearn the lesson alone, making it harder for you to get good grades.
- Not Making an Outline
If you are not making an outline, you risk missing a few topics to include in your revision and falling back on getting the grades you want. On the other hand, making an outline keeps your ideas organized and helps you study material efficiently, especially when covering large amounts of information.
In math, there is often more than one way to solve an equation; when you write down the steps of what you are doing, you will remember it better. Once you are comfortable with a certain method of solving a problem, write it down. Pay close attention to the direction for completing an exercise in your textbook. It is vital to differentiate between key terms such as simplify and solve. For example, an equation might be given, and you might be asked to specify what type of equation it is not to solve it.
Other productive strategies include forming a study group, using auxiliary materials like the student study guide, and practicing reviews and exercises at the back of your textbook. Using the solutions guide is helpful, especially when you run into trouble when doing your homework.
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