How to Improve Math Skills in College Students

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Math tends to be one of those subjects that can bring out the worst in a student. Without the proper knowledge and understanding, students can be understandably frustrated by mathematics. In fact, the majority of college students claim that math is their most difficult subject. Unfortunately, many of these same students are convinced that it is simply a subject that they'll never understand, but that is not the case. With just a few minor changes to their outlook and study habits, these students can excel.

    Focus on the concept, not just the equation. Many people find that they have an easier time in math if they actually understand what they're doing and why. Don't spend a lot of time drilling formulas and equations, but rather look at each problem and contemplate what it is asking of you.

    Stay positive. It's easy to become frustrated and negative when you are uncertain about a problem, but those feelings will only add more stress to the situation. Instead, remind yourself that you can do the problem if you stay focused.

    Keep it fun. After hours of staring at math problems, the brain can become a little fuzzy. Try to strengthen your math skills through various card games and other fun activities. The game “24,” with its many variations, is a popular game for reinforcing math skills. You can find it, along with other similar games, at and other online stores.

    Work the problems out in your head or on paper. Avoid the temptation to use the calculator or computer for problems that you can solve without them.

    Hire a tutor. If you've tried everything else, and you still don't see improvement, you may need additional help. Search the local classifieds or online sources such as Craigslist for a tutor that will meet your need and budget.

    Don't wait too long to ask for help. As soon as you feel yourself falling behind, seek help, whether it be from a friend, a relative or a teacher. There are also a number of websites that offer specific help with math.

    Things You'll Need

    • Card games
    • Paper
    • Pencil
    • Computer with Internet access


About the Author

Dana Rongione has been writing since 2004. Her articles have appeared in "Teacher's Interaction" magazine, "Teachers of Vision" magazine and "Devo'zine." She is also the author of nine books. Rongione received two certificates of completion from The Institute of Children's Literature. She holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Tabernacle Baptist Bible College.

Photo Credits

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