This article was coauthored by Daron Cam. Daron Cam is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Bay Area Tutors, Inc., a San Francisco Bay Areabased tutoring service that provides tutoring in mathematics, science, and overall academic confidence building. Daron has over eight years of teaching math in classrooms and over nine years of oneonone tutoring experience. He teaches all levels of math including calculus, prealgebra, algebra I, geometry, and SAT/ACT math prep. Daron holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and a math teaching credential from St. Mary's College.
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Math is an engaging, rewarding field to study, although it also presents plenty of challenges. If you’re struggling with math—whether in or out of a classroom setting—there are plenty of concrete steps you can take to boost your math abilities. If you’re a student, don’t shy away from asking your instructor for help, and practice good classroom habits like taking notes and asking questions about topics that confuse you. Beyond that, try studying in a distractionfree environment, and review concepts that you’re struggling to understand.
Steps
Method 1
Method 1 of 3:Learning Better in the Classroom
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1Brush up on basic math concepts to help with more difficult ones. Math can be a difficult subject, especially if you don’t have a firm understanding of some of the most basic concepts. More advanced mathematical ideas build on more basic ones, so it is not a bad idea to review concepts and ideas that are a little fuzzy, until they become perfectly clear. For example, brush up on Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.^{[1] X Research source }
 These are crucial parts of math, and having a firm grasp on them will help you out in more advanced fields of math, including algebra and trigonometry.

2Attend every math class to ensure you don’t miss information. It’s tough to get better at math if you skip classes. You’ll miss out on valuable instruction if you’re absent, and your math skills remain stagnant. Math skills and concepts are cumulative, meaning that what you learn during week 5 of the semester will build on what you learned during week 4. But, if you skipped classes during week 4, you’ll almost certainly struggle to pick up the concepts taught in future weeks.^{[2] X Research source }
 If you must miss a class (e.g., if you’re sick), email your teacher and ask what information you missed. Politely ask them if you can make up inclass assignments you missed.
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3Listen closely during class to boost your grasp of math concepts. If you’re a student, focusing and paying close attention to your teacher’s lectures during math class can help you get better in a hurry. Also write down any problems, equations, or figures that the instructor draws on the board. These will be valuable to refer back to if you get stumped while working on math homework outside of class.^{[3] X Research source }
 If you typically sit with a group of friends who whisper or text during class and distract you from what the teacher is saying, move away from them and sit alone near the front of the room.

4Take thorough, detailed notes during math classes. As the teacher speaks, jot down detailed notes in your clearest, best handwriting. It’s very likely that what the teacher is saying is important and is something you should remember that will help you study for tests. Writing down what your instructor is saying will help you understand the ideas, and the notes you take will also be a valuable resource when you’re studying for a test or quiz.^{[4] X Expert Source Daron CamMath Tutor Expert Interview. 29 May 2020. }
 You can take notes either on paper or in a wordprocessing document on your computer. However, if you have a tendency to get distracted on the internet while you’re taking notes with a computer, stick to taking notes on paper.

5Ask your math teacher for help if you’re struggling with the work. If you feel that you don’t have a firm understanding of the math you’re learning, your first step should always be to talk to the teacher. If you’re confused or don’t understand the concepts your teacher is lecturing on, raise your hand and ask a question! In reality, you are probably not the only one confused, and other students will appreciate your question too.^{[5] X Expert Source Daron CamMath Tutor Expert Interview. 29 May 2020. }
 For example, you could say something like, “I’m really struggling with understanding imaginary numbers, and I’ve read the textbook chapter a few times. Could you explain them to me again?”
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:Studying in a More Focused Way
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1Turn off and remove all distractions to increase your focus. While you’re studying math or working on your homework, make your environment as distractionfree as possible. Put the cell phone aside and turn off the TV. Don’t have anything other than your textbook and a calculator on your desk, as you might be tempted to play with the object and lose concentration. If studying with friends distracts you from your work, plan to do your math work alone.^{[6] X Research source }
 If it helps, you could set a timer (say, for 1 hour) and aim to concentrate on the work before you in the time you’ve set aside for it. There will plenty of time for the other things later.

