A lot of students/parents ask us what needs to be done to succeed or improve in math. While there is no GUARANTEED formula for success, we can offer the following 5 steps to help maximize a student’s chances for success.

When it comes to math class, every student has his/her own individual goals.  The GRCI math teachers all share a common goal.  In addition to providing you with an opportunity to advance your understanding in one of the most important fields of study, our main goal is to prepare you for math at the next grade level, no matter where or when that will happen for you.  The curriculum is set by the province; our goal is to present the curriculum at a level and pace that will prepare you for the curriculum of the next math course you will be taking.  Here is a list of steps you can follow to help you achieve your goals and be prepared for the next grade level.


Take the appropriate level of mathematics.

Through consultation with your math teacher, your parents, and your counselor, be sure that you are enrolled in a math course that you have the prerequisite for and that you can realistically be successful at.  There is an opportunity within the first few weeks of the semester to change the level of math course you are currently taking.  See your math teacher if you think you would be better suited to take a different level.


Be present, be on time, and be prepared.

Math is a very difficult subject to learn from reading text and in a semestered school system, can be very difficult to catch up on.  Try your best to be at every class, with the appropriate equipment (pencil, eraser, ruler, and scientific calculator).  When an absence is unavoidable, see your teacher in advance (if possible) or as soon as you return to school and catch up immediately.  Please note that, as per the policy set by the school board, teachers are not responsible for program for extended voluntary absences (such as family vacations).  Also note that only non-programmable scientific calculators may be used for tests and exams, unless explicit permission has been given to do so by your teacher; other devices (such as smart phones, iPods, or graphing calculators) will generally not be permitted to be used as calculators for a test or exam.


Pay attention in class.

To ensure maximum exposure to the material, resist all distractions.  With the exception of a calculator, all electronic devices should be unavailable during instruction, unless specifically told otherwise by your teacher.


Do all your practice/homework and prepare fully for unit tests.

Although not everyone’s favourite activity, research clearly shows that the best way to maximize your math mark is to do all your math practice/homework.  As a means for you to self-assess your understanding, daily practice/homework is a very important part of the learning process.  Even if you have a complete understanding of the material, doing your practice/homework will help you become faster and more accurate, which will serve you well on a unit test.  Answers to practice/homework exercises are usually made available, so be sure to check your answers carefully and correct any incorrect solutions (to ensure you are on track).


Get extra help as soon as you need it.

Nearly all students experience some difficulty with math at one time or another.  Your math teacher is always happy to assist you with any difficulties you are having in math, from a single homework question that you need a hint for to an entire concept that you need re-explained.  Be sure to see your math teacher right away anytime you experience difficulty.