High School Math Guidance Please.

I have this problem in high school where I would have a 4.0 GPA if it wasn't for my math hon class - geometry.. I've studied geometry throughout the summer as well, just to find out that I'm struggling in this class. Last year, i had an A+ in math, and i had set the record for the highest grade throughout my class, as well as other periods who belonged to the same class.. Why is it so that i always get a bad grade on my test, when I'm the only one answering all the questions in class.. Is it because i panic over a math test ? My self-esteem is totally being run-down all over a string of math grades. Is it that my time management skill stinks ? I do take lots of stress while taking the exam, and do not know how to deal with it. The other people seem to be nearly oblivious to me, as my school is filled with a small number of cliques. Does anyone here know what I can do, considering that I also studied geometry the whole of summer ? Does anyone recommend a website where i can find hard geometry questions ? I know all my concepts, but applying the concepts on a hard test seems to be quite hard. Thanks, much appreciated. Any other suggestions are welcome.

## 18 Comments • Newest first

lol @ people who get stressed during tests.

[quote=duriel123]I find this to be a common symptom for students as they approach higher level math courses. To put it simply, the mathematics that are taught prior(and even during) high school are largely based on memorization and regurgitation. Most of the questions you will see earlier on in math classes can be solved by simply using a standard method that they have already seen multiple times. In these classes, as long as you understand the material the teacher is talking about you should be able to ace the tests without a problem, in fact if you have a good sense for math you probably wouldn't need to do any homework at all. As you move onto more advanced courses in high school and eventually university, the questions you start seeing begin to demand more than simple regurgitation from you.

At some point, knowing all the concepts taught in class will not be enough to get you a top tier score on tests, you have to go beyond what you are taught in class to attain true mastery of the material. How, do would you do this, you might ask? The answer is simple, solve math problems, and not just any math problems, the hardest ones you can find. As an arrogant high school student who could ace every single math test without touching a single homework question, I did not realize this until I took an advanced calculus course in my senior year and got destroyed on the first couple of tests. Teachers don't have enough time to spoon-feed you everything that you need to know in order to answer every question on the test, which is why they assign homework. By actually solving problems, you will understand how to apply your understanding of the material in class to problems that you would see on the test, which is really the best possible way you could prepare for a test.

Another thing I'll add is that sometimes its not enough just to be able to solve a problem, instead you have to be able to solve it fast enough. The thing about math tests (well tests in general) is that time is extremely valuable, I cant tell you how many times I bumped my mark from ~70% to 95% from a couple of panicked scribbles in the last 5 minutes of the test. So when you are doing your practice problems, aim not just to be able to solve them, but be able to solve them efficiently as possible so that you'll have more time to tackle other questions on the test.

TL;DR, the only solutions is to do more problems, you may think that you understand the concepts that are introduced in class, but in most cases you don't actually have a first grasp on the material until you do some problems.[/quote]

Thanks for the great advice guys, just THANK-YOU ! I took geo in middle school years as well but i came from a foreign country, i find it difficult to cope up with tests. There's a lot more to a single subject of math than you can imagine, especially geometry that exists by itself.

I don't think you should be pulling all nighters... that seems problematic to me. You need at least 8 hours of sleep, especially before a test!

Anyway I'm from the Bay Area too, and I took geometry in 8th grade. My parents kind of helped me, but have you tried asking your teacher for more geometry questions/more difficult ones? My first year in university I was in Statistics and I was doing horribly. But every time we had class, after class I would get her help on a few homework questions, and I would have her give me extra questions to practice upon. Same thing when I took Calculus in 11th grade, I had to stay nearly every day after school to get extra help from my teacher. And I was definitely not the only one.

[quote=superswift12]I know all my concepts, but applying the concepts on a hard test seems to be quite hard.[/quote]

I find this to be a common symptom for students as they approach higher level math courses. To put it simply, the mathematics that are taught prior(and even during) high school are largely based on memorization and regurgitation. Most of the questions you will see earlier on in math classes can be solved by simply using a standard method that they have already seen multiple times. In these classes, as long as you understand the material the teacher is talking about you should be able to ace the tests without a problem, in fact if you have a good sense for math you probably wouldn't need to do any homework at all. As you move onto more advanced courses in high school and eventually university, the questions you start seeing begin to demand more than simple regurgitation from you.

At some point, knowing all the concepts taught in class will not be enough to get you a top tier score on tests, you have to go beyond what you are taught in class to attain true mastery of the material. How, do would you do this, you might ask? The answer is simple, solve math problems, and not just any math problems, the hardest ones you can find. As an arrogant high school student who could ace every single math test without touching a single homework question, I did not realize this until I took an advanced calculus course in my senior year and got destroyed on the first couple of tests. Teachers don't have enough time to spoon-feed you everything that you need to know in order to answer every question on the test, which is why they assign homework. By actually solving problems, you will understand how to apply your understanding of the material in class to problems that you would see on the test, which is really the best possible way you could prepare for a test.

