People often have strong feelings toward Geometry class because it’s so different than every math class taught preceding it. In the basic maths, you learned computations and equations—but Geometry adds on so many new elements. Geometry is the study of three-dimensional space, so it takes the rules and formulas learned in Algebra and visualizes them as shapes and graphs.
It can be tricky to study for Geometry tests because such a wide range of information is asked. We compiled the best study strategies to do it.
- Learn How to Do Proofs
What separates Geometry from other math classes is the fact that you have to write proofs. Here’s how you do them. First, figure out what the proof is asking in plain English. Once you do, try to figure out how your givens can solve this question. Basically a proof is showing you understood what is the actual question being asked, what the answer is, and how you came to this conclusion. So most of the time how you understand the question and the given clues (that’s what the shapes, angles, lines, etc. are) then you’ll have an easier time showing the right answer. Draw your two column proof chart and think like you’re a computer: “if this is true, then that is true,” is how your computer might vocalize the proof if it were to say it out loud. Now, with your givens, you want to trigger your brain into thinking about the missing links that prove the question true. Look for all possible triangles; draw radii on circles connecting points; look for parallel lines; etc. Finally, rename/make up simple lengths for the lines, segments and angles—easy numbers that you can calculate in your head—so you can see the proof in action. These steps are going to be useful on any proof—so try some out before the test so you see them in action.
2. Look at the Problems in Your Notes
You’ve heard countless times before how it’s important to take good notes. In math, this is probably the most important, seeing as it will show how good your teacher is at demonstrating problems. Did you copy down every problem demonstrated and all the steps written? Do you understand them? If you answered yes to both these questions, then you probably are in a good math class with a good teacher. These might be all you have to study because your teacher will test you on the prepared material—your book will just show you more examples or provide your homework. However, you might as easily find your notes are awful, despite paying attention, because your teacher has no idea what they’re talking about. We’ve found this especially true in Math, a class where you can’t just make stuff up or waste time like a bad English or History teacher can. If your notes (and by extension, your class) is good, study those. If it’s bad, pay careful mind to the next step.
3. Use Online Classes and Practice Problems
If there’s one thing you can learn from the internet, it’s math. There’s so many classes online and some—like on Kahn Academy—are totally free. If your math teacher is bad at teaching geometry (or doesn’t seem to really understand), just take this free class that people across the world have learned Geometry from. If that one isn’t good, try other ones—sometimes they cost money, but usually about $10 each. The “For Dummies…” book has practice problems for sale so you can keep doing it until you get it. If your class is lacking, using the internet to find a new teacher is a helpful way to learn practically any skill—but most of all, math. The internet has countless classes on math.
- Keep Up On Your Homework
Geometry is a process. It takes a lot of pre-learned knowledge once you start it (Algebra) but then each new rule, law, and lesson is going to impact the next ones. So, do your homework every day instead of cramming it all before a test. Your brain takes time to learn math. Going to bed and understanding it in your unconscious mind is essential to understanding it at all. Give your brain all the time it needs to learn the class by doing your homework every night. For other classes, this may not be as important—but for Geometry, you need to keep up on your work.
- Ask For Help
Geometry is a class where each new lesson builds really well on top of the other. If you get lost, getting caught up again is challenging. So find where you stopped understanding and ask your teacher to help you out with one-on-one instruction. Go during study hall, after school, or before school to a math teacher who’s willing to explain it to you. If your teacher isn’t doing a good job, look for opportunities to hear other teachers explain how to do the problems.