How to Succeed In Math - Action Plan
Part 1: Before Class Begins.
If you are currently taking a math class, start with Part 2. If you are not currently taking a math class,
prepare for your upcoming class by doing the following.
When choosing a math class, pick a time and day(s) that work well for you. If you are not a
morning person, do not register for an early morning class.
Order/buy the textbook ahead of time.
Use review chapters in the textbook to practice before the class begins so you understand what
you are expected to know.
Research the campus resources that are available to you. Is there a math lab? Does your school
offer free tutoring? Find out the hours and write them down. What are the instructor’s office
hours? Are there organized math study groups? Does the math department or tutoring center
offer math workshops?
Part 2: First Day of Class.
Remember to do the following to make the first day of class more effective.
Arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Sit front and center. Sit where your view is not obstructed.
Listen carefully to course introduction. Take notes and focus on what is expected of you in the
Introduce yourself to the professor. Communicate any concerns you have.
Part 3: Taking Notes.
When taking notes, remember to do the following.
Be organized.
Separate your notebook into two parts - notes and homework.
Label date, title, and concepts.
Leave room for clarification.
Use loose-leaf paper.
Rewrite your notes after class if you are a messy note taker.
Part 4: Time Management/Study Schedule.
For every hour you spend in class, you need to plan on two hours of study and preparation time
outside of class.
If you are currently taking classes, take a look at your schedule and figure out how many hours you will
be in your math class or classes. Multiply this number by two and you will have the amount of hours
per week you need to dedicate to studying math. If you are not currently taking classes, find the math
class schedule for the upcoming semester at the school you will attend and choose a class you may
Example: You are taking a class Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 9:50 a.m. You are in
class three hours per week (50 minutes = one college hour). Therefore:
3 multiplied by 2 equals 6 (You need to schedule 6 hours per week to study math outside of class.)
Fill in the following information based on your math class or classes:
a. Days and times I am in or will be in math class:
b. Number of hours per week I am in or will be in math class:
c. Number from b multiplied by 2 =
d. The answer in section c is the total number of hours per week you need to set aside and dedicate
to studying math. After each day of the week, write down the specific time when you will study
math and make sure the total number of hours equals the number in section c.
Total hours:
Part 5: Homework.
Completing homework is an essential part of achieving success in mathematics. Refer to the following
list every time you do your homework.
Reading the textbook is part of doing homework. Compare what is in your textbook to your
class notes.
Take time when completing your homework. Stay organized. Write down each problem, show
work, show the solution and clearly identify the answer.
Check your answers whenever you can.
If you get stuck, move on.
Use all of your resources: instructor’s office hours, math lab, tutoring, additional textbooks in
the library, online resources, study groups, etc.
Part 6: Preparing For & Taking Tests.
Do an Internet search for how to prepare for a math test and read two or three websites that give
tips and strategies. Are many of the tips you found similar to the tips recommended in the
StudentLingo workshop? Think about the strategies you currently use to prepare for math tests, the
strategies and tips presented in the workshop, and the ones you found online. Answer the following
What strategies do you currently use to prepare for tests?
What strategies do you plan to start using?
Part 7: Online Classes.
If you are considering taking a math class online, contact the online learning department at your school
and ask if they have any tools to help you determine if taking courses online is right for you. Many
schools have a self-evaluation tool that you can access online. If your school has one, complete the
evaluation and briefly describe your results.
Results/What I learned: