Ask Series: Ask the Professor – Dr. N. Glenn Griesinger…
Whether you are planning to get your first “A” in your math class or you next “A”, this 4-Step Process will help you start the semester off right! The closer you adhere to the process, the better your grade will be. Anyone can make an “A” in any math class, including you!
Step 1: Obtain a tutor before the semester begins, but no later than the first week of classes.
The best time to hire a tutor is before you feel that you need one. If you start working with your tutor before the semester begins, your tutor will let you know if you have done well enough in prerequisites courses to take your next math course.
You should continue working with your tutor at least once a week throughout the semester. It is never a good idea to take a math class without the assistance of a tutor. A big mistake students make is that they wait until they are failing math to obtain a tutor.
If you obtain a good tutor early, you will always stay on top of things. Keep in mind that not all tutors are created equally. Mobile Math has experienced tutors who specialize in math. They can give you step-by-step guidance to making an “A” in math.
Step 2: Preview before each class by reading the book and online notes.
You should never go into any math class cold. Many instructors will gladly tell you what they will cover next in class. Some instructors have this information printed in the syllabus.
You should read the upcoming section of your math book before coming to class – even if you do not understand everything that you are reading. If you have a Mobile Math tutor, they will teach you how to read your math textbook and answer any questions you may have.
It is important to read the book because it will give you a comprehensive view of the material. It is also a good idea to read online lecture notes if your instructor provides them.
The instructor’s notes will let you know what to focus on specifically for your instructor. I challenge you to try this consistently for two-weeks. You’ll be amazed at how much your understanding will improve!
Step 3: Come to class on time, ask questions, and take good notes.
You’ve seen that student who always knows the answer to the instructor’s questions. Well, that student can be you! However, that person will not be you if you’re coming to class late or skipping class completely.
When you arrive late to a math class, you will probably be lost throughout the lecture. Math is a very detailed subject and every word matters. Lastly, if you have excessive absences (more than 10%) you will probably not do well in a math class unless you’ve already passed the class before, and it is simply a review for you.
Step 4: Construct a study guide and use it to study at least every other day.
Your study guide may be divided into 4 sections and may be made with a 3-ring binder divided into 4 sections, 4 sets of index cards, 4 legal pads, 4 notebooks or any combination of these; be creative! The 4 sections may contain (1) definitions (2) how to… (3) equations (4) examples.
Even if you are not required to write definitions, you are required to know definitions. Otherwise, you will not know what the questions are asking you to do. Your “how-to” section of your study guide should contain step-by-step directions to solve certain types of problems.
I also suggest understanding what is going on inside the “black box.” You should also write “how-to’s” for operating your calculator. Many math classes require you to know the equations, formulas, and identities.
Many students find index cards (either online or paper) as a great way to help them remember theorems, formulas, equations, and identities. Finally, your study guide should contain detailed examples of each type of problem covered in class during the semester.
Need help designing a personalized study plan? We will give you step by step guidance. Contact Mobile Math today!
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