2Read through the mathrelated notes you took during class. Your detailed notes won’t do you much good if you never refer back to them! When you sit down to do your homework or solve a few math problems, take 10–15 minutes to reread the notes you took during the previous math lecture. This will keep the steps you’ll use to solve an equation or calculate a variable fresh in your mind and prevent any potential misunderstandings.^{[7] X Expert Source Daron CamMath Tutor Expert Interview. 29 May 2020. }
 If you’re confused by your notes or can’t read your own handwriting, try rereading the chapter of your math textbook that you’re currently working through. Doing this will help you to understand the mathematical topics you’re currently working on.

3Complete every problem on all of your math assignments. Instead of viewing your math homework as an obligation, look at it as a great way to improve your math skills on your own! To that end, make sure that you do 100% of the problems on each assignment you’re given. If you’re not quite sure how to do an assigned problem or feel like it’s over your head, speak to your teacher after class and ask for their help.^{[8] X Research source }
 If you’d rather not ask the teacher, you could also ask one of your peers or friends how to solve a tricky problem.

4Work additional problems on your own to master difficult topics. Once you are finished with the assigned homework problems, try working a few extra ones in an area of math that you’re struggling to understand. After completing 3–5 extra problems, check your answers against those given in the back of the book. If one of your answers is incorrect, check your work and find where you slipped up. Working extra problems is a great way to improve your math skills!^{[9] X Research source }
 Let’s say you’re studying geometry and are having a hard time rotating and reflecting shapes around axes. Work a few problems that deal with this issue. Start with easy problems and work your way to more difficult ones to help yourself master the issue.

5Break down tough problems into easier, smaller parts. This is a great way to quickly master difficult math concepts that may seem intimidating or impossible at first. Even the most complex math equations are made up of many small, not particularly difficult component steps. Once you figure out what those steps are and how to solve them individually, you’ll be well on your way to correctly solving the larger problem.^{[10] X Expert Source Daron CamMath Tutor Expert Interview. 29 May 2020. }
 For example, say you’re working on a complicated algebra problem that involves dividing 1 variablefilled equation by another. First solve each of the equations above and below the division line, and only then move on to tackling the division.

6Work example problems and check your answer against the given result. If you’re looking to improve your math knowhow but struggling with a specific type of problem, try working a few of the sample equations given in your math textbook. Then, compare your stepbystep process with the book’s. Figure out where you’re making mistakes, and correct the issue.^{[11] X Research source }
 Many math textbooks also give the problemsolving steps and solutions to oddnumbered problems in the back. If you’re struggling with a specific kind of problem, check your steps and answer against what the book provides.

7Figure out why you missed the problems that you solved incorrectly. A great way to improve at math is to learn from your own mistakes. This way, you can improve in the specific areas that you’re weakest in. After each quiz or test is returned to you, take a look at the problems you missed and review your steps to find out where you went wrong. Then, the next time you come across this kind of problem, you can solve it correctly!
 For example, maybe you followed the order of operations incorrectly and forgot to solve equations within parentheses first.
 Do this with your homework, too! Review each assignment after it’s passed back to you and figure out where you went wrong on the problems that you missed.

8Explain tricky concepts to your peers to understand the math better. Teaching a concept to others is a great way to improve your own understanding of it. You’ll be forced to put your math knowledge into words and figure out ways to break large, complicated ideas into smaller, bitesized bits of knowledge. If you get stuck trying to explain something, refer back to the textbook or ask your teacher for help.^{[12] X Research source }
 Say that a friend from your math class is struggling to understand how to use the quadratic equation. Explain it to them as best you can, and solve a couple of problems with them to make sure you both get it.

9Apply math concepts to realworld issues to make them more relatable. Math can sometimes feel a little abstract and seem like it doesn’t tie into the real world. This doesn’t need to be the case, though. Help yourself get better at math by finding ways to tie what you’re learning in with your real life. For example, the Pythagorean Theorem has to do with the ways that shapes of different sizes relate to one another.^{[13] X Research source }
 As another example, think of negative numbers. While they may seem irrelevant when you’re first learning about them, negative numbers are useful in thinking through ideas like financial debt, which is a concept you should understand.
 The mathematical constant “e” also has reallife tieins and it can help you understand mathematical growing processes.
 Ask your teacher to help you come up with some additional ways that you can apply math to realworld issues.

