Here’s how to prepare for your math final

Veteran teacher, Learning Commons director offer advice


Melissa Sheppard

The Learning Commons in Kelly Hall is just one place to get help before you take your final final exam.

Neely Greene, Reporter

When preparing for the upcoming math semester final exams, students have a variety of resources available to them, including the Learning Commons as well as their own math teacher.

Math teacher Mrs. Lisa Ford said, “I would say if you want to sit down and study, then you should probably start a couple weeks ahead.” Having taught here for 41 years, Ford has experience with math finals. She said, “Our subject is a building subject,” as she noted that each math chapter builds off of the previous one. “Ideally, you are reviewing, going back, and looking at that material all semester long,” she added.

A math final lasts an hour and a half. Ford said, “The exam is worth 20% of your semester grade.” For those students to arrive at their math final with anxiety, Ford said, “I think that mental block is sometimes the result of feeling uncomfortable or not confident with the subject.” To ease the anxiety of students, Ford said, “Nobody goes from an A to a D.” Students, she said, tend to maintain the math grade they had before taking the final.

Ford’s best advice for preparing for a math final is to practice multiple problems. She said, “When you sit down to study your math, you need to do problems, and problems and problems and problems. It’s all about preparation. Make yourself sit down and do it.”

It’s all about preparation. Make yourself sit down and do it.”

— Math teacher Mrs. Lisa Ford

Other resources include Khan Academy, resources in Schoology that the math teachers provide, and the Learning Commons. Ford said, “Visit the Learning Commons, do office hours, get any help on something you need.”

The director of the Learning Commons is Mr. Michael Meyers, who studied finance and economics at IUPUI. Although it is his first year in the Learning Common on the Hill, Meyers noted that he served as the director of similar tutoring program at IUPUI.

Meyers said he has seen an increase in the number of students who come in for help as the math final draws near. He said, “I have noticed more people come in, especially with test corrections.” A majority of students request geometry help, but Meyers said, “Now I’m seeing a lot more precalculus and Algebra I.”

There are tutors in the Learning Commons, which is located in Room 4335. Meyers said that students understand the confusing material after they visit the Learning Commons. He said, “Having somebody to be able to walk through the process with you at an individual pace makes (the learning process more efficient).”

Meyers said that around 100 students have come in for help in the Learning Commons. But he also said, “I would like that number to be a little bit higher.”

Before going to get help, Meyers said, “My best advice would be to figure out what you don’t know on your own. If you get to a problem that you don’t know, you circle it, and then you go to the Learning Commons. My biggest advice for doing well on really anything you’re trying to achieve is to try and no do it all in one night.”