As with many skills in life, math knowledge can sometimes go into hibernation if you don’t use it. With a bit of practice and dedication, you can refresh and rejuvenate your math skills to prepare you for college. You can go about this venture several different ways and still come out remembering more than you even thought possible.
Math books can get you back in the swing of things. Dig out your old math textbooks, note cards and notebooks, if you have them. If you don’t have any of these items or can’t find them, head to the library or bookstore. You will surely find a selection of math books to help you on your math journey. Books that will work include "Basic Math & Pre-algebra Super Review" by REA, "Algebra and Trigonometry Refresher for Calculus Students" by Loren C. Larson, "Calculus Refresher" by A. A. Klaf and "Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide" Peter H. Selby and Steve Slavin can get you started. Even SAT, GMAT and ACT exam study guides or refresher books can be used to test your skills and revive your math knowledge. Try "The Ultimate Math Refresher for the GRE, GMAT, and SAT" by Lighthouse Review Inc. or "GMAT Pro's Ultimate GMAT Math Refresher: Counting Methods: Probability, Perm/Comb, Numbers, Statistics & Sequence/Series" by GMAT Pro.
Create some math review worksheets with an answer key. These will walk you through formulas and problems, showing you how each is done properly. Add information from a wide range of math concepts, including pre-algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry and applied math, like probability and economics. For instance, your worksheet may include "What is the area of a circle with a radius of 9?" The answer key would include "Area = Pi (3.14) x Radius (9)" and the answer is 28.26. Your chosen college or university may also have some math review sheets on campus that you can have. These will have important formulas and equations on them so you can refresh and re-familiarize yourself with the information.
You can always pull out some trusty math flashcards. Math flashcards can be found at your college bookstore, a regular bookstore or online. If you don’t find any you like, create your own with plain note cards, a marker and some equations you pulled out of a math textbook or online. You will want equations along the lines of "Solve for x, (x-4) (x-2) = 18," "Find the square root of 169," "Simplify 3-x/ x-3" and "Solve the quadratic formula x^2 -15 = 0." Select one of the cards and try to solve the equation or problem without looking at the answer. Look over the cards while you're drinking your morning coffee, riding the bus or running on the treadmill. After you feel comfortable with your revived math competency, have a friend or family member quiz you. Don’t be too hard on yourself at first -- the key is repetition and practice.
Several colleges offer math refresher courses to help you sharpen your math skills. Ask the admissions office for a list of current math refresher courses, the class schedules and the cost. Often you will find courses that focus on basic math skills, various levels of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. A calculus refresher may also be offered. If you are unsure which refresher class to take, take a math placement exam at your chosen college to evaluate your current math level.
- Lane Community College: Math Review Sheets
- Klamath Community College: Math Review Sheets
- Penn State University: ALEKS: Refresh Your Math Skills
- Oklahoma State University Oklahoma City: COMPASS for Math
- Davenport University: Comprehensive Math Skills Review
- University of Cincinnati: Mathematics
- NASA: A Math Refresher
- Basic Math & Pre-Algebra Super Review; REA
- Calculus Refresher; A. A. Klaf
- Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide; Peter H. Selby and Steve Slavin
- GMAT Pro's Ultimate GMAT Math Refresher: Counting Methods: Probability, Perm/Comb, Numbers, Statistics & Sequence/Series; GMAT Pro
- Algebra and Trigonometry Refresher for Calculus Students; Loren C. Larson
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