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FMCC Math Lab: Math Tips

10 Tips on How to Suceed in Math Class

1. Get a "can do" attitude:

If you can do it in sports, music, dance, etc.; you can do it in math! Try not to let fear or negative experiences turn you off from math.

2. Practice a little math everyday:

It helps you to build up your confidence and move your brain away from the panic button at test time.

3. Attend class full time:

Math is a sequential subject. That means that what you are learning today builds on what you learned yesterday. Even problems based on new math concepts will need some old skills to work them. (Think: Can you work on fractions if you don't know the multiplication tables?)

4. Keep up with the homework:

It sounds simple but your time is limited, you have a job to go to, etc. Think if it this way: No homework = no learning. Homework helps you practice the applications of math concepts. It's like learning how to drive: the longer you practice, the better your driving skills become and the more confidence you will have on the road. If you only read the driver's manual, you'll nenver learn to drive with confidence and skill. We suggest you try some of the unassigned problems for extra practice.

5. Use index cards to study:

Here's how you do it: When studying for a test, make sure you can understand the problems on each math concept as well as work them. Then make the index cards with problems on them. Set a timer and shuffle the cards to mix them up. Start working the problems on each card as it is dealt to yuo. Oh, yeah, hide your textbook! This will simulate a math test-taking experience.

6. Ask questions in class:

Don't be ashamed to ask questions. The instructor WILL NOT make fun of you. In fact, at least one other person may have the same question.

7. Ask questions outside of class:

Okay, so like most people, you don't want to ask questions in class OR you think of a question too late. Well, don't worry!

A. You can go to the instructor's office or send an email...and ask away!

B. You can go to the math lab (located in room 1410). There, you can work on math homework and get help whenever needed. Tutors may sit with you to help you with specific questions. Remember: They are not there to do your homework, but to answer specific questions that you have. The math lab also has computer programs, internet, and videos to help you.

8. Check homework assignments:

Make sure that when you get your graded homework back, you look over what you got right and what you got wrong. Make sure that you figure out why you didn't get the wrong ones right!

9. Pay attention in class:

Math snowballs. If you don't stay alert to the instructor's presentation. you might miss important steps to learning concepts. Remember: Today's information sets the foundation for tomorrow's work.

If you have questions, please ask the instructor. The information you get from classmates may be mathematically wrong! Also, if it isn't related to math, save it for outside the classroom.

10. Read the mathtextbook and study guide:

Yes, there's a reason why we ask you to spend all that money on them. If you look carefully, you will see that your book contains pages with great examples, explanations and definitions of terms. Take advantage of them!

This was modified by Carlton Morman. The original document may be retrieved at: