A lot of bright students in private and public schools struggle with math and contend with math anxiety. Although they tend to feel that the material leaves their head when they are taking tests, and they are often confused by symbols, these students may understand the material. They may not be able to show what they know on math assessments as a result. Math anxiety is a common issue in our language-centered world, and here are some ways to try to defeat it and to be more successful in math class and on math tests. Many students are thrown by math symbols. Looking at a math test, they think it looks like ancient Greek. Students should familiarize themselves with symbols in advance and perhaps even write out in words what they mean to battle symbol confusion. For example, they can write out that an exponent means, “multiply a number by itself.” Students will be able to understand and quickly decipher symbols on math tests and won’t allow the language of math to confuse them in that way. There are much other things you have to know about how to do well on math test.

How to do well on math test

It is very common when some of the students get so thrown by a page of symbols that they are overcome with math anxiety. Some strategies can help such students, including practicing repeatedly on sample problems, breaking problems down so that students know exactly which steps to take to complete them, and perhaps even practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing before tests. Students can tell themselves, “I know how to do this material,” and reassure themselves that math symbols are just shortcuts, not confusing ciphers. Often students understand the material but make small, careless errors that lead to incorrect answers. These mistakes often arise because students don’t pay attention to signs or to negative numbers. Students can highlight the signs or operations (such as addition, subtracting, multiplication, or division signs) on their work to avoid these mistakes. They can also speak these signs aloud, saying to themselves, “Now, I need to remember to add a negative number, which is the same as subtracting,” to remind themselves of what to do. Everyone makes computational errors sometimes—even math teachers!  But students may need to use a calculator to check their computations in case constant computational errors become a problem. They may also need to practice basic multiplication or addition facts if they are making regular mistakes in these areas. Many advanced math students find that mistakes in their difficult math problems often come down to simple mistakes, such as multiplication, addition, or operations involving fractions. They can brush up in these areas if so. hey may need to be reminded to go back and check their work without rushing so that they can catch these errors.