Exam-taking does not come easy to many people. The experience is often stressful, and it can cause panic in those who feel they are inadequately prepared. Getting ready for a math exam should not only include regular study sessions, but should also focus on personal health and well-being to ensure the exam-taker is in top shape when the day arrives. Seeking help for areas of difficulty is also important. As you sit for your exam, you should feel confident you've done all you can to earn a high grade.
Set up a study schedule and stick to it. Begin your schedule several weeks before your math exam, so you have time to identify areas in which you have trouble. Choose a schedule that provides for regular work but does not require so much attention that you become burnt out.
Work through classroom and homework problems and practice tests. This is particularly useful if you are preparing to take a standardized assessment. Practice tests will familiarize you with the kinds of questions that will be on the exam and will get you used to writing under time pressure. Working through problems will increase your skill at solving them.
Attend review sessions with teaching assistants and instructors. Ask questions whenever you are confused. Bring the problems you've been working on to the review sessions and discuss any challenges with your instructor. Focus on problems where you consistently arrive at the incorrect answer and can't identify the reason.
Memorize the key formulas you will need for your exam. Write down the information in numbers and mathematical symbols, but speak it aloud and memorize it using words. Commit "Pi equals three point one four" instead of "Pi = 3.14" to memory. Many people have more difficulty memorizing figures, and your memory may turn 3.14 into 3.41 if you do not focus on the words attached to the numbers.
Take care of your physical and emotional health in the weeks leading up to the exam. Eat healthy food and take steps to reduce stress. The night before the exam, sleep a full night's rest and arrive on time for the exam. As the test begins, be calm and breathe deeply if you feel yourself become anxious.
Start with problems you can solve easily when you take the exam. Make sure your work is in the place designated, so you receive full credit for your work.
Catherine Lovering has written about business, tax, careers and pets since 2006. Lovering holds a B.A. (political science), LL.B. (law) and LL.L. (civil law).