We all know that some people are math geniuses and some just…aren’t. Equations, formulas, and proofs that come easily to some might look like an indecipherable code to others. For this reason, math is a source of stress for many students.

But if you think you fall into the latter group, there are still time-tested ways to study that will boost your understanding. If you’re used to staying up late and cramming the night before, learning how to study for a math test can be the best thing you can do for your academic life.

Knowing how to study math in the right way can be the difference between a passing and failing grade, or between a B and an A. Read on to learn some key strategies for getting through this often-difficult subject.

Focus On the Basics

Math is a cumulative subject. That means that every concept in a math class builds on the one that came before it. If you fall behind, it’s easy to stay behind, which is why math is so difficult for many students.

When you study for a test, focus on getting the core concepts down. It’s okay not to perfectly memorize every formula and equation if you have a solid understanding of the basics. Understanding the basic principles that you’re studying is the best way to study math and do well on math tests.

Creating a math study guide with all the major concepts of this unit can help you remember what you need to learn.

Practice and Repetition

Once you’ve mastered the basic concepts, it’s time to practice. You can’t study math just by reading the textbook. Rather, you will only build understanding through practice and repetition.

That means doing practice problems on a regular basis. These problems help your brain learn how to build the connections it needs to ace the math test. When you see an unfamiliar problem on the test, you’ll be able to draw on your practice sessions to apply the concepts you already know.

Fortunately, there are lots of online resources and tutorials that can help you practice beyond the textbook.

Take Care of Your Body

You might think it’s a good idea to neglect your body in favor of your mind when studying. But your mind and body are intimately linked, and hurting one can hurt the other. Things like losing sleep, staying up late to study, and eating badly can all affect your ability to perform on a test.

Studies show that getting a good night’s sleep every night – not just the night before a test – can improve test scores significantly.

How to Study Math and More Subjects

Knowing these strategies means you know how to study for a math test, how to study for SAT math, and more. And knowing how to study math will teach you discipline and focus, which will help you in every area of your life.

For more on education and academia, browse our education section.