Have you ever asked your child, “Did you study for the math test?” If your answer is “yes”, you may need to redirect your question. While it may be semantics, the key part of preparing for a math test is practice.
The top reasons students have errors on math tests
· Not reading instructions thoroughly
· Handwriting is Illegible or unclear- Errors in handwriting can come from rushing through the problems and not writing neatly on homework.
· Not practicing- not completing homework
· Making simple errors in basic math- addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
· Misunderstanding the math terminology
Knowing where the errors are can help with getting a better score on the next math test. Beyond knowing the errors, there are things that can be done to practice for the next math test.
· Brush up on basic math facts. Being able to answer quickly and correctly on basic math can make solving more complex problems easier. There are many online and after-school programs designed to help a child become more proficient in basic math facts.
· Be neat when writing- Write neatly when practicing homework and pace yourself. Many times sloppy handwriting can lead to errors while trying to solve the problem. Also, keep the numbers in the correct place (1’s, 10’s, etc.).
· Do the homework! This is the best practice to be proficient in math. Understand which problems are wrong and how to correct. Then, practice them to prepare for the test. Try studying math in a block of time and time yourself (no more than 60 minutes).
· Review the math language and vocabulary for the topic. Knowing the difference between sum, product, and divisor can make navigating math much easier.
· On the day of the test -
o Read the instruction thoroughly- read them twice!
o Jot down any vocabulary or formulas that had to be memorized
o Write clearly and neatly!
o Relax and pace yourself.
o Navigate difficulty - If you get to a difficult problem, do as much as you can , then move to the next question. If time permits you can come back to it.
· Once the test is graded, review any errors for understanding.
Math can be difficult because each topic builds on previous topics that should have been learned. That is why it is so crucial to understand errors on previous homework, topics, and test, because misunderstandings can lead to more difficulty as the next topic begins. However, if a student becomes aware of their errors and practices, they will flourish and be successful on their next math test.