Study Tips from a CDM Math Tutor

October 29th, 2015

Having a hard time studying for your math test? One of our tutors from the Newport Beach/CDM Study Hut shares her study tips!

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
See what I did there? Math is about learning the steps. This holds true for Algebra, Geometry, Stats, and even Calculus. You have to be comfortable with what you’re doing at each step, no matter what curveball is thrown. Think of a baseball player who spends hours in the cage, or a basketball player who finishes every practice with 10 made free throws (Kobe Bryant has actually been known to come to the gym early to make 800 jump shots before practice)! The more practice you put in, doing the problems over and over again, the easier it will be and the better you will do on the real thing.

Give It a Scent
While you’re studying for that Geometry midterm or Trig final, or another subject for that matter, chew a unique smelling gum, or spray a new perfume/air freshener. Then, while you’re taking the test, chew that same gum, or spray that same scent. The smell will trigger your memories of studying and improve your performance!

Study Somewhere New
While it is great to have a spot where you always study (it has everything you need and a comfy chair!) it’s good to mix it up sometimes. Go to the local library, Starbucks down the street, or just a new spot in the house. Just like with the new scent, your memories of studying will be linked with the feel/look of the new study spot.

This CDM math tutor's favorite mnemonic.

This CDM math tutor’s favorite mnemonic.

 

 

Create Mnemonics
While it is rarer that you need to memorize lists in math, memorizing formulas can be daunting. Using a common mnemonic can ensure that you commit that bad boy to memory. For example, many people like to use Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally to remember the order of operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction). The only thing better than using a common one like this is making one up for yourself, because then it has personal meaning and you are more likely to remember it.

Ask for Help
No one can do it alone! Tutors at Study Hut have been collecting tips and tricks like these for years, and would love to share them with you! Call today to start building strong study habits and acing those tests!

Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

June 13th, 2014
Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

1. Start Early! – This is the most important one. The internet provides plenty of ways to waste your study time, but you’ll be happy you stayed away from Netflix and Reddit when the final finally comes.

2. Study in Chunks – Your brain works best in 50 minute intervals. You may feel studious after your 6 hour study marathon, but a tired brain doesn’t absorb information like a fresh one. Take 5-10 minutes breaks every hour to make sure you’re making the most of your study time.

3. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place – Studying in bed may sound like a good idea, but once you’re in bed, so will a nap. Find a place that works for you. It should be somewhere where you can focus, spread out your notes, and get in a studying groove. And if you get sick of one place, switch it up!

4. Know Your Teacher – Ask questions, take notes, review old worksheets. Figure out what your teacher thinks is important because that’s what will show up on the final.

5. Study Alone – Start with what you don’t know. Review your old tests, quizzes, and homeworks, and take notes on what you missed. Then spend some time on your own with each of these topics. Write down any questions you have because the next step is…

6. Study in Groups – Once you’ve figured out your own strengths and weaknesses in each subject, form a study group. Here you can ask questions you had on your own and answer some of your study buddies’. Explaining concepts and hearing them explained in new ways will strengthen your understanding of the material.

7. Exercise – Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and you may need all the brain blood you can get for finals week. It’s also a great way to take a break from book to soak up some sun.

8. Sleep – It may be tempting to cram all night, but
it may not help as much as you think. Give your brain a rest! When the night before the test comes around, be confident in the studying you’ve been doing all week and get some extra sleep.