Improving Math Study and Test Taking Skills

This information comes from a video which is on reserve under "James Jones" in the Learning Resources Center. Ask at the circulation counter for the video on "Test Taking Skills". The host of the video is Dr. Paul Nolting.

This video is different from most that you may have seen, including Where There's a Will There's an "A", in that this video is directed specifically at mathematics students and exams. The other videos are generic in scope.

The video is divided into two parts. Part 1 is about 35 minutes and covers how to prepare for and then take math tests. Part 2 is about 30 minutes and covers analyzing the mistakes made on an exam.

Warning! Dr. Nolting is like all math instructors and says some things that sound really corny. However, the information that he provides is important and is more than you can get by just reading this page. Please watch the video. There are two on reserve so that more than one person can watch at a time.

Test Preparation Skills

  1. Reviewing your notes
  2. Reviewing your text
  3. Review old tests
  4. Pre-test
  5. Study groups
  6. Calculator

10 Steps to Better Test-Taking

  1. Memory Data Dump
    Write down information you may forget -- formulas, dates, places, etc.
  2. Preview Test
    Write your name on the test and review the entire test
  3. Second Memory Data Dump
    Write down additional important information you may forget
  4. Test Progress Schedule
    Decide the best way to get the most points in the least time
  5. Answer Easy Questions
    First, answer the easiest questions with the most points
  6. Skip Difficult Answers
    Read each question twice and set a time limit for solving it -- or skip it
  7. Review Skipped Questions
    Recall related information about each question
  8. Guess at Remaining Answers
    Do not leave a question blank
  9. Review Entire Test
    Look for mis-read directions and careless errors
  10. Use All Of Your Test Time
    To stop early can mean lost points on your test

6 Types of Test-Taking Errors

  1. Mis-Reading Direction Errors
    Avoid by reading all the directions
  2. Careless Errors
    Avoid by reviewing the test
  3. Concept Errors
    Avoid by understanding rules and properties
  4. Application Errors
    Avoid by predicting test questions
  5. Test-Taking Errors
    Avoid by:
  6. Study Errors
    Avoid by tracking down where your study efforts failed