” I know the math, why did I fail?” Failing a test can hurt even the best math student’s confidence. Math is all about problem solving. There is no better way to show a student understands how to solve problems than by test taking. Taking a test or pop quiz can be one of the most stressful parts of education.
There are countless math test tips and tricks students can use to better succeed at tests, but why are tests so important?Tests are an important way to gauge how well students understand and can use the concepts they learned. Poor test scores usually stem from poor strategy and test anxiety.
What is Math Test Anxiety?
Test anxiety is more than feeling a little nervous before you take a big exam, nerves are normal for everyone. When those nerves become too strong to handle, with symptoms including nausea, headaches, panic attacks, and more physical symptoms, it can incredibly affect students’ ability to perform well. In a study published by BMC Psychology, good pre-test prep can help ease test anxiety. Engage in new study methods and work reviews to build confidence. Check out these great math test tips that fight test anxiety and raise scores.
1. Prepare for a math test like a pro
If a kid isn’t confident about what they are doing, it’s harder to succeed. Making sure students keep up with homework is a great way to build confidence in what kids are learning. It’s important to know that if your child has questions or is unsure about how a problem works, they aren’t afraid to ask for help. The more practice the more time parents and teachers can support and work with students to make sure they fully understand the concept.
Normalize asking questions. It is a critical part of learning and important for kids to be part of the teaching experience. The more interactive and inclusive the learning is the easier it is for children to master. Work together and methodically work through concepts to ensure better retention and preparation
2. Show the work on math questions
Showing work always makes sense to do on a test because students can get points even with a wrong answer. However, showing your work is more important than just receiving a few extra points on a test, it can help teachers find where a student is getting lost in a problem. Finding the source of the confusion for students makes correcting it easier. Showing the work shines a light on the root of the problem.
Math builds upon itself. Mistakes now will lead to bigger issues in the future. Doing the work can also help you out during a test. By showing the work with one problem students might have a better understanding of other questions during the exam. Kids may also find themselves feeling more confident in solving problems once you get into the rhythm of how to answer them.
3. After finishing a math test, recheck the answers
Just because kids have finished answering the last question on the test, the tips don’t stop there. If students have time, make sure they go back and go over the answers. Reviewing answers with a keen eye will stop silly mistakes. No one likes missing questions because of a sign error or lapse in judgment. Additionally, questions later in the test can often make earlier questions easier to answer.
It’s not just the work you need to show. Many tests have a place for the answer that might have been forgotten to be filled in. Even if the answer is in the work, double-check that you have finished all parts of a question. One of the biggest disappointments that can hurt grades and confidence, is getting a lower grade than deserved based on a careless mistake. Making sure students take their time to make sure little mistakes are fixed can be one of the most simple, yet most crucial, answers to getting better grades.
4. Get help once it’s needed
The school year can go by fast, make sure to take time and make sure students are not getting overwhelmed. Getting additional help with math learning is important. As mentioned before, math builds upon itself, so understanding and mastering math knowledge is needed to learn new concepts. Asking for help can be tough for anyone, students may feel like they will get in trouble for not understanding a topic or understanding, especially when other students seem to understand easily. inform kids that it’s okay to speak up when they are confused. Relieve test anxiety by creating a safe space where students can talk about their struggles.
There are great ways to provide support for children struggling with math concepts. Many schools have tutoring programs or time for students to get extra help from their teachers. Online, there are tons of worksheets and supplemental materials that help kids practice in different ways. If you’re looking for a more hands-on approach, the math programs from us at Spark Math by VISPARK, might be the right fit for your students. With real and experienced teachers to help students master math topics in live-streamed classes, Spark Math is perfect for kids who want to fully understand and excel in math. Make sure kids have the support and materials they need to succeed. Support is necessary for making math part of life and not adding to the anxiety.
5. Rest is Important. Don’t cram for a math test
When a test is coming up, many decide to study until the last second, staying up late and trying to get as much knowledge as possible. While it’s good to take time out to practice, study, and get help if needed, not resting isn’t the answer. Tired students often see grades slip and work quality drop. Taking time out to study and practice every day will help children build the skills they need without stressing at the last minute. The best way to deal with math and test anxiety is to be prepared, take time, and relax.