Another thing I'll add is that sometimes its not enough just to be able to solve a problem, instead you have to be able to solve it fast enough. The thing about math tests (well tests in general) is that time is extremely valuable, I cant tell you how many times I bumped my mark from ~70% to 95% from a couple of panicked scribbles in the last 5 minutes of the test. So when you are doing your practice problems, aim not just to be able to solve them, but be able to solve them efficiently as possible so that you'll have more time to tackle other questions on the test.

TL;DR, the only solutions is to do more problems, you may think that you understand the concepts that are introduced in class, but in most cases you don't actually have a first grasp on the material until you do some problems.

you could try the IMO preparation questions

[url=http://www.mit.edu/~alexrem/Math%20Competitions.html]check the Geometry link[/url]

or maybe look on the past IMO exams about geometry

@Updated: It's like around the 70s and 80s atm, supposedly, since my teacher hasn't updated the grades, but okay. Thanks. I guess.

[quote=superswift12]Oh yes, im a freshman btw, but okay.. Thanks. I guess.[/quote]

I'm doing college apps atm, and most UCs only take accumulated GPA of A-G courses 10-12...so I'm not sure if freshman year is even counted. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong). Grades aren't everything colleges look for. If you're this stressed out over one grade, it's worse than just getting a low A or high B. If you're worried about competition, get more extracurriculars or play a sport. Also, even if you end up getting a B in geometry, you can take more weighted classes grades 10-12 and that will make your accumulative GPA over 4.0 (assuming you get As on them).

Don't stress out. If you really understand the concepts, you should know how to apply them. Maybe get a tutor or talk to your teacher about it?

[quote=NoobCake]You sound like the biggest nerd ever[/quote]

this

[quote=superswift12]I live in the bay area, near big universities like stanford, ucla, uc berkelely, where there's a lot of academic pressure. I really need help if i want to pursue great goals in life and you can help me ![/quote]

You can still pursue great goals in life if you don't get into those big universities you named. I also live in the Bay and I know that there are plenty of other schools that can get you a good education.

OT: Just make sure you study theorems and corollaries as justifications are extremely important in Geometry. Also, don't stress because that takes a toll on your test grade.

Oh yes, im a freshman btw, but okay.. Thanks. I guess.

Relax. If you're a sophomore or freshman (which I'm guessing you are because you're in Geometry), you have plenty of time until your college application. People, from my experience, are often either good at algebra and bad at geometry or vice versa, so what you're going through is pretty normal. Stressing out too much over it will only hurt your grade. As a sophomore or freshman, you really shouldn't be pulling all nighters. You'll think better if you get at least 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night. Don't freak out too much over it. If the questions in the book are easy and the questions on the test are hard, then focus more on the methods of doing the problems than the specific problems in the book. Regardless of how hard the question is, the method will be the same if you're on the same topic (granted geometry is a bit different so make sure you know all the theorems really well). 2nd semester Geometry was actually my worst grade ever, but I still have a 4.0 gpa.

Just stop caring so much lol. Being that stressed out is a much bigger problem than getting a bad grade on a test. I find that when I take tests not worrying at all I can think much better and my mind is more clear. Also ask your teacher if he can go over problems more often in class if he has time. Otherwise just google the name of the concepts or lesson you are doing. If you see a khan academy one watch the video because they are really helpful and I think that they also have review problems too.

[quote=Chachi]Geometry is easy tho

I guess try to find math tutoring at school or get help from friends.[/quote]

2 things : 1. My teacher is Asian

2. i make mistakes on the test mostly, main question : How do i deal with stress over a math test? Heck, i go hungry sometimes and pull all nighters for studying for this subject. The main thing is that the problems from the book are VERY EASY, but the ones on the test are quite HARD.

[quote=NoobCake]You sound like the biggest nerd ever[/quote]

I live in the bay area, near big universities like stanford, ucla, uc berkelely, where there's a lot of academic pressure. I really need help if i want to pursue great goals in life and you can help me !

Studying for geometry in high school is a waste of time. You have your theorems and you need to memorize those then solve any problem. The teacher isn't going to give you a problem that you can't apply what you learned in a class so what are you going to study? Memorize every proof in case it shows up on your test?

You sound like the biggest nerd ever

geometrys dragging me down too... i have high 90s-100s in almost every other class except an 86 in math

Geometry sucks bruh.