How to Prepare for Finals

Hey Math Geeks!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted; sorry about that!  I have been plugging away and have completed more Pre-Calc sections (Sequences and Series, Binomial Expansion and Introduction to Limits), more Trig sections (Linear and Angular Speeds, Area of Sectors, and Length of Arcs), and have started Calculus!

The Calc pages completed are Definition of the Derivative, Basic Differentiation Rules, Equation of the Tangent Line, The Chain Rule, Implicit Differentiation and Related Rates, and starting Curve Sketching.

Here’s some tips I have for finals that I wrote about last year:

Trust me, I’ve haven’t aced every math test I’ve taken.  Both as a student (ions ago!) and a math tutor, I’ve found that these things really help when “studying” for taking a math test or final.  The main thing is that you don’t “study”, you “work problems” to prepare:

  1. If you are lucky enough to have your old tests for the semester (or year, if the final covers the whole year), retake them again!!  Cover up the answers and go for it!  I know it seems like a lot of work, but it’s the surefire way of knowing if you really get the stuff.  If you don’t have time to go through all the tests, go through the ones that were at the beginning of the learning period and also the ones where you didn’t do the greatest.
  2. If you can’t get your old tests back, try to work any packets, homework, or chapter reviews covering the material.  Just pick out one or two problems covering each concept.
  3. If you’re having trouble with any of the concepts when working problems, create a “cheat sheet” (not for the test!  lol) of notes that you need to study.  Remember that some things (actually a lot of things) in math you have to memorize – that’s OK.
  4. Glance over your notes one more time to see if you missed anything after doing steps 1 and 2 above.  This is not good enough though; you may think you know how to work a problem by looking at your notes, but you don’t really know unless you actually try it!  If you’re unsure about a concept, you might even check out She Loves Math!
  5. One more thing – Reviews can be deceiving!!  Don’t rely on them; many times, they don’t cover everything on the test!

Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions about anything.  And of course, when you’re taking the test, skip over any problems that stump you, put a big circle on it, and come back to it.  Time can be your enemy with math tests and we’ve all had those brain lapses.  Try not to let those times affect the rest of the test.

Happy Mathing and have a wonderful summer!  I hope to do a lot of She Loves Math writing this summer!

Lisa 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *