How to Get a Good Grade on a Math Test


How to Get a Good Grade on a Math Test

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Many students find that math is the hardest subject in school probably because you learn a lot of things in a small amount of time, and because numbers are “another language” and your horizons on this language are constantly expanding.
A few tips for improving your grade in Math are listed below, so read on!


  1. Go to class. Especially if you’re in college, you may find it tempting to skip a class now and then. While you can get away with that in some subjects, math is like a ladder. If a rung is missing, or if you don’t get a good grip on it, you’ll struggle to reach the next rung. If enough rungs are missing, it will be impossible to climb higher. In addition, teachers often emphasize the most important topics in class, so come test time you’ll know exactly what to study.
  2. Sit in the front row and participate in class. By sitting in the front row, distractions are minimized and performance heightened. Asking questions or providing answers helps the student to stay engaged in the learning process, this improving attentiveness and retention of materials learned.
  3. Do your homework. Homework may seem like torture, but it’s really designed to help you learn. The key to learning math is repetition: do enough problems with the quadratic formula, and you’ll eventually be able to recite it in your sleep. Plus, as you do your homework, you’ll be able to identify concepts you don’t understand. It also doesn’t hurt that test questions are often based on the homework assignments.
  4. Ask questions. OK, so you did your homework, but you still don’t understand how to factor a polynomial. Go ahead and ask your teacher, TA, professor–even other students may be able to help. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, and if you think it’s embarrassing to ask a question imagine how you’ll feel when you get a big red “F” on the exam. Everybody has questions about math; successful students ask theirs.
  5. Review before the test. Good job! You went to class, did your homework, and got your questions answered. Now, the test is tomorrow. Do you a) breathe a sigh of relief and go to bed; b) turn on the TV and watch The Simpsons; or c) review what you’ve learned? That’s right, it’s time to review. This is not the time for cramming, however; you’re better prepared than that anyway. Go over your notes, take practice tests, and make sure you have important formulas memorized. Of course, you could just watch The Simpsons, but don’t be surprised if your grades turn out more like Bart’s than like Lisa’s!
  6. Relax. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. You’ll feel better and think more clearly if you’re well rested. Right before taking your test, look over the important formulas one last time, but other than that, you’re done preparing. Remember, you’re ready for this, and no matter what happens it’s not the end of the world. I find chewing gum helps – if your school allows it, of course.
  7. Pace yourself. Once you have your exam in front of you, look it over to see how many questions there are and what kind of questions are included. This will give you an idea of how much time you can spend on each problem. If you get stuck on a question, move on to the next one and come back later. Sometimes a later question will even jog your memory so that you can answer the one you skipped. Most importantly, don’t rush yourself.
  8. Pay attention to neatness. Any math teacher will tell you that sloppy work is the test-taker’s worst enemy. Even if you know the material cold, a smudged digit here or a forgotten negative sign there can ruin an entire problem. If you make a mistake, use your eraser–that’s what it’s there for.
  9. Check your work. Great, you finished the test with plenty of time. Don’t turn it in yet, though! Good test-takers make mistakes all the time, but they find them and fix them before they hand in their exams. I can’t stress this enough – you will always find a mistake somewhere. Anyways, depending on what kind of problems you’re doing, your teacher will probably give you some hints on how to check your work. In general, though, carefully reread each question and ask yourself if your answers make sense. You still may not get every problem right, but you’ll increase your chances of success exponentially. Always verify your answers one or two times after writing exam.Read the question two/three times before writing the exam.Do not make tensions in your mind while writing an exam.This will lead to forgot your answers


  • Ask questions even if you’re embarrassed! Somebody is bound to have the same question, so ask!
  • Never give up on yourself. Always try your very best.
  • Make sure you know how to work problems without a calculator, and be sure to check your calculated answers for accuracy.
  • Do not rush! If you make a mistake, erase the problem completely.

Things You’ll Need

  • Sharpener
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Protractor (for geometry)
  • Calculator (if allowed)
  • Paper, if needed
  • Compass (for geometry)
  • A few pencils (in case one breaks)

Related wikiHows

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L.A. Teacher Teaches Math Through Hip-Hop

LaMar QueenLOS ANGELES – The class of eighth graders at a Los Angeles middle school tap their rulers and nod their heads to the rhythm of the rap video projected on a screen. It’s not Snoop Dogg or Jay-Z.

It’s their math teacher, LaMar Queen, using rhyme to help them memorize seemingly complicated algebra and in the process improve their grades.

“It gets stuck in your head,” says Cindy Martinez, a 14-year-old whose math grade went from a C-average to a B.

Queen, 26, is now known at Los Angeles Academy as the rap teacher, but his fame has spread far beyond the 2,200-student school in this gritty neighborhood. He’s won a national award and shows teachers and parents how to use rap to reach children.

“Math is a bad word in a lot of households,” he says. “But if we put it in a form that kids enjoy, they’ll learn.”

Queen is doing what many veteran educators have done — using students’ music to connect with them. Where teachers once played the rock n’ roll tunes of “Schoolhouse Rocks” to explain everything from government to grammar, they now turn to rap to renew Shakespeare or geometry.

“Rap is what the kids respond to,” Queen says. “They don’t have a problem memorizing the songs at all.”

Queen’s math raps came about by chance. Two months after starting at LA Academy in 2007 — his first teaching job after graduating from college — he was stung when kids told him his class was boring. They told him he resembled singer Kanye West and challenged him to rap.

Little did they know Queen has been rapping since the seventh grade. Back then, he’d throw together rhymes as he walked home from school in Carson, a city neighboring Los Angeles.

His students’ challenge on his mind, Queen pushed aside work on his lesson plans and wrote a rap song ‘Slope Intercept.’

Word of his rapping soon reached the school’s main office. Eyebrows raised, Principal Maria Borges went to investigate, and came out smiling. “It engages the kids,” she says. “Kids seem to know all the rap songs, but they can’t seem to remember different math rules.”

None of his raps are in the Top 40, but “Mean, Median, Mode and Range,” “Polynomials,” and “Quadratic Formulove Song” are chartbusters here.

“Some kids who aren’t even in Mr. Queen’s class go around singing his songs,” says Kejon Closure, 13, who went from a C-average to an A.


In the raps, Queen defines a math concept and works through sample problems step by step. He follows up with more traditional class work on the whiteboard, maintaining a fluid banter with his students.


Queen also tries to inspire them. His lyrics exhort students “to be a math sensation,” “to get As on your papers,” and even “be respectful. Listen to your parents.” Sometimes the students appear in the videos as a reward for good grades and behavior.


Queen says making learning fun is key for kids who often seem burdened with adult problems — there wasn’t enough food to go round at breakfast, they couldn’t sleep well in overcrowded homes or they have to serve as translators for Spanish-speaking parents in difficult circumstances.


When they leave those troubles at home, they arrive at a school that’s more fortress than learning sanctuary.


The campus is surrounded by a steel-bar fence and padlocked gate. Teachers conduct uniform checks to make sure students are not wearing local gang colors of red or blue. “I try to get them to leave their problems at the door,” Queen says.


There was a point last year when he thought he might not be able to continue at LA Academy. He was laid off as an untenured teacher, but he returned to the school as a long-term substitute to continue to teach his students as he hoped to get his staff job back.

In April, he won a national award for outstanding math achievement from Get Schooled, a pro-education initiative launched by media giant Viacom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He’s also been honored by school district and county educators.

He’s now hoping to make rap math a business and launched a website, MusicNotesOnline, with a colleague to market his rap CD and DVD, and expand the use of rap in education to other academic subjects.

During a recent class, Queen dons dark shades, sets his laptop to play a driving hip-hop beat and starts rapping about solving equations as he grooves up and down the aisles.

“Let’s talk about slope intercept.

I don’t mind if you interject,

Just don’t disrespect.

I say, you have a question for me?

What’s y equales mx + b?

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