Reading Math Texts: 10 Strategies to Practice

Preparation: Have paper, pen, pencil, sticky tapes (Post-its), graphing calculator, highlighters and your textbook before you begin.

  • Do not skip reading assignments. Reading a math textbook is difficult and it can take a half hour to read one page.
  • Highlight key points for future study. Material discussed in lecture and the book is more likely to be on the test. If you plan to resell your textbook, instead of highlighting the text, put a sticky tape or Post-it on the page to mark the material as important or that is unclear.
  • Go through each step in the example problems and work the examples yourself. This will help you learn the material for better recall on future tests. Do not just work the problems in your head, but put them down on paper. Remember Math is a “doing” subject.
  • Take notes from your book on principles, properties, and rules. Click here for an example.
  • Use your glossary to learn vocabulary words. Make flash cards and use them if you need more time learning the specialized vocabulary.
  • If you do not understand the material, follow these points until you are comfortable,
  • Review your math textbook notes and math glossary several times a week. Review them with a study buddy or group if at all possible.
  • Write anticipated test questions. These can be turned into a game in a study group.
  • Read your chapter assignments BEFORE you attend the lecture. You will be able to mark concepts you do not understand and become familiar with the vocabulary words.
  • Always try to re-read the chapter assignments AFTER class to reinforce the material and further explain misunderstood information.