Posted on

Test Tips (Cramming Tips)

Do you have a test tomorrow (or in two days)?  Are you cramming for your test?  Feel like you don’t have enough study time?  If this is you, keep reading!

First let me start by saying:  These are tips for those of you that are worried about failing.  These are tips to help you get a passing grade (or even a B).  If you are someone who is worried about getting a 92% instead of a 98%, these tips might be helpful, but are not really for you.  There are different methods of studying (depending on what your goal is).  This tips are intended to help those of you who are really worried and stressed!

  1. If you are one or two days before a test do not learn anything new. Do not practice material that looks new to you what-so-ever.  Do not try to learn new skills.  What you should be doing is practicing problems you know how to do.  If you only know how to do 70% of the material on the test, that is fine!  Just get that 70% down perfectly.  Practice doing problems within your reach (not new things you don’t know how to do).  Practice for speed and accuracy.  Practice, practice, practice… But, only practice problems that you can do.
  2. Make a note-card. Make a note-card that has any formulas on it that you might need or steps.  Do not put examples on your note-card.  Then, start reviewing for your test (doing a practice test) using only your note-card to help you.  This will help you to see what you do know and what you don’t know.
  3. Go to sleep.  Sleep is essential both one and two nights before your test.
  4. Don’t study yourself stupid. Every get to the point where you feel like you are just going in circles?? Where you are forgetting to do things that you knew how to do yesterday???  If so, stop studying. Do something else.
  5. How long should you study?  How long is too long? This is a great question… Ask yourself the following:  How long can I do math before I stop paying attention?  1 hour? 2 hours? 30 minutes?  Most people who do not love math cannot efficiently do more than 2 hours of math in a day.  So, if your test is a 1 hour test, then you should only study for 1 hour the day of your test (that is 2 hours of math in a day, right)???  If you study math for 4 hours in the morning, how are you supposed to concentrate on an hour long test later that day?  Not gonna happen.
  6. Studying the day of the test:  Review that note-card you made.  Just look at it.  Get to know it.  Remember the formulas and what problems you use them on.  Spend the day doing easy problems.  You should complete and get every problem correct… If not, you are studying the wrong material.
  7. Any questions???
Posted on

Factoring 101

Factoring Pep-Talk

Factoring is an art.  There is no right or wrong way to think about factoring, there is no formula to apply, there is no single method that works… Many methods work.  Many lines of thinking work.  Factoring is hard.  But, I will help you through it.

There are many ways to factor, many things to factor, many uses of factoring, many, many, many… I am going to start us at square 1.

Why factor?

Continue reading Factoring 101

Posted on

Functions 101

A function is a machine.  You put something in it and something else comes out.  A function has a set of rules that tells you what to do once you put something in it.

f(x) is read as “f of x” — not “f times x”. This means the function’s name is “f” and “x” is what goes in it.


Continue reading Functions 101

Posted on


College Algebra is one of the hardest classes to pass (or get the grade you desire).  Many College Algebra classes have 200-300 students, which makes it hard for a student to get any quality one-on-one time.  If you are struggling or have questions, please post them here so I can help!