10Work with a tutor for personal instruction and mentoring. If you’re still struggling with math, it might be worth looking into a tutor who can work with you facetoface. Oneonone learning is often beneficial, since the tutor can answer all of your questions and tailor their teaching style to your learning style. The tutor can also explain concepts in ways that make sense to you, and can give you helpful advice to make learning math easier.^{[14] X Research source }
 A lot of colleges and private high schools offer free math tutoring on the campus. Talk with the admin assistant in the math department or with your teacher or to get connected with a tutor.
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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:Prepping for Tests and Exams
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1Plan to study for 3–4 days in advance of an upcoming text or exam. When your teacher says a test is coming up, avoid cramming the night before. Plan to study for about 60 minutes each day to brush up for the test. Reread the book chapters you’ll be tested on and look over your relevant inclass notes to see what mistakes to avoid. If you have time, you could even test yourself with flash cards or form an impromptu study group with your friends.^{[15] X Research source }
 If you find that you’ve forgotten some of the math lessons or are still struggling with a tricky concept, ask for help! The teacher will appreciate your earnestness and won’t mind answering your questions.

2Study in a group of peers to help each other improve at math. Study groups are a great way to prepare for a test and a useful method for improving your math abilities in general. They let you and your peers ask each other questions about topics that confuse you and review material that’s going to appear on an upcoming test or exam. Try studying with flash cards, or working difficult problems together.^{[16] X Research source }
 Keep focused during group study time! If it turns into a social hour, your math skills won’t get any stronger.
 If people start joking around or lose focus, say something like, “Hey guys, I’m glad we’re having a good time, but let’s keep focused on the math we came here to study.”

3Stay calm and focused during tests to do well on them. Many people are anxious or nervous during math tests. Feeling this way can diminish your performance, unfortunately, and can lower your math grade. So, take a deep breath before you go into the classroom to stay calm. If you feel yourself tensing up during the test, stand up, stretch your legs, and take a 2–3 minute break to calm down.
 Also make sure you get a good night’s sleep and eat a full, healthy meal before going in for a math test.
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QuestionCan you become good at math later in life?Daron CamDaron Cam is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Bay Area Tutors, Inc., a San Francisco Bay Areabased tutoring service that provides tutoring in mathematics, science, and overall academic confidence building. Daron has over eight years of teaching math in classrooms and over nine years of oneonone tutoring experience. He teaches all levels of math including calculus, prealgebra, algebra I, geometry, and SAT/ACT math prep. Daron holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and a math teaching credential from St. Mary's College.
Academic Tutor 
QuestionHow can I learn math easily?Daron CamDaron Cam is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Bay Area Tutors, Inc., a San Francisco Bay Areabased tutoring service that provides tutoring in mathematics, science, and overall academic confidence building. Daron has over eight years of teaching math in classrooms and over nine years of oneonone tutoring experience. He teaches all levels of math including calculus, prealgebra, algebra I, geometry, and SAT/ACT math prep. Daron holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and a math teaching credential from St. Mary's College.
Academic TutorMath is one of those classes where each new concept builds on a previous concept. It's not like English class where you don't necessarily need to know about poetry to read to a novel. So if you fall behind in math, it can be kind of hard to catch up. There's nothing necessarily "easy" about this, but math is very rewarding and fun if you're willing to put a little work in! 
QuestionWhat's the best way to prepare for a test?Daron CamDaron Cam is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Bay Area Tutors, Inc., a San Francisco Bay Areabased tutoring service that provides tutoring in mathematics, science, and overall academic confidence building. Daron has over eight years of teaching math in classrooms and over nine years of oneonone tutoring experience. He teaches all levels of math including calculus, prealgebra, algebra I, geometry, and SAT/ACT math prep. Daron holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and a math teaching credential from St. Mary's College.
Academic Tutor 
QuestionWhat do I do if I've done the best I can, but still don't get it right?Community AnswerIf you have a computer at home, go to Khan Academy. This website has many topics, especially math. They have tons of videos on how to do the math. Give it a try and don't give up.

