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Learning Portal -Math: Study Strategies

Study Strategies

Do you have trouble studying for math, or find your lectures or textbook confusing? Perhaps you are finding that the study strategies you have used in your other classes aren’t working as well in your math class. Math is not a subject that can be learned just by listening to a lecture or reading your notes. To excel in math, you must DO math, and be an active participant in the learning process. This module will provide you with several strategies that you can use to improve your math skills.

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Top Tips 

 Create a math "cheat sheet." When reading the textbook or class notes, write the important information on a piece of paper. Use different colours, underlining or boxes to organize the information. This is a convenient way to keep all of the important formulas, theorems, concepts, definitions all on one page!

✓ Fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Math is a subject that builds on itself. If you have gaps in previous knowledge required for the course you are taking, you must learn this material first! For example, in order to do arithmetic operations without a calculator, you must know your multiplication table.

✓ Seek help when you are stuck. You should expect to struggle with some math problems; however, if you’ve spent a fair bit of time on one problem and you’re not getting anywhere, seek help. You can ask a peer, a math coach, or your professor. You can also search the internet.

✓ Recognize math anxiety so you can overcome it. Some students experience anxiety towards mathematics, which can be a real barrier to learning. Fortunately, many students can overcome their math anxiety with proper support. If you believe you have math anxiety, seek help from services such as counselling at your college.


Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the GPRC Learning Commons in June 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution. 

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