1. Take careful, dedicated notes and listen carefully: When learning a certain concept, try to compile a list of steps to review later. Write down key points and important things to avoid. When your teacher writes examples on the board, copy them down as well as how to solve them for future reference.
2. Participate in the lesson: While you cannot learn mathematics by watching it being done, you usually need to see it done at least once. Then you need to do it. The key to understanding mathematics is to be an active participant. By being active you engage both sides of the brain. Listen to the problems your teacher gives you and complete them. Raise your hand to explain what you did, or listen carefully to what the other students did and their answers to make sure you got the same.
3. Do your homework: Finish all of your homework and do extra questions to help lock in the material. Make it a habit to do your homework well, as if you were taking a test. It’s like rehearsal for a test. Refer to your notes and your textbook while doing your homework. Ask your teacher, a friend, tutor, or smart student for assistance if you’re having trouble.
4. Always ask your teacher if you have any questions: Otherwise you will move on to the next subject without knowing the first one. This is a potential grade downer as for not knowing your material. Always check in with your teacher if you have been checking your answers and suddenly realize you have gotten 5/7 wrong. Do not go to a friend! A teacher is always your best bet for help.
5. Look for patterns and connections: After you have done math for a while, you will begin to see patterns and connections that you cannot experience as an observer. By getting involved in the problem, you get to see and feel how problems are solved. The answer to all problems, be it math or otherwise lies within the problem itself. Finally, after you have learned a skill, it is extremely effective to pass it on. When you teach, you verbalize the connections you made while practicing. By teaching you have to understand the problem so that you can correctly explain it and work through it in order to arrive at the correct answer.