QuestionIf my math grade is a 78 right now, what would be the highest grade I can get?Community AnswerIf you try hard 100 is very possible! Don't get stressed out with low gradesthink of it as a motivation. If you are struggling, don't be afraid to ask for help.

QuestionI've been told I'll get an F in math. What should I do?Community AnswerUse this motivate you to do better. Talk to your teacher about retaking some tests, and if they allow this, study hard. Ask your parents for help, this may include getting a tutor. There are also good math apps and practice sums online. Work harder, stay calm during tests and keep asking for help with both learning and revision. The sooner you take the reins back, the easier math will get for you.

QuestionWhat if I've been trying for a while but nothing is working?Feyisetan OjogeDanielCommunity AnswerPersistence will always pay off. In the areas where you are weakest, ask for help from people who understand the topic more than you do. Ask for help from different people, as sometimes a different way of explaining it will spark understanding. Don't give up.

QuestionHow do I keep myself from being easily distracted?Community AnswerClear your desk of any thing that could distract you. Make sure your environment is quiet or put on quiet background music to drown out noise. Tell anyone you live with to give you some alone time to study and stay away from electronics.

QuestionWhat happens if you don't get what you want even though you've tried the hardest you can do?Community AnswerTry even harder but this time, persevere to find out what it is about the math work you need to learn better. Talk to your teacher about what you're finding hard. Do additional math work  there are plenty of great math apps available to practice with. It may take a while but with determination and practice, you will improve, it may just take longer than you're currently expecting.

QuestionWhat should I do if my dad is pressuring me but I can't do any better?Community AnswerTalk to your dad about how you feel so he can understand you are doing your best. Together, you can come up with a strategy to help you improve your math or thinking skills if needed. Pay attention in class and ask your parents or teacher for help when you need it to show you are trying.
Tips
 Try not to miss school on a day where you have math class. You will miss vital information for upcoming quizzes, tests, and other examinations. If you do miss a math class, email your teacher and ask what you missed.Thanks!
 Neatly write out all of your work on your assignments. That way, if you mess up and give an incorrect answer, your teacher can help you understand where you went wrong. This can help you improve at math by allowing you to learn from your own mistakes.Thanks!
References
 ↑ https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoodminds/mathbasics.html
 ↑ https://www.math.uh.edu/~tomforde/AttendingClass.html
 ↑ https://www.oxfordroyale.co.uk/articles/improveunderperforminggrades.html
 ↑ Daron Cam. Math Tutor. Expert Interview. 29 May 2020.
 ↑ Daron Cam. Math Tutor. Expert Interview. 29 May 2020.
 ↑ https://www.mathgoodies.com/articles/improve_your_grades
 ↑ Daron Cam. Math Tutor. Expert Interview. 29 May 2020.
 ↑ https://vittana.org/20prosandconsofhomework
 ↑ https://www.mathgoodies.com/articles/improve_your_grades
 ↑ Daron Cam. Math Tutor. Expert Interview. 29 May 2020.
 ↑ https://www.mathgoodies.com/articles/improve_your_grades
 ↑ https://www.mathgoodies.com/articles/improve_your_grades
 ↑ https://betterexplained.com/articles/howtodevelopamindsetformath/
 ↑ https://www.mathbootcamps.com/howcanamathtutorhelpyou/
 ↑ https://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/7waystoimproveyourmathscores
 ↑ https://www.privateschoolreview.com/blog/7waystoimproveyourmathscores
About This Article
To become better at math, start by brushing up on basic math skills like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, since those are the foundation you'll need to understand harder concepts. Take thorough, detailed notes during class and don't be afraid to ask the teacher any specific questions you have about the work. After class, do your assigned homework to reinforce what you learned that day. When you're doing homework, be sure to remove distractions like your smartphone so you can focus and retain the information. Forming a study group or getting a tutor for oneonone guidance are also good strategies for upping your math game! For more tips on effective studying, read